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on 23 February 2013
As a long-time fan of Beth's podcast and website, The Introvert Entrepreneur, I was eager to read this collection of essays on the gifts of introversion. Even though I already love Beth's work, this book exceeded my expectations. In a society that generally views introversion as a handicap, Beth's insights are a breath of fresh air that have certainly helped me reframe what it means to me to be an introvert and appreciate the benefits and gifts that come with this way of processing the world.

The structure of the book is useful, as it's a quick read in general but the different essays allow you to dip in and out based on what interests you most. Some of the content is especially useful for entrepreneurs, however I highly recommend this book to anyone who identifies as an introvert - entrepreneur or not. Beth's writing is frank, witty, down to earth and imbued with positivity; reading each essay is like having a cup of tea and a chat with a wise friend! I consider myself to be (mostly) accepting of my introverted traits, but I feel like reading "Insight" has taken my self-acceptance to a whole new level.

Definitely a book I'll be returning to in the future!
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on 15 August 2014
Have you ever heard the word ‘Pronoia’?

Apparently it is the suspicion that the universe is conspiring on your behalf. In other words it’s a belief that the universe is a friendly place, not one that is harsh and unforgiving.

I had never heard of it until I read Insight: Reflections on the Gifts of Being an Introvert by Beth Buelow, which is a book I finally got round to reading after a long period of intent.

“Synchronicity, as defined by Carl Jung, is a way of describing “meaningful coincidences….I see synchronicity as evidence that everything is happening perfectly…when I assume the best, rather than the worst, then I can enjoy the benefits of letting Pronoia work its magic.”

Something about this idea strikes me as beautiful, and although it is not a main thread in the book I just wanted to share it because it says something about the positive and life-affirming tone with which Beth approaches this wonderful bit of work.

There has been a lot written about introversion over the past few years, thanks in large part to Susan Cain and her book ‘Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking‘. And thankfully Beth Buelow has added her incredibly valuable voice to this important, life-changing conversation.

What is ‘Insight’?
Insight is a collection of some of Beth’s most successful blog posts for introverts looking to build life ‘on their own terms’. It covers both the basics of introversion, serving as an introduction to the topic; but it also delves deeper so readers can reflect and consider ways in which we can enrich our self-awareness, so that we can become equipped to be and do the things we want without burning out.

Beth says that “over the past few years, I’ve been witness to thousands of introverts who have experienced a greater understanding of what exactly it means to be an introvert in an extroverted world… They have discovered that introversion isn’t just a quirky thing that gives us an excuse to leave the party early. It’s a way of being in conscious relationship with our energy. It influences how we show up in the world”.

This is a perfect example of Beth’s articulate and affirming writing; her positivity and enthusiasm are infectious when she talks about the importance of embracing our natural temperaments so that we can thrive in an extrovert-centric world.

If you want to delve deeper into understanding and embracing your introversion; to accept the permission to be wholly and unapologetically you then check out this book. You will definitely learn a thing or two, and find the inspiration and provocation to think about your life in new and different ways.

Beth is the author at, and founder of, The Introvert Entrepreneur, which is a professional development company that provides services for introverts and those who live/work/play with them. She creates ‘empowered, productive environments where introverts can flourish’.

As well as being a fantastic author, she is a speaker and professional coach, focussing on helping introverts understand and embrace their unique gifts. At The Introvert Entrepreneur she also presents a podcast of the same name. In fact I was privileged enough to be a recent guest on the show (just thought I’d drop that one in!)

Takeaway

One of the big takeaways that I got from Insight was the emphasis that we introverts must embrace our humanness; that we are social creatures, and as such we absolutely need interaction with other people. And that it’s OK and natural for us to feel comfortable with managing the levels of interaction, and to work out what this looks like for us as individuals so that we can flourish.

Thank you, Beth for writing this wonderful book.
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