The Expressive Introvert: Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Interviews with Women Who Work, Live, & Love On Their Own Terms is an occasional interview feature here to help cultivate that bit of authentic self-expression within you we all want a little more of.
Today, I’m introducing you to Lauree Ostrofsky – another one of my online colleagues and friends in the Twitter-verse.
(That’s Twitter universe in case you’re not a Tweet aficionado).
I have been following her and her work for a while now.
When I select for these interviews, I don’t just go on the web willy-nilly looking for whoever is introverted (that would be 1/2 the world).
I look specifically for a few things: a) women who are showing up – simply stepping out and doing something, even if it’s not perfect in their eyes, b) authenticity in the work, c) a good clean website for my people (’cause I take care of my people), and d) women whose message(s) resonate with the core ideology Tamisha Ford International stands for.
Lauree is a woman with all of those (obviously), so I’d like to introduce you to her.
Her company, Simply Leap LLC is about stepping into the unknown – a little something I would call assertive living.
I hope you enjoy reading our chat below because I certainly did.
Lauree Ostrofsky, Chief Hugger at Simply Leap, LLC, helps professionals ready for a new challenge figure out what they want to do next.
Her first book, I’m Scared & Doing It Anyway, is about being diagnosed with a brain tumor ten years ago and the scary, sometimes exhilarating, changes she made as a result.
Quitting her job, ending a relationship, moving, and the scariest of them all — learning to give and receive love.
In 2002, she hired her first life coach to help her be more creative without quitting her day job.
Within months, the sessions helped her ask for, and receive, a six-week sabbatical traveling to Europe on her own.
A stint in art school followed, along with an appreciation for photography, farmers’ markets and inventing dinner out of what’s in the fridge.
Connect with Lauree:
When did you know for sure, without a doubt, you were an introvert and what does that really mean to YOU?
A pivotal moment in claiming my introversion was when I read The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron. Taking the survey in its opening pages immediately put my mind at ease that I wasn’t weird for being super sensitive to just about everything (light, temperature, sound, etc).
Being an introvert is about where you fill your well of energy in order to be effective in the world in your way. Mine comes from my couch, among other quiet, comfortable places where my mind can relax and wander.
Usually, every introvert (and extrovert alike) has qualities of both introversion and extroversion. What is one of your favorite extroverted qualities about yourself?
That I’ve learned to enjoy being a speaker.
In fact when I give speeches, I often find a way to mention that I’m an introvert to connect with fellow introverts who may be telling themselves they couldn’t be in the front of the room. [Tamisha’s Note: I love this! Quiet empowerment, baby!]
Do you have a favorite celebrity who is also an introvert? Why is he/she your favorite?
Anyone who admits openly to napping rates pretty high in my book — Albert Einstein among them.
Hands down my favorite introvert is Eleanor Roosevelt. Accomplished, outspoken, she made a difference by being herself. I think often of her when I doubt if what I’m doing, and who I am, is enough.
How has being introverted affected your relationships over time? (Friendships, romantic relationships, etc.)
The biggest effect is how I treat myself in relationship to others — how I ask for what I need, and respect my own wishes.
I used to be jealous of loved ones who took downtime. I would grant it and wonder why they didn’t do the same for me. Then I realized that it was because they were the ones asking for it. Once I started to do the same, the change was immediate. Everyone wanted me to have what I needed. I just needed to ask and believe that I deserved it.
What wisdom would you give to your younger self – either pre-introvert knowledge or before you really grew into what it meant for you?
You know what’s best for you. If the answer isn’t clear yet, take a nap or a walk and allow it to come. It always arrives, and rushing it doesn’t help anyone.
What is your favorite (or most-used) form of self-expression?
For a while now, I’ve loved taking photographs. I’m on Instagram almost daily (@SimplyLeap). How I view what’s around me directly affects how I feel on the inside. Sharing that with others is incredibly gratifying.
Can you share a situation or time where you would have done something differently, based on your current knowledge of introversion and yourself (in a job, your life in general, or a relationship)?
This unfortunately happens more often than I’d care to admit. An extroverted friend who I respect & admire texts me a list of everything she has done or plans to do that day. My reaction ranges from panic that propels me into planning overdrive, to overwhelm that I don’t know how to do more than I already am, and “please, would someone give me permission to hide for the next four hours.”
When that happens, I try to give myself that permission while remembering that I’m not lazy. I just need time and space in order to be my best.
What last bit of advice would you give to an introverted woman listening/reading this right now who might be struggling in some area of her business or job, life, or relationship because of either her introversion or her need for validation in her individuality?
Especially in the coaching/consulting world, it can be tough to compare yourself to your extroverted colleagues who seem like they have an unending supply of energy. They don’t. You just don’t see it when you look at their website or on social media. What’s more, your best customers and clients are probably introverted too, and want to know it’s okay to be themselves. Show them how it’s done. [Tamisha’s Note: Lauree, THANK YOU for saying this – I can’t stress the truth of it enough to introverted business owners online. And don’t compare yourself to introverted colleagues either, for that matter. Just compare the work you did yesterday to the work you plan on doing today.]
Lauree and I would now love to know…
What is one key area you know you need to “simply leap” in but haven’t yet? Let us know in the comments.
Have a beautiful day & thank you for being here,