We have all been told by somebody at one point or another that we have to get out of our comfort zone. It’s a very commonly used expression, so commonly used, I believe the term has gotten out of hand. Between my friends, peers and other bloggers, I hear this term so much that I believe now it is misused and mispresents itself.
Don’t get me wrong, getting out of your comfort zone is a good and important part of life. It will make your life more enriched and you a better person as a result. However I ask, is there not a difference between doing something that you would want to do if fear wasn’t a factor and doing something that would make you uncomfortable and unhappy? So many times I hear people being pressured to do things under this guise. It’s almost like an insult or threat these days, ‘you have to leave your comfort zone sometime’, as if your being accused of something by not leaving your comfort zone.
After having a conversation with a friend, I have really seen this such distinct different that seems to get blurred through pressure, a lack of understanding and ignorance. I have a friend that wants to travel solo but is a little timid. (she’ll probably be reading this, hi friend!) and I think that she should go for it, as long as she is prepared for the negatives as well. She knows that she is not one to particularly enjoy being alone and doing things alone, so she needs to be prepared that solo travel definately at least has moments of really being by yourself and doing things alone and at the end of the day, she has to be comfortable with it and decide if fear is the only thing hold her back or if there is more to it than that.
If I am being open and honest, which I try to be as much as possible when it comes to writing this blog, because it’s only going to benefit me if I am honest with myself and with everyone reading, I’ve been pressured with this comfort zone line before and it’s lead me down a hole. As most people reading this probably already know, I was meant to live overseas with my now ex-boyfriend in a ski resort in Park City Utah, after we backpacked europe, but we only really made it through the backpacking Europe part. Something I have never really shared before is that I didn’t really want to live in Park City Utah and I was scared about living at in ski resort in America. I was scared about being away for so long, and I see now and at the time that the time was just something I feared but wanted to do, so therefore ‘leaving my comfort zone’ would be the appropriate term to use, I wanted it, I just wasn’t comfortable with it. But living in a small ski town wasn’t really a fear thing, but it was a ‘I just didn’t think I would like it thing’ I don’t like small towns, I like cities and liveliness and being around things that are happening. It’s not a bad thing, thats just what I like and who I am. My version of culture shock has never been being in Beijing or Phnom Penh or Bangkok, it’s small isolated country towns and its not so much of a shock as a dred and general disinterest. But I agreed to go and live in a place I didn’t want to live, under the pressure of ‘you have to get out of your comfort zone’, feeling like I wasn’t an adventerous person if I didn’t give it a go and try it, despite knowing myself.
That line between ‘getting out of comfort zone’ and ‘feeling pressured to do something that just isn’t you’ is a clear cut one if you trust your gut, yet it still gets ever so blurred from pressure from people and society, don’t let that line blur. I know I never will again.