If you’re introspective then you spend a lot of time in reflection and deep thought.
You think about who you are, what you want from life and what really matters to you.
As a fairly introspective person myself, I know that I sometimes considered this tendency for introspection to be a waste of time.
But there are actually a number of signs that your introspective nature is a hidden strength that can help you in life.
1) You make careful decisions
First up in the key signs your introspective nature is a hidden strength is that you make decisions more carefully.
Your introspective nature causes you to think things over and ponder more carefully.
You may be deciding whether to change careers, start a relationship or move to a new place.
You may be thinking over whether to end a relationship, making a major new purchase or contemplating whether a spiritual or religious path is right for you.
Your introspective nature helps you to really think about all sides of your decisions and consider carefully.
The reason is that your introspection has given you valuable and true insights into who you are and what you want out of life.
This allows you to not just act on impulse or desire, but instead to align decisions with your core values and motivations.
Which brings me to the second sign…
2) You know what makes you tick
Introspection is all about turning inward.
It follows the advice of the ancient Greek Oracle at Delphi, who commanded seekers to “know thyself” first and foremost in life.
When you know what makes you tick, you’re able to make much better decisions as noted in point one.
You’re also able to approach many other parts of life with more accuracy, efficacy and success.
“Introspection can be a great source of personal knowledge, enabling you to better recognize and understand what you’re thinking and feeling.”
Technically, what makes us all tick is oxygen, food and water as well as other needs like shelter and companionship.
But introspection allows you to get to know yourself beyond your basic needs. It allows you to drill down and start finding your purpose and your driving motivation in life.
3) You know your strengths
Knowing more about who you are and what you want out of life is incredibly valuable.
This then brings you to the next phase, which is to check what’s actually in your toolbox: your strengths and what you’re good at.
Knowing your strengths and being honest about it is another of the top signs your introspective nature is a hidden strength.
Aligning your strengths with your purpose and what makes you tick is a recipe for success.
There are many situations where less self-aware and introspective people try to jam together a dream with something they’re not good at and fail badly…
For example, an individual who’s passionate about architecture and wants to design homes but is very poor at understanding geometry or the kind of work involved in architectural design…
Conversely, they may try to put a strength to excellent use but in pursuit of a dream and purpose that isn’t really theirs.
For example, an individual who is incredibly gifted at playing professional hockey and thus pursues a career in it, but it isn’t actually their dream and isn’t meaningful or fulfilling to them on a deep level.
That’s why knowing your strengths or mission is only half the battle: applying them in alignment is the key.
Which brings up the fourth sign that your introspection is working in your favor:
4) You know your weaknesses
The next of the key signs your introspective nature is a hidden strength is that you know your weaknesses.
As you work in pursuit of your goals and your purpose in life, you’re very self-aware about what is holding you back.
We all have something holding us back, generally many things.
The key is to transform them and be aware of those that aren’t changeable.
For example, maybe you are a generous and committed individual who’s in a loving romantic relationship, but you also know that you have a tendency to take out your problems on others when you get down.
Knowing this weakness allows you to preempt it and prepare for it ahead of time so that when you feel the urge to vent or take things out on your partner you can go somewhere else or do something to avoid it.
Knowing your weaknesses is a great thing about introspection, because knowing where you sometimes slip up helps you avoid doing it the next time around.
5) You face your fears
Fears aren’t weaknesses. We all have them.
But many of us respond to our fears by trying to push them down, deny them or overcompensate and hide them from others.
“What me, scared of heights? Never!”
When you’re more introspective, you know what you’re afraid of and you face it at least internally.
You recognize the fears you can make progress on and you accept and learn from the fears that aren’t changeable.
Perhaps you have a deep fear of abandonment from childhood, for example. Many of us do have that, although we’ve pushed it down.
But as an introspective person, you’re aware of that fear and when you feel it encroaching into your decisions, relationships and social life, you face it head on.
You process the emotions and try to find activities including meditation or prayer that help alleviate that impulsive reaction to try to flee from the feeling and seek a quick fix.
Introspection is the key activity that helps you understand your fears and face them.
Eva Gregory makes a great point about this, writing that “the best way to determine your fears is through introspection. Once you own your fears, you can move towards managing the feelings they bring.”
6) You can see hidden opportunities
As you navigate your strengths, weaknesses and fears and align them with your purpose and what you want to accomplish in life, your introspection has another big advantage.
It helps you see hidden opportunities in many situations that seem indifferent.
This can be on the business level, personal level, spiritual level and many other ways.
Where one person sees a broke down old shack on a barren piece of land, you see a future Airbnb that will be a summer hotspot with an amazing deck…
Where somebody less introspective sees a shy woman with plain looks who spends too much time on her computer, you see a secretly sexy and brilliant lady just waiting to be brought out of her shell.
There’s no doubt about it:
Introspection increases perceptiveness in so many ways and helps you pick up on opportunities and silver linings where others often see nothing special at all.
7) You can spot even the smartest scams
Another of the valuable signs your introspective nature is a hidden strength is that you can spot even the smartest scams.
Con men and fraudsters have no chance with you, because your introspection has made you a master of understanding and judging human nature and behavior.
The tone of voice of somebody on the phone who’s trying to scam you becomes immediately obvious…
An individual trying to charge you double in a tourist area for a shirt is clear right away.
Even more long-term and subtle scams such as wonky investments, unstable cryptocurrencies, modified pyramid schemes and more don’t really penetrate your armor.
Your introspection has shown you that good things take work, and when something seems too good to be true or has too much pressure attached, you know not to immediately jump for it.
As I wrote in the first sign, your introspection has taught you to make decisions more carefully, not just on first impulse.
8) You hone your emotional intelligence
Being introspective is also very advantageous for developing emotional intelligence.
When you begin to know yourself, many mysteries of the world unlock.
We all contain a lot more complexity and layers inside than we sometimes believe.
Introspection and spending a lot of time with yourself helps uncover some of those layers and teaches us more emotional intelligence.
As we come to understand our own strengths and weaknesses, fears and hopes, we also come to understand them more in those around us.
Emotional intelligence is extremely valuable in relationships, career and levels of self-fulfillment.
When you have an introspective nature, you spend time analyzing why you do what you do, why you sometimes self-sabotage, and what keeps you going during the hard times of life.
Being introspective puts you in touch with your own emotions, which in turn helps you develop emotional intelligence.
If you can get along with yourself and have that level of introspective knowledge about yourself, it begins to extend outward and you’re able to understand more about others as well.
Taking into account the above advice, you can go forward confidently.
Your introspective nature is a hidden strength, if you know what to do with it.
It all comes down to knowing how to use it and having the self-awareness to know what to do with the insights and ideas you gain from your introspective times.