Being Yourself vs. Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Be true to yourself. Isn’t that classic advice? It displays itself in many forms such as love yourself, be yourself, don’t try to be anyone else, etc. But then you also seem to get advice like the best things in life happen outside of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to try new things.

When you think about it, these two pieces of advice seem to contradict each other. If I’m being true to myself that means I would rather stay home with my cat than go to a party. But if I’m following the other advice, I should go to that party because it’s out of my comfort zone and that’s apparently where the magic happens.

I do believe both of these ideas are true. You have to step outside your comfort zone in order to make things happen. But also you need to know who you are and what you truly want your life to be about. So how do these two somewhat conflicting ideas come together?

Honestly I’m still trying to figure that out myself. If I’m being really truly honest, I do not enjoy going out to clubs or bars anymore. In college, yes definitely. But now, not so much. I would much rather have a relaxing night in with some wine and Netflix. Or go for a walk by the river or stroll through town. Or go to a quieter, less crowded bar, sit down and have a few craft cocktails. Pregaming, going to an overly crowded bar, taking shots and dancing the night away are just not for me anymore. For the most part I do not find that fun.

But I have friends who still enjoy doing those things. I could turn down every invite they give me to go out with them and instead binge watch Scandal, but then I’m missing out on time with my friends. If I’m being true to me I would rather stay in, but if I’m trying to step outside my comfort zone I should go out to the bar. So how do I reconcile these two ideas?

I try to find a balance. I will go out with friends sometimes. It might not be my favorite night ever, but I will have some fun, get to see my friend, and do something different. But there are nights where I truly just want to have a quiet night. I accept these nights occasionally as well. If I can find the middle ground between being myself and pushing outside of my norms, then that’s a good place to be.

How do you find the balance? When do you decide it’s a good idea to go outside your comfort zone?

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