Do you often find yourself struggling with asserting your needs, setting boundaries, and feeling a lack of confidence or self-worth issues? In this episode of The Quiet and Strong Podcast, host David Hall sits down with life coach Josh Speraneo to discuss the journey of discovering and rebuilding self-worth, especially for empaths, highly sensitive people, and introverts.
Listeners will gain insight into recognizing and addressing their self-worth struggles, learning to set boundaries with empathy, and embracing their unique strengths. Key takeaways from this episode include understanding the pillars of healthy self-worth, the importance of healthy self-interest and self-care, and the transformative power of reconnecting with joy and setting boundaries.
Tune in to discover how understanding introverted traits and empathic gifts can lead to personal empowerment, and why it’s crucial to embrace and nurture these strengths. Whether you’re an empath, highly sensitive person, or introvert, this episode offers valuable guidance on building self-worth and setting boundaries, encouraging you to discover your personal strengths and be strong.
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Books mentioned in this episode:
- The Empath’s Survival Guide by Dr. Judith Orlof
- The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Dr. Elaine Aron
- Sensitive is the New Strong by Anita Moorjani
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Get your Myer’s Briggs Type
Highly Sensitive Person Quiz
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Josh Speraneo is a certified Master Life Coach on a mission to help introverts, empaths, and highly sensitive people live vibrant and fulfilling lives where they’re able to make the most of the gifts that come with these traits.
Too often, people assume those who identify with these labels are broken, weak, or shy and in need of fixing, when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth! Within each of these traits, there are unique strengths simply waiting to be discovered, harnessed, and utilized in the world around us… if we’ll choose to embrace them.
Connect with Josh on LinkedIn
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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:
Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster
Take the FREE Personality Assessment:
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Quiet & Strong Merchandise
00:00 Discovered being an INFJ and empath.
05:42 As a life coach, the text emphasizes helping people embrace their strengths and achieve their goals.
09:17 An introvert’s struggles and strengths, including setting boundaries and authenticity.
11:55 Highly sensitive people have a genetic trait called sensory processing sensitivity, characterized by depth of processing, overstimulation, emotional responsivity, and sensitivity to subtleties.
13:41 Introverts tire quickly in social situations, are emotionally sensitive, and notice subtleties easily.
19:51 Seeking guidance from books and others. Learning and applying knowledge. Appreciating a supportive podcast community.
21:35 Discovering community and acceptance, feeling at home in oneself, relieving and astonishing realization of not being alone.
24:34 Highly sensitive people need self-care but can still be powerful. Embrace introversion.
28:40 Three people’s unique strengths create energy and support in a like-minded community.
30:24 Individual developed the success cycle, but struggled with self-worth impacting goal achievement.
33:39 Helping clients build pillars of beauty, courage, wisdom, joy, and love through The Way of the Phoenix program. Handling criticism and assault to show authentic selves and strong self-worth.
37:03 Low self-worth leads to missed opportunities and settling for less.
42:56 Asking for help to make time for recharging leads to transformation.
45:24 Questioning limiting beliefs, fears, and excuses to foster growth and self-awareness with compassion.
48:43 Encouraging self-discovery through online tests.
51:53 Join me, connect, website for resources, personality assessment available.
Josh Speraneo [00:00:00]:
It was really eye opening to see that these things that you know, introversion so often is kind of considered in many circles, especially education, politics, things like that, as being inferior to extroversion, you know, the extrovert ideal. And then you, you know, you hear about empaths as kind of these woo woo people who are floating around in fairyland, and you hear with highly sensitive people how, you know, they’re weak and they need extra care. And I thought, I don’t buy any of that. You know? I I just have always seen these traits as they are unique, but I see them as being wonderfully different, not as weaknesses.
David Hall [00:00:43]:
Hello, and welcome to episode 158 of the Quiet and Strong podcast especially for introverts. I’m your host David Hall and the creator of quietandstrong.com. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix but to be embraced. Normally, while there are each episode on a Monday, be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me and help the show to grow. Tell a friend about the podcast.
David Hall [00:01:11]:
Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. Josh Speraneo is a certified master life coach on a mission to help introverts, impasse, and highly sensitive people live vibrant and in fulfilling lives where they’re able to make the most of the gifts that come with these traits. Too often, people assume that those identifying but these labels are broken, weak, or shy, and in need of fixing, when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Within each of these traits there are unique strengths simply waiting to be discovered, harnessed, and utilized in the world around us if we choose to embrace them. Belonging to these groups isn’t always easy, and there are struggles we’ll have to face and lessons we’ll have to learn before we can become the forces of nature we were born to be. Josh’s goal is to help heart-centered, purpose-driven people, and these groups find a shorter path to overcoming their struggles and fears So they can be alignment with their authentic selves and lead to lives of intentional influence and impact. Alright. Welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, Josh.
David Hall [00:02:18]:
Josh, it’s so great to have you on today.
Josh Speraneo [00:02:20]:
Yeah. It’s great to be here. Thank you so much for the invitation. I appreciate it.
David Hall [00:02:24]:
We’re gonna talk about your work as a life coach, especially boosting people’s sense of self worth. But Before we do that, let’s hear a little bit more about you and your journey your journey as an introvert, an HSP, an empath, now a life coach.
Josh Speraneo [00:02:38]:
Awesome. Yeah. I’m trying to think exactly how to work into that. So in terms of I guess we could start with when I found out or how I found out an introvert, empath, and highly sensitive person and then go from there. So it was actually I knew the 1st time I heard the term introvert as opposed to extrovert. I knew which side I fell on for sure. I’ve just always been more introverted by nature. I can occasionally fake extroversion for a little while, you know, and in public or show up with a lot of energy in a public meeting.
Josh Speraneo [00:03:07]:
But after a little bit, that just gets kinda draining for me, so I knew I erred on the introvert side. And then I actually had a friend introduce me to the Myers Briggs personality type indicator and Took that test on 16personalities.com and found out that I was an INFJ as far as the MBTI goes. And that was actually really because I’d never I wasn’t familiar with that test or that system, but it just nailed me. Every single element of it fit, and it was just this new level of self awareness, and I thought, oh, this is really cool. And then shortly it was, you know, several months probably after that, but not too long. I came across the book, The Empath’s Survival Guide by doctor Judith Orloff, and it kept you know, I’d see it out of the corner of my eye. It kept calling me back, and so I finally took the self test in that book thinking, okay. What is this about being an empath? What does that mean? And found out according to the self test in that book that I was an empath.
Josh Speraneo [00:04:02]:
And that was really interesting because I’d always struggled with I felt like I would take on other people’s energy. I could you know, when someone was frustrated, I would feel it not just as though, wow. This person’s mad at me, but, wow, there’s a lot of anger in the room, a lot of angry energy. And I thought that just see it didn’t seem like there would was a name for that or a label for that. I thought I was just weird. And then reading that book and diving down that rabbit hole led me to the term highly sensitive person. And I think that for a lot of us, when we hear that term, it’s in a negative context. It’s this idea that highly sensitive people are weak.
Josh Speraneo [00:04:37]:
They’re these namby pamby people who need to be coddled. They’re just overly sensitive, and the world’s just too tough for them. And at the end of the day, they need to go home and take a bubble bath. And So in exploring that and in really reading into what that meant and what that term really was all about, I realized, no. It’s actually just a genetic trait that 20 to 30% of the population is born with called sensory processing sensitivity, and it means that we have a more sensitive central nervous system, and so we’re constantly drawing in more data from the environment around us than the average person does. And so we can dive in later on into all the different aspects of that trait. But it was really eye opening to see that these things that you know, introversion so often is, you know, kind of considered in many circles, especially education, politics, things like that, as being inferior to extroversion, you know, the extrovert ideal. And then you, you know, you hear about impasse as kind of these woo woo people who are floating around in fairyland, and you hear with highly sensitive people how, you know, they’re weak, and they need extra care.
Josh Speraneo [00:05:42]:
And I thought, I don’t buy any of that. You know? I I just have always seen these traits as they are unique, but I see them as being wonderfully different, not as weaknesses. And so as a life coach, which was a a long journey that I can spell out maybe in a little bit and or what that looks like. But it was just this idea that so many people are walking around without realizing that they have these traits. And then many of them, when they find out they have the traits, it’s in a context that makes them feel like their weaknesses. And so my thought is, how can I, as a life coach, help people realize that the struggles they have in these areas, if they can find the right exercises and tools and resources, can actually be turned into amazing strengths and harnessed to help them live as their authentic selves and become, as as I often use, the forces of nature that they were born to be? And so my my thought as a life coach is just, how can I meet someone where they’re at and empathize with them in their struggles, but help them to see that the life that they desire is entirely possible for them with the right help, with the right support, and the right guidance, and that every single person in this world has such incredible potential if they just I feel like if they have someone come alongside and believe in them? And so that’s that’s what I love to do as a life coach is just meet people where they are, see their strengths, cheerlead and coach them, and help them to not develop an dependence on me for that necessarily, but to develop their own sense of ranks and self worth so that they go on from our coaching to achieve whatever goals and dreams they have. And so that’s that’s very long winded, but hopefully, that answers your question.
David Hall [00:07:19]:
Oh, thanks, Josh. And I told you, I heard you present before, and I love how you talked about the tough side of it. If you’re a highly sensitive person, an empath, an introvert, it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It doesn’t mean you’re a weak person. It means you have gifts, but you can be very tough with those gifts. Quiet and strong. Right?
Josh Speraneo [00:07:38]:
Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. I love I love to use the term highly sensitive badasses Yeah. Yeah. Just because it it turns the stereotype right on its Ted, and I think that that’s that’s exactly what we need to do with that and with so many other elements of those traits.
David Hall [00:07:51]:
Yeah. And I loved hearing you talk like that. So, Anyway and, the Myers Briggs for me was very, it was a big part of my journey, you know, realizing, oh, I’m an introvert, and we’re similar. Mine you said you were I n f j. Right? Yes. And I’m INTJ. So Okay. More on the thinking side.
David Hall [00:08:08]:
You know? I’m I’m not an empath, but I definitely It’s so important to have these conversations so that no matter what our particular gifts are, we all understand each other. So so thanks again.
Josh Speraneo [00:08:20]:
Yeah. Absolutely. I think sometimes we need the INFJs. I’ve got it my one of my best friends is an INTJ, and I feel like we balance each other out really well through our discussions, and I’ll bring a topic to him. And as we’re talking it out, I can see from his perspective where maybe I’ve read too much emotion into a situation, then I need to get a little bit of clarity or need to, you know, look at it from a little bit more of a logical perspective. And so it’s, yeah, it’s we all have unique gifts and abilities, and it takes all of us to, put put the world together and and to accomplish things together. So
David Hall [00:08:52]:
Yeah. Exactly. So none of this is good or bad. It’s just all we have different gifts Just like you said, you know, we all we need introverts, we need extroverts, and it’s not good or bad. It just is, and it’s it’s beautiful.
Josh Speraneo [00:09:05]:
David Hall [00:09:06]:
So what would you say is a strength of yours? You know, you can name 1 or 2 for each because you’re an introvert, because you’re a highly sensitive person, because you’re an empath, you can choose how you wanna answer.
Josh Speraneo [00:09:17]:
Yeah. So I think when I think about being an introvert, the strengths that I have, they’re actually strengths that were struggles for me for a long time, and probably with each of these, that that would be the case. But I know for a long time, I struggled with people pleasing and perfectionism. And I would you know, using my empathic abilities, I suppose, I would look at people and figure out who they expected me to be and then try to contort myself into that that person, that image that I thought their expectations were what what they were looking for. And so one of the strengths I feel like I have now is that I’ve learned to set better boundaries and also to really hold myself to a level of authenticity that in the past I was scared to. You know? In the past, I probably wouldn’t have come on the and use the word badass. I would have been embarrassed of that. You know? But it’s it’s just part of who I am, and it’s one of those things of I think it’s like a muscle that we can build up in terms of realizing who we are, realizing who we aspire to be, and living into that image that we have of that person as opposed to feeling like we’re just stuck or that’s just the way I am.
Josh Speraneo [00:10:26]:
And so I think breaking out of that mold and that pattern of people pleasing and perfectionism was really important for me, and I think learning to set solid boundaries was a key aspect of that and has just really shifted how I show up in the world, but also how I interact with others because I feel like as we be we grow more into alignment with our authentic selves, we’re able to coach and to cheerlead others in that same effort. When we can show up and be ourselves 100%, we can give other people that permission. And so when someone starts to say something and then they start to back off because they’re a little embarrassed, it’s like, no. You know? Share your heart. Share your mind. Be yourself. You know? And so by living that way, we invite others into that we create a safe space and invite others to do the same, and it’s just amazing to watch people light up as we do that. And so as an introvert, I guess that’s that’s one thing I love, is just being able to show up and be myself and not be ashamed, not feel guilty, not feel bad about that, and not hide who I am.
Josh Speraneo [00:11:29]:
And and that’s taken time, and it’s taken a lot of lot of work. And like I said, it is like a muscle, but it’s amazing how that transforms our life from the inside out. And then in terms go ahead. Yeah.
David Hall [00:11:40]:
Yeah. So before we talk about HSP and being an impact Yeah. Why don’t you define that for us a little bit? We’ve definitely had episodes about this. But maybe if people this is their 1st time listening to the show, what is a highly sensitive person? What is an empath? And then Okay. Your your strengths.
Josh Speraneo [00:11:55]:
Yeah. So in terms of being a highly sensitive person, like I mentioned earlier, it literally is it’s not just the idea of someone being overly sensitive. It is a genetic trait that doctor Elaine Aaron coined the phrase for and did a lot of the research early research on and what was was foundational to that movement, but it goes back to that scientific term sensory processing sensitivity. So the idea is that we have a more sensitive central nervous system. We’re drawing in more data and making more neural connections with the stimuli in the environment than the average person does. And so the 4 the acronym she uses a lot is DOES, so depth of processing, overstimulation, emotional responsivity or empathy, and then sensitivity to subtleties. And so each of those, if we unpack them a little bit more, depth of processing can look like, you know, when you’re a little kid and you’re starting elementary school and all the other kids dive into the non highly sensitive kids dive into the toy box, and they’re wrestling with each other. And you’re the kids standing back looking and thinking, what did I get myself into? What is going on here? You know? And that kind of it shows in other areas of our life as we move forward.
Josh Speraneo [00:13:08]:
We we stop and we analyze things. When someone says, hey. You know, you’re in a meeting and someone asks for an answer right away off the top of your head, you’re like, hey. Can I take this and think about it and come back? I don’t don’t have an immediate answer. I don’t have an immediate response because we wanna process. And overstimulation is kinda what gets the most attention with HSPs, but I think it’s one of those that actually can be overcome along the way. And that’s the idea that if we have an let’s say, an energetic battery built into us. The overstimulation would be that idea that over time and I think this fits for introverts as well in many ways.
Josh Speraneo [00:13:41]:
But if if we’re, let’s say, in a a social situation as an introvert and there’s it’s a party, it’s busy, it’s chaotic, and our mind is trying to process everything going on around us, that wears that battery down really quickly. So overstimulation is that idea of just wearing down, running out of energy for social interactions and things like that, and needing to go recharge before we come back and do it again. Then you get into the emotional responsivity, and that, for highly sensitive people can be as simple as watching a movie or reading a book and becoming emotional. We just we tend to, air you know, be very empathetic by nature, and so we emotionally engage. But we also when something hurts us, it it hurts very deeply as well. So there is that sense of being more emotionally vulnerable, being more emotionally available, but also sometimes getting hurt by that. And then the sensitivity to subtleties could be as simple as looking around in an environment, and you notice one of the lights is dimmer than the other lights in a chandelier. Or, you know, you might see, you know, kind of the the whole squirrel effect of you look you know, you’re you’re paying attention to the person in front of you, but out the window, you see a squirrel moving around, and your brain’s tracking that, which makes us really good drivers, but also, you know, can be, again, more exhausting because our brain is tracking that and making connections even while we’re trying to be present and focused.
Josh Speraneo [00:15:03]:
And so that’s as far as being an HSP, those are the basic elements of that trait genetic trait. And then In terms of being an empath, it’s interesting because a lot of the work I’ve read has been from doctor Judith Orloff. And her one of the things she says is that all empaths are highly sensitive people, but not all highly sensitive people are empaths. So it’s kind of a subgroup of highly sensitive people. And the way I think about it, the most common form of empaths, I believe, are those who sense other people’s emotional energy. And so when you walk into a meeting and you sense this deep level of tension, and you may even be able to pinpoint who it is that’s causing the tension. But it’s this idea of if somebody is angry and they’re fuming, you can sense that emotional energy coming off of them, and it you can feel it in that environment. And As we grow as empaths, I think one of the unique things we can do is learn to harness that emotional energy and calm people around us.
Josh Speraneo [00:16:04]:
We can bring the kind of emotional energy into that situation that we want to emit. But that, again, is kinda like a muscle, and it’s not something I don’t know that every empathic person can do, but it is so that’s that’s the primary form of empaths that that I’m familiar with. But If you read in doctor Judith Orlov’s books or Anita Moorjani wrote a book called Sensitive is the New Strong, which is amazing as well, and they will both talk about some almost ESP type abilities that can come with being a certain type of empath in terms of communicating with animals or sensing the flow of nature, things like that that I don’t fully understand and won’t won’t try to go into here. But it is just it’s a fascinating subgroup of highly sensitive people, I suppose, is a way to look
David Hall [00:16:51]:
Yeah. And you brought up a really good point. For all these things that we’re talking about, it’s in our biology. Right? It’s something that, you know, comes to us very naturally. And for whatever reason, I’m not an empath. I’m a definitely thinking analytical person. I do have empathy, But it manifests itself differently. So if I was trying to help you with something, I would think, alright, let me, in my imagination, put myself in Josh’s shoes.
David Hall [00:17:15]:
Right? But I don’t have that same gift you do. But at the same time, I have a different gift, and sometimes there could be clashes if somebody’s coming at it Like you said, you you you had a a friend that’s an INTJ, and, you know, you were able to see things from different perspectives. That’s so important, and that’s that’s why we are having these conversations.
Josh Speraneo [00:17:33]:
Yeah. I love it. And that’s you know, to me, that’s the beauty of it is that the the process I think of and that that I’ve shared about before is this idea of And I think, again, it fits for self awareness in terms of being an introvert, an empath, a highly sensitive person, and just self awareness as a whole. There is this element of first awareness, becoming aware. I’m an introvert. And, you know, with the MBTI, maybe even I’m a this specific type of introvert. I’m an empath, and what does that mean? I’m a highly sensitive person, and what does that mean? And so when we become aware that we are those things, which there are self tests for all those, then there’s this element of understanding. Okay.
Josh Speraneo [00:18:10]:
What does it mean to be an INFJ? What does it mean to be an empath and a highly sensitive person? And we can dive down those rabbit holes or find guides who will walk down those paths with us. And then we get to the the element of awakening, so awareness, understanding, and awakening. And that is this idea of, okay. Now that I understand myself better, I know where I might struggle more, but I also see where I have these unique strengths that I can share with the world. And so if we have dreams and goals and passions, that sense of awakening is our ability to go out and pursue those things and bring those dreams and that vision to life that we have and to show up as our best selves and our authentic selves in the world. So it’s this beautiful process that we can go through, but it begins with that desire to become more self aware and that willingness to look at ourselves in the mirror and look at ourselves through these different lenses and really begin to understand ourselves and, you know, again, our strengths and our weaknesses, but also realizing that if we have dreams and goals, we can go after those, and it’s gonna be so much easier with that new level of self understanding and self awareness.
David Hall [00:19:17]:
Yeah. And I say You can accomplish anything, but you’re gonna do your best by using your strengths to get there, and it may look different from your Friend, your extroverted friend may have a different process to reach the same goal, and you might succeed differently. But so often, I hear people just like, alright. Am I introvert or extrovert? Great. I’m an introvert. I’m extrovert. But like you’re saying, it goes so much beyond that. It’s understanding and then awakening, you really have to know what that means and how you can apply it.
David Hall [00:19:47]:
If you don’t know how to apply it, It’s not that helpful at all.
Josh Speraneo [00:19:51]:
Yeah. I I totally agree. And that’s where like I said, I think there are some great books out there that are very helpful, you know, a few of them that I’ve mentioned, but it really also can be helpful just to talk to somebody who’s studied a little bit further than you have. I mean, for me, learning about the Myers Briggs personality types, Talking to my in INTJ friend was great at helping me begin to understand that, and then diving into doctor Elaine Aron’s book and Anita Moorjani’s book and doctor Judith Orlov’s book, The Empath Survival Guide. I mean, all of those things have been just key key for me in terms of growing and developing and really learning what that what those different things mean, but also learning how that how I can apply them for myself and how I can bring those things to life and live those things out. And I think even just finding a community, like, you’ve got you’ve created with this podcast where we can find episodes that are helpful for us depending on what we might be struggling with. And I love that you’ve created that kind of a resource for people to come and listen. And I’ve I’ve definitely cherry picked different episodes along the way that just felt very relevant, and sometimes I’ll I’ll be able to keep up for a while with the new episodes.
Josh Speraneo [00:20:57]:
But it is an invaluable resource for people to know I’m not alone. I’m not a freak. I’m not broken. I’m not weird. There are other people with these same traits, these same attributes. And because they found a way to be successful and to harness the gifts that come with those traits, I know that I can too. And I know the last couple years, that’s been very affirming. It’s very been very life giving, and I’ve met so many incredible people through programs like yours or through platforms like LinkedIn that have just helped me to really the term that that I I use so often or that I love to use is coming home to myself.
Josh Speraneo [00:21:35]:
And so when we when we discover that we’re not alone and that there are communities for people that are like us. How you know, however we’re wired, whatever we discover about ourselves, this sense of coming home to ourselves, feeling comfortable in our own and maybe for the 1st time in our lives is just so relieving. It’s so incredible, and it’s just I I don’t even know if the if I have the word for it. It’s just astonishing to know that we’re not alone, and it’s astonishing to know that there are people there to support us and that we can support others who are like us and just go through life together. And I think, for me, that was, especially in terms of being a highly sensitive person, probably one of the most incredible parts of my journey was learning that there was a genetic trait that made me different, and that was why I’d always felt different from so many of my peers, not because I was broken or weird, which was where my mind went as a kid. I mean, that’s just what you assume is there’s something wrong with me, and that’s why I’m not like everyone else. And when you realize, wait. This is genetically wired into me.
Josh Speraneo [00:22:38]:
I’m not a freak. I’m not broken. I just it was just an incredible experience and something I love to share on shows like this because I know there are other people who have not had this information brought to them who aren’t aware that they have this trait and who are still in that that phase of feeling like an outcast and feeling broken. And so I think, you know, again, raising awareness through shows like this is and through summits like I’ve been a part of is just incredible because it meets those people where they are, and it lets them know they’re not alone.
David Hall [00:23:09]:
Yeah. Thank you, Josh, and well said. It’s there is nothing wrong with you. What I say is I figured out that there was never anything wrong with my introversion, But what was wrong was my understanding or lack of understanding of my introversion. That was what was wrong. And when I figured it out Mhmm. That made all the difference in the world, Understanding my gifts, that it wasn’t strange, you know, that it was just normal, but also not even beyond normal. Just brilliant.
David Hall [00:23:35]:
You know? Like, when we embrace our Gifts. It’s a brilliant thing. You know? And we all can bring out our brilliance.
Josh Speraneo [00:23:42]:
David Hall [00:23:43]:
So on this show, we talk about the strengths and needs of introverts Or HSPs and impasse, and definitely some strategies for success, which we’re gonna get into with you. But we also do some myth busting. Think so. Is on any of these traits, is there any miss you wanna bust?
Josh Speraneo [00:23:58]:
Yeah. So it’s so funny that you you asked that because that’s that’s something I love to do, especially when I’m writing on LinkedIn is really look at that. And the the 1st stereotype I love to bust is the namby pamby stereotype that so often, it goes with introverts. It goes with empaths, and it goes with highly sensitive people. This idea that we are somehow weak or frail or, you know, have this need to be coddled. And I think what’s interesting is that in reading a lot of the the early literature on highly sensitive people and empaths. It almost kinda plays that up. It almost plays into that stereotype.
Josh Speraneo [00:24:34]:
And I think the the term that kept coming up as I read along the way was this idea of bubble bath. And I don’t know why my brain locked onto that or if it really was as prevalent as I thought, but it was just this idea of, you know, if you’re a highly sensitive person, you just need to be gentle with yourself, and you need to just, you know, be very careful and stay away from the world because it might hurt you and hurt your feelings, and I thought, I don’t buy that. I don’t believe that. I think that You know? Again, there there are times when as introverts, empaths, and highly sensitive people, we need to seek out rest and restoration. We need time to walk on a trail and take a nap and recharge before we can show up at full strength or with our our emotional or energetic batteries charged again. But when we learn how to regulate that using just basic tools of personal development, we can show up as the the highly sensitive badasses, the introverted badasses, the forces of nature that we were created to be, that we were born to be. And so it’s not this idea that, well, because I’m an introvert and this and I guess here’s where the where I wanna bust the myth is this idea. If you’re an introvert, you’ll never be able to do certain things.
Josh Speraneo [00:25:44]:
If you’re an empath or a highly sensitive person, there are just certain things you’ll never be able to you’ll never be able to go and be a public speaker. You’ll never be able to to show up as boldly as an extrovert or a nonhighly sensitive person, and I don’t buy that at all. I think that’s total BS. I think we have to be careful how we charge up before we step into a situation like that. But what I find is that many people who are extremely accomplished, speakers, authors, teachers that all of us look up to will tell you, I’m an introvert. I’m a highly sensitive person. I’m an empath by nature, and that’s a huge part of their strength and their ability to connect with their audience and the people they’re speaking to and addressing. It’s that deep compassion that they have.
Josh Speraneo [00:26:25]:
And so they’ve learned how to control that, how to to show up at their best, and then make time to recharge afterward or to step away for a while and put themselves back together before they come and even come back out from behind the stage for the meet and greet. And so my you know, the biggest myth I would bust is that this idea that being you know, having one of these traits somehow puts you at a disadvantage in life. Somehow means that there are goals and dreams you have that you can’t accomplish. I I often think that the only thing that an introvert can’t do honestly is test as an extrovert on the MBTI. Otherwise, you can pretty much accomplish whatever goal you set yourself out for. You just may have to acquire some new skills and abilities and resources to help you get there.
David Hall [00:27:11]:
Yeah. I love that. And, I mean, check us out. We’re 2 introverts having a great conversation. I’ve been looking forward to talking with you, Josh, But I did need to prepare. You know? I sent you questions ahead of time as a framework, you know, not not as a script, but as a framework. I’m not nervous one bit. I I might even though I’m really enjoying this conversation, I always schedule a hour after the podcast to Relax if I need it.
David Hall [00:27:38]:
I don’t always need it, but I schedule it. So you can do anything. I love that. It’s just you have to know what’s my preparation, You know? How am I gonna show up? You know? How am I gonna use my gifts to show up? And what do I need? You know? And and you could do anything. Again, I I’m loving this conversation, and 2 introverts here having a great podcast conversation.
Josh Speraneo [00:28:00]:
Yep. I’m loving it as well, and I I totally agree. It’s just It’s amazing to me, especially what’s what I think is interesting is how oftentimes as introverts, we actually can charge each other up in conversations like this. I know a couple of my friends are INFPs on the Myers Briggs, you know, type indicator. It’s funny because the the only real difference between me and them is, you know, you’ve got the the, you know, the the p and the the the j, but they’re just very spontaneous. You know? They’re hilarious. It’s if we go to to hang out together, they will figure out what we’re gonna eat before I can ever get them to nail down a time of when we’re gonna meet together and hang out. But it’s yeah.
Josh Speraneo [00:28:40]:
We just have these unique strengths, but the 3 of us together, we just charge each other up, and we’re more excited when we leave than when we met together. And so, yeah, they just can create this amazing energy, and that’s, again, the the joy of community with like minded people or people who are wired into similar ways that so often we just fire each other up, and we because, again, I think it’s that sense of community, that sense of not being alone, that sense of kindred spirits and people with shared struggles and shared life experiences. You know, we can learn so much from one another, and we can support each other in unique ways that people who might not be wired quite the same way couldn’t you know, can’t quite do or can’t quite relate to.
David Hall [00:29:19]:
Yeah. And that’s another myth that we can bust together. I I don’t like when people’s just, in general terms, say the main difference is introverts get drained from people and recharged by being alone, because I don’t think that’s complete. I think it’s very lacking. Mhmm. Because like you said, I know some people that I get very recharged from, you know, or not recharged. Maybe recharged, but just charged. Yeah.
David Hall [00:29:44]:
And it’s like, I would rather say, you know, that’s part of it. Like, I get drained by some people in some situations. You know, and sometimes I’m gonna need to recharge. But also on the on the same I don’t only need to be alone for recharge. I there’s so many things that to use our strengths, you know, to focus, to plan, to dream. Yeah. So, anyway, that that that definition to me is lacking because we can definitely get charged up. Like, this conversation is is not draining to me.
David Hall [00:30:12]:
It’s very charging to me.
Josh Speraneo [00:30:14]:
Yeah. I totally agree.
David Hall [00:30:16]:
So, Josh, The main thing we wanna talk about tonight is your work as a a life coach and helping people boost their sense of self worth.
Josh Speraneo [00:30:24]:
Yeah. So that is it’s interesting because When I first started kinda looking into becoming a life coach, one of the the things that I had developed was a system called the success cycle, and I’ll just touch on that briefly, was just just this as I was reading through so many books on personal development and goal achievement, I saw kind of these this 10 step framework that emerged from that and was so and I could see elements of it in Think and Grow Rich and Beyond Positive Thinking in all of these different books that I was reading, the success principles by Jack Canfield. And I thought, oh, there’s this cool system, and so I kinda worked on and wrote a little book about the success cycle. But what I found was that even with this success you know, this goal achievement framework, which all of us have different ones that we picked up and read along the way, I still found myself hesitating to take action on my goals. And when I really dug deep to figure out, okay. What is going on with me? Why is it that when I start towards my goals, I feel this sense of imposter syndrome? I feel this I start to self sabotage. I procrastinate. What is going on with me? What I realized that was that my my struggles were not coming from not knowing what to do or not being able to come up with a plan that would lead me to my goal, my struggles were from a low sense of self worth, and that can come about from any any number of things.
Josh Speraneo [00:31:48]:
The the main enemies that I see of our sense of self worth are things like criticism, cruelty, judgment, trauma, or abuse. And for so many of us, when we’re born as babies, we have what I think of as a full self worth account. So we we don’t hesitate to cry expecting that people will come and take care of us. They’ll they’re gonna feed us. They’re gonna change our diaper. They’re gonna play with us. And as babies, that’s completely normal. What happens, though, is that as we get to be about school age, if not before, because, obviously, trauma and abuse can happen in that time frame, or we can be in a family where there’s just some cruel things that happen.
Josh Speraneo [00:32:25]:
But our sense of self worth gets assaulted over time. And so this amazing, dynamic, brilliant, beautiful child who may start school with this sense of being invincible and being on top of the world and being able to accomplish anything they dream or desire, When that sense of self worth is assaulted, we begin to shrink back into ourselves. It’s like we had this full account, and suddenly all these withdrawals have been made, and we’re just barely getting by. And so what happens along the way is that as that self worth account is depleted, we just we go into survival mode. And so we don’t dream those big dreams, and we don’t show up as our authentic selves because it doesn’t feel safe. Because what if I get criticized again? What if they judge me again? And so the work that I love to do is to really help people figure out how do we refill that self worth account, how do we rebuild or upgrade your sense of self worth so that you can show up as that force of nature you were created to be. And so I I look at it through a lens or a framework I created called the 5 pillars of healthy self worth. So you have beauty, courage, wisdom, joy, and love, and each of those pillars has an internal and an external facet.
Josh Speraneo [00:33:39]:
So with beauty, you have the sense of uniqueness and boldness. Courage, you have confidence and resilience. Wisdom, you have insight and perception. Joy. You have enthusiasm and expectation. And then love, you have freedom and compassion. And so what I work on with my clients through a program I created called The Way of the Phoenix is we look at each one of those and what are the enemies of those pillars, what are exercises to strengthen those pillars with the goal being that when we’re done, they know not just how to handle criticism, cruelty, judgment, and they’ve had a chance if for what I’m able to help them with in terms of working on trauma and abuse to, you know, share those things, get them out in the open, and talk through them and realize that where they where they were challenged or assaulted by those things so that they can show up in the world as their authentic selves, and they can come back to life in that sense of having a strong sense of self worth what I think of as unwavering self worth because that’s when we can show up and we can have this unflinching sense of self expression. And so, again, you think about people you respect in terms of teachers, speakers.
Josh Speraneo [00:34:51]:
What I think separates those who so often we respect and that we look up to is that they have that unwavering sense of self worth. They built that back up. But we can learn from them because if I can see them on stage and see what they’re doing, and I have similar goals and dreams. I can learn to do that too, but it does take this work of refilling our our self worth accounts and rebuilding that sense of self worth.
David Hall [00:35:13]:
Yeah. So could you give us a further example, like, in one of those areas where someone doesn’t have high self worth, like, where that’s coming from and how you might help them overcome that?
Josh Speraneo [00:35:24]:
Yeah. Yeah. One one point that we’ll touch on, something we’ve already talked about a little bit is this idea of being in poor relationships. So maybe you are in a relationship with a narcissistic person or someone who is even maybe an energy vampire. So someone who it’s not a reciprocal relationship. They they only come to you when they need something. They only call you when they want something. They tear you down.
Josh Speraneo [00:35:47]:
They keep you feeling like you’re dependent on them, and they use you. And as soon as they’re done with you, they throw you back out into the, know, into the world until they they wanna use you again. And so working on our sense of self worth tells us, wait a minute. I deserve to have healthy relationships, fulfilling relationships. I deserve to be in relationship with people who respect me and who love me. And in a relationship that is reciprocal. There’s give and take. It’s not people taking from me all the time.
Josh Speraneo [00:36:14]:
And when we rebuild our sense of self worth, we think, wait a minute. I could set boundaries with these people so that I’m no longer taken advantage of because I’m worthy and deserving of every good thing I desire in life. And, you know, I I can reset that relationship or change that the level of that relationship. And maybe it’s somebody who’s been in a very personal aspect of your life. And, ultimately, you’d be healthier if it was impersonal or if you just avoided them altogether. And so part of strengthening our sense of self worth is giving ourself permission to set boundaries like that and to distance ourselves from those unhealthy people. And so a lot of the work I do is we look at, you know, relationships that are potentially unhealthy. We can also look at things like the work the career that you’re in or the job that you have.
Josh Speraneo [00:37:03]:
You know? So often what you see is that people will be stuck in a job that they absolutely hate, and then they’ll tell you, oh, I heard about this new job over here, but I don’t think I’m gonna apply for it because I don’t think I would get it. It’s like when our sense of self worth is low, we close doors on ourselves before we ever even go to knock on it. And so working with someone on their sense of self worth is like, well, why not knock on the door? It may may not work out. It may not be the right opportunity for you, but why would you close the door on yourself before you ever gave it a try? And in the end, it all comes down to that. I don’t feel like I’m worthy or deserving of the life that that job would open up for me. I feel like I I deserve to be stuck here in a low paying job where I’m taken advantage of, where I’m not appreciated. And so that’s that’s the kind of results we can get working on our sense of self worth is, wait. If I if I truly come to believe that I’m worthy and deserving of every good thing I desire in life, why wouldn’t I go for that? Why wouldn’t I try for a better job? Why wouldn’t I try to bring my family together.
Josh Speraneo [00:38:02]:
Why wouldn’t I get more assertive with with my boundaries and with my communication? And so that’s that’s what I love to help people work on is to see, okay. Where where are they struggling? Where are they holding themselves back? What is at the root of that? And then how do we start to rebuild their sense of self worth. What exercises can they apply so that when they show up the next time, they take that chance. They take you know, they put in the application for the job. They tell the person who’s been taking advantage of them, hey. I don’t I don’t think this is working for me. You know? I don’t think that you really care about me, and I don’t think this is a healthy friendship. I need to take some time and really rethink whether this is what I want in my life or not.
Josh Speraneo [00:38:40]:
But I think that many of us need someone to to help us gain that clarity, to give us permission to look after ourselves, what I call healthy self interest, you know, to to take time for self care, to take time to take care of ourselves. We just so often, we don’t that’s not what most people talk about. It’s this idea of you’re either selfish or yourself less. And so healthy self interest is that middle ground that helps us to realize, no. If I’m gonna show up at my best, if I’m gonna be the best version of myself, I have to take time for myself. I have to recharge, and it’s okay for me to do that because, ultimately, I wouldn’t tell anybody else they couldn’t. I would encourage the people I love to do that. So we have to ask ourselves, why am I holding myself back? Why do I feel like I’m the exception when I take 5 minutes away to to read a book or to take a nap, you know, obviously, more than 5 minutes there.
Josh Speraneo [00:39:31]:
But it’s like, why do I feel like I’m disqualified from these self care activities, but it would be okay for anyone else. And so that’s again, a lot of that is symptoms of low self worth.
David Hall [00:39:41]:
Yeah. And on all of that, it’s you’re not being selfish. You’re taking care of yourself. Mhmm. And especially for those you care about, you’re being better for them. So how do we kinda articulate our needs, especially with those that we care about or those that we work with Mhmm. And set set appropriate boundaries, but really say, hey. You know what? This is what I need to be my best.
David Hall [00:40:02]:
It might even be with those we love. I I love you, but I knee I need this. You know?
Josh Speraneo [00:40:07]:
Yeah. Well, I think about one of the clients I had who that was a real struggle for her because of some childhood trauma, because of some abuse that she suffered. Her needs she felt like they always had to come last, that if she looked after herself, if she took time to recharge, she was neglecting something she could be cleaning. She could be helping one of her kids. She could be helping her husband with something. And so she was really tough on herself for just for the idea that she would take some time away to recharge. And so as we work through that together, what we One of the things I I talked with her about was just I asked her, well, what did you use to enjoy? You know? If if all of these different demands that are being put on you by church, by your family in these different volunteer activities. If all of that is exhausting you, tell me what used to to charge you up, what used to make you excited, what you used to love to do.
Josh Speraneo [00:40:59]:
And it took her a while, but she talked about how she used to love to just take some time and read just by herself. She used to love to be able to just take a nap in the afternoon and relax. And she also the biggest thing was she loved to to paint and to draw. And so that was the challenge that I gave her was okay. Well, Let’s figure out a time in your daily schedule, you know, around the kids, around, you know, your husband and those needs. When could you carve out 30 minutes to just go into the garage or go into your room and just draw or paint for a while. And it wasn’t an overnight thing that she found the time suddenly, but it was a challenge that I just kept leaning into. Okay.
Josh Speraneo [00:41:34]:
Well, when are you gonna do this? You know, how can we help you do this? Do you need to get up earlier? Do you need to, you know, get lunch made for the family? Because that was important to her, but then take that time while everyone’s eating lunch. And what happened was that as she started to reintroduce these activities into her life, these life giving activities, Suddenly, she just lit up. You know? She told me that she would catch herself smiling. Just out of nowhere, she’d wake up smiling. And it was like she was coming back to the life because she was really finally starting to take care of herself and to refill her self self worth account. And so I think it it comes with just having those conversations. And if you’re married, talking to your spouse or your partner and just saying, hey. I’ve gotta start getting some time to go take a walk in the mornings.
Josh Speraneo [00:42:18]:
I need some time to take a nap in the afternoons. I need a little bit of time to go just read and unplug for a while between when the kids get home from school and when when I start making dinner, whatever that might be again for each family dynamic. But it comes down I think the the term I use a lot is communication covers a multitude of sins. So it’s this idea if we will just be willing to admit what we need. If, one, we we become aware of what we need, but we just admit to one another, hey. I wanna show up as the best possible version of myself, and right now, I’m right on the brink of burnout. You know? I’m exhausted. I don’t feel like I have time to catch my breath during the day.
Josh Speraneo [00:42:56]:
Can you help me find some time or make some time so that I can recharge with whatever activity works best for me and then show up and be at my best and be reenergized. And so I think communication is the key there and just, you know, asking for help from your family and from the people you love. And I think What’s what’s incredible is that when they start to see how much more energy you come back with and the joy that you bring to family dinner that night after you’ve been painting or drawing or whatever your activity is, then they’re gonna be like, yes. You need more time like that. We’re gonna figure out how to make this work because the way you’re showing up now, the joy that you’re bringing, the light in your eyes is so incredible, and we want more of that. And that person as well, the person who’s building their sense of self worth is gonna be like, great, because I need this. I love this. And so it is this inside out transformation that that happens when we begin to refill our self worth account.
Josh Speraneo [00:43:49]:
And when we show up as the best version of ourselves, and our families and friends see that. They’re gonna love it, and they’re gonna cheerlead us in that more often than not.
David Hall [00:43:58]:
Yeah. I love that. It’s something I found that’s helped. So maybe you do wanna take a walk alone, and somebody wants to go with you.
Josh Speraneo [00:44:06]:
David Hall [00:44:06]:
Tell them what you need, but then make a plan to take a walk with them. You know? So be excited. Say, hey. You know what? I need this right now. Hey. Let’s let’s, you know, let’s go, if the you know, tomorrow or or whatever it is. You know? And so you’re not just pushing them off. You’re just telling what you need, but you’re also, you know, making the time with them.
Josh Speraneo [00:44:23]:
Yeah. Absolutely. There’s there’s gonna be a win win scenario built in there somewhere, and it may just take a little little trial and error to figure that out and figure out what that looks like.
David Hall [00:44:31]:
Josh, you’ve talked a lot about great reasons for working with the coach. Do you want to elaborate any more on that, like, why working with the coach is beneficial?
Josh Speraneo [00:44:40]:
Yeah. I think what I found with coaching and coaches that I’ve had is that so often, they can see the blind spots that I don’t see in myself and in my life. And they ask me the tough questions that really get me thinking and realizing where my life isn’t the way that I want it to be, but I’ve been making excuses to keep myself stuck. And so I think so often, a good coach doesn’t necessarily tell you how to live your life, but they may have exercises and resources they recommend. But they’re just good at asking the right questions. They’re good at getting you to see what you might have been overlooking. And like I said, for me, one of the biggest things has just been excuses and not even realizing I was making excuses. Like, well, I really want this, and maybe someday I can have that.
Josh Speraneo [00:45:24]:
And they would ask me why why maybe someday? Why does that have to wait? Why can’t you start working on that goal or that vision? You know? Why it seems like you’re putting obstacles in your way to hold yourself back, and they’re able to spot, oftentimes our fears, our self doubt, our limiting beliefs, and to call those to our attention and not rub them in our faces, but just say, do you realize that this seems to be playing a role in the decisions that you’re making or that you’re not making. Do you realize that, you know, for 2 weeks in a row, you know, you haven’t done what I asked you to do, and you keep coming back to this reason that isn’t really a reason. It’s an excuse. So I think it’s there’s a sense of people showing us where our blind spots are, coach being able to do that and do it with compassion and candor, which I think is the the mark of a good coach. They’re gonna call you out, but they’re gonna do it compassionately and and gently, hopefully. But just to say, like, hey. There’s something going on here I want you to see. And I’m not telling you have to change this overnight, but I I’d love to work on this with you.
Josh Speraneo [00:46:24]:
And then that built in sense of accountability, which is such an important element because we’re so much more likely to move forward and achieve something if there’s some built in accountability, and we’re not just doing it on our own. You know? If I make an excuse, but but then I know you’re gonna hold me accountable, that causes me to question that excuse and say, okay. Well, I’m scared, but I’m gonna do it anyway, because I told David I was gonna show up this week having done this. And so I think that those dynamics play out in really interesting ways with a coach that we can’t necessarily accomplish on our own. You know, I feel like we can do so much on our own. There’s so much we can accomplish and learn and so many ways we can grow. But when we hit a plateau, a coach is the one who shows you, hey. There’s a whole another level here I wanna help you achieve, and there are whole new level of results in your life that you’re capable of that I wanna invite you into.
Josh Speraneo [00:47:13]:
And I think that’s the magic of having a coach on your side to guide you and support you and ask you those tough questions. And that’s for my clients, I feel like that those are the different roles that I’ve been able to play with them. And the other element is as they go through different levels of self awareness and self discovery, being there to comfort them, because for many people, finding out that they’re an introvert or an empath or a highly sensitive person can be a little bit scary. Well, what does that mean? You know? What does that mean about me, and what what does that mean about the life that I’m living? And, you know, I don’t understand, and I’m everything I’ve heard about that is negative. So you know? And that was with another you know, several of my clients. I’m worried about this. That doesn’t sound like a good thing. Well, let me tell you why it is, and let’s walk through this together.
Josh Speraneo [00:47:55]:
You know, we can have those conversations. We can support I can support them in that and comfort them, and we can look for answers together. And it’s just beautiful. Again, beautiful to see the transformation that comes out of that when we have someone who’s willing to push us a little bit but also hold us and create a safe space for us to share what’s going on in life, you know, whether it’s related to the coaching or just life in general, you know, to feel that that sense of being safe and supported along the way.
David Hall [00:48:22]:
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, Josh, this time has gone by very fast. We’ve Talked about a lot of great things, you know, introversion, being highly sensitive, being an empath, and, of course, increasing your self your sense of self worth. Is there anything else that you wanna share that you haven’t yet or or or reemphasize?
Josh Speraneo [00:48:43]:
They’re just you’re right. We’ve been all over the board. So many different things that we’ve gotten to explore, and I appreciate how you’ve guided the conversation. And, again, just pre appreciate the opportunity. The biggest thing I would say is just encouraging people to go through that process of self discovery. You know? If you’ve heard terms today in terms of, you know, Myers Briggs test or if you’ve heard terms in you know, in terms of being a highly sensitive person or an empath and you’re not sure whether or not that applies to you, My challenge to you would be to go to 16personalities.com and take that version of the Myers Briggs test, to go to hsperson.com and take the highly sensitive person self test. Or if you have children, there is a a test on there as well for, is my child highly sensitive? If you think your child might be a highly sensitive person, you can take that self test as well or that test to to see maybe, you know, if you’ve struggled with relating to your child or they they seem to seem to be more sensitive or maybe wired differently than you, that’s an avenue that you could explore. And if you’re wondering about being an empath, doctor Judith Orloff has a self test on her website for that.
Josh Speraneo [00:49:50]:
And so I would just encourage people, dive down those rabbit holes, but know that you’re not alone. And so if you have questions, you know, you can reach back out to me or to David. We’d love you know, I love connecting with people on LinkedIn, and so send me questions that you have there. I’ve got a few free ebooks in my featured section on LinkedIn that you can go and download if you wanna dive deeper into some of those subjects. But that would be the biggest challenge, I guess, I would issue is just dive into that sense of self awareness. And if what I shared about low self worth hit home as well, if you’re thinking maybe that’s part of my struggle. You know, maybe that’s why I’ve accepted the life that I believe I deserve, but my heart tells me I I’m worthy of so much more. How can I break out of this rut that I’ve been in, this mediocre half life that I feel trapped in, and really explore and create the vibrant and fulfilling life I desire, then I would challenge you? You know? I’d love to have a conversation with you, I guess, and just dive into that subject and explore that.
Josh Speraneo [00:50:46]:
And because maybe it is low self worth that’s been holding you back and causing you to self sabotage when you really wanna go after your dreams, and maybe we can work on that together as well and start to rewrite your self worth story, start to refill that self worth account, and get you to where you really do believe that the truth about you is beautiful and that you are worthy and deserving of every good thing you desire in life, because I believe you are, and I’d love to help you get there and create that life.
David Hall [00:51:13]:
Yeah. Yeah. Well said. You just gave me a lot to put in the show notes, so I will do that. And, of of course, you know, we cover these topics on other episodes that in the past and in the future, so keep listening. But thanks so much, Josh. You do have a lot of great resources, and I will I will add those all, but thanks again for being on today.
Josh Speraneo [00:51:33]:
Yeah. Thanks again for having me again. I love the work that you’re doing. Thank you so much for creating the show, finding the incredible guests that you’ve had on the So, again, I’m honored to be numbered among them and to have been here with you. Keep up the amazing work, and thank you again for your your time and, again, guiding this incredible conversation the way that you did so masterfully.
David Hall [00:51:52]:
Josh Speraneo [00:51:52]:
David Hall [00:51:53]:
Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at email@example.com or check out the quietandstrong.com website, which includes blog posts and links to social media channels. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type-finder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report including the four-letter Myers Briggs code, and you can also have the option of purchasing the full report if you’d like to learn more. I’ll add a link to the show notes. So many great things about being an introvert, and we need those to be understood.
David Hall [00:52:32]:
Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.