Dream Book Project – Comfort Zones

I’m an introvert. It’s not even a question. I need alone time, I enjoy small gatherings with close friends and I don’t do well in crazy busy environments. That’s just how I’ve always been and I really don’t think it’s a negative thing at all. I find it unfair when the adjective ‘introvert’ is associated with being shy or socially awkward or unsociable. That’s not it at all. I think there’s a continuum on which we all sit. One end is super introverted and the other is very extroverted. It’s not black and white. You don’t have to be one or the other, your personality can lie somewhere along that spectrum with characteristics of both. For instance, yes, I enjoy being alone every day, but not ALWAYS. Some days I long to be with friends, to be outdoors meeting new people and feeling energy around me. But that is not MOST days. Therefore, I put myself closer to the introverted side of the continuum. Honestly, the categorization of introvert vs. extrovert is pretty irrational and I really did not mean to go off on this tangent, but I did and so be it.

Still carrying on with my Dream Book Project – I have been making a few changes every day. I don’t write about them all of course, documenting every piece of information and every move you make can definitely backfire. But I thought this one would be a good topic to write about. The topic of stepping outside our comfort zone.

It’s hard, and it’s anxiety inducing. No doubt. I care too much about the way I appear to people – do they think I’m smart? Do they think I’m successful? Do they think I’m a good person? It’s all about what people think and I guess that adds to my introverted ways because in all honesty, caring so much gives me a headache…so to avoid that, I’d rather just keep some distance between myself and others. When I say ‘people’ I’m referring to the folks that I don’t even know or those who know me at the surface (aka coworkers, members of activities I participate in etc.).

First step to slowly putting your self out there – do some research. I spent a lot of time on the web looking up different clubs/ activities/ networking functions and social sites that I can join to get out there and meet people. It’s a lot harder doing that here in Saudi because this place doesn’t really scream “social”. When we go out – it always involves food. I’m not big on that – that to me is boring. Also, it stresses me out because I’m a clean-foods vegetarian, would rather avoid the constant need to asses what menu options are available for me. There are only so many times you can go out to a bunch of restaurants and just get fed up with the monotony of it all. Repetitive routines over and over again. Not my thing. I’d rather sit at home and blog or hang out with a few close friends/family.

The most recent thing that I’ve done that felt like something I wouldn’t normally do: joining an outdoor-yoga session in the morning…by myself. I love doing outdoorsy things and all, but I notice that the norm for me is to bring a friend to tag along. This time, I chose to do this on my own and it was freeing.

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I also joined an international community which brings people from all walks of life together – different cultural backgrounds, experiences, and ages. Some activities I plan on attending include the Ladies’ Book Club, exhibitions, a painting workshop, coffee meet up and a few bazaars. Not much food involved here, which is perfect. Cool. So all in all, if you want to step out of your comfort zone, find out exactly what makes you happy and take that extra step to gove above and beyond the restrictions of those habits or activities. Break out of the bubble and understand that there is no need to be afraid of anything in this world.

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