This past weekend I was able to go visit my parents and it was really nice to see them again. While there, I had a lot of quality conversations with my Mom. We talked about a lot of things, and it got me thinking about comfort zones. This has been on my mind for a while now.
I like to think of my comfort zone like a little bubble filled with all my favourite things. My comfort zone could be my room or it could be a cozy coffee shop. It could be a quiet bookstore, or a small restaurant I go to with a close friend. If I’m comfortable and relaxed in an environment, its part of my comfort zone. This also includes talking to close friends and family, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying quiet time alone.
The other side of the spectrum is the “uncomfortable zone” or anything that drains me. A noisy mall filled with strangers, a loud restaurant, any kind of jarring noises, speaking in front of people, etc. And the list goes on and on. There are a lot of things that make me uncomfortable and/or drain my energy.
But the challenge is in knowing how much to push myself. If I stay in my comfort zone all the time, I’m not going to change and grow as a person. If I stay in that little bubble, I’m limiting my opportunities and even myself personally. But if I push myself too much, I will burn out. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Only by stretching myself beyond what is comfortable, will I develop as a person. I’ve noticed this during my workouts too. If I do an easy workout, the payoff isn’t as big than if I’ve pushed myself to the limit. Similarly, I won’t have satisfying and interesting experiences if I’m always at home. My struggle is finding the fine balance between the two.
One thing that encourages me is the fact that I can always go back to my comfort zone to recharge. Being introverted is a great thing and it gives me so many strengths. But I know that I can’t use that as an excuse not to do things. I know myself even better than ever. But rather than hide in my room all the time, I need to go out and do meaningful things. I need to push myself into areas I’m not comfortable yet. But I have to do this while keeping an eye on my energy level to make sure I don’t overwhelm myself. And I want to go into this as an introvert. I’m not going to pretend I’m extroverted any more.
What is your comfort zone like?