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Q&A Session on Overcoming Comfort Zones, Social Anxiety, Differences Between Men and Women, etc., etc.

29 June 2011 2 Comments

african american confused and frustrated

Question On Comfort Zones

“Peace…do you have any articles on the topic of comfort zones? I’d like to hear your perspective on the matter.

I recently spoke to one of my friends about my feeling alienated because I don’t go out to clubs, don’t drink, smoke, watch sports or tv for that matter and other lifestyle choices of mine. I told her I’m thinking about starting to go out and watching tv to be more versatile, because one of my focuses this year is to further incorporate qualities in my character.

Her perspective was that even if I went, I couldn’t change what I don’t like and that I’d basically be compromising myself and be trying to fit in. She also believes that we have comfort zones for a reason and shouldn’t try to force comfort.

She had a good point. Now, I’m always one for increasing comfort zones, but while visualizing, I don’t ever see myself actually growing to like the club scene, or any of that stuff. I would, be in fact, just compromising. My goal is to be a versatile person. I’m open to new things and what not, but not everything I like.

I guess versatility can be interpreted so many ways as well. Some people see it as being competent in many different things, some see it as being open to many different things and still others see it as being comfortable in many different settings.

What’s your opinion on the matter?”

My Response

First thing, I don’t smoke, drink (I do like wine though), watch sports or TV either, and, like you, I also went through a time where I truly believed that my best bet was to duplicate what I saw other people doing.

Essentially, I looked at my originality as a DEFICIENCY, and I tied it into a rationale as to why I wasn’t getting the results I wanted in life.

african american male on beach

In fact, I spent a good portion of my childhood PRETENDING to be somebody I wasn’t…following others and pretending to enjoy things that, in my heart of hearts, I knew were unhealthy, destructive and pointless.

Everything from how I used to spend my free time to how I used to approach women was all engineered from a standpoint of what I thought would give me acceptance and respect.

So your friend has a valid point: you’re you, and trying to be someone other then who you are is a waste of time and a dishonor to your true nature, but check this: your desire to become a more versatile, more capable and more influential person IS NOT, and you have to remember that that’s an inherently male desire.

liimitless with bradley cooper and robert de niroHave you seen the movie Limitless with Robert De Niro? One of the most interesting things that stood out to me in that film was how it was only males who really wanted to take the clear pill.

If you pay attention to it, you’ll notice that even when a female character takes the pill (like Bradley Cooper’s ex-wife, or his girlfriend played by Abbie Cornish), they hit a point where they KNOW they need to get off it.

Whenever a male character takes the pill however, his primary concerns is, “Where am I going to get my next hit?”

Men, Women & Inherent Drives

So what I’m saying here is that while your female friend’s advice – to be confident in who you naturally are – is valid, it doesn’t necessarily satisfy your masculine need for power, dominance, control, which you have to honor in order to become better at engaging the world.

I may be wrong here, but when I hear you say “become a more versatile” what I really hear underlying that is “become more capable in the social world,” …be comfortable and skillful enough to do ANYTHING you want in a social context, whether that’s networking, dating, leadership or whatever.

Now when I say that’s an inherently male desire, I don’t mean that women CAN’T (or don’t) have it, simply that it speaks more to a man’s natural drive than to a woman’s.

There’s a lot of talk nowaday’s about gender identity, women’s equality, etc. etc., and I think it’s great that women are seeking more power, independence and equality, but I also think there’s a difference between being equal and being IDENTICAL.

gohan from dragonball zThink about it: why is that, as a whole, women are into things like soap operas and romance novels and men are into things like sports and DragonBall Z???

My theory is that it’s because our brains are wired differently. Women’s brains are wired in a way that makes them skillful at understanding people and managing relationships, men’s brains in a way that makes them skillful at setting goals and independent success.

So you have to keep this in mind when you’re asking for advice. Generally speaking, I talk to women when I have a question about dating and relationships and men when I have a question about pushing myself to the next level…

You Have to Play Your Strengths Up

Essentially, you and I are both introverts…the 25% of the population that doesn’t get catered to by social customs.

Things like clubs and partying, drinking and smoking and other “wild life” activities don’t speak to us, because we’re too scientific for that.

This doesn’t mean we’re “better” then anybody, only that we look deeper into what things mean then the average person, and that’s our particular strength. (It can actually be good OR bad, depending on how you use it.)

For more on this idea, check out this video lecture on personality types, or this book on living a successful, introverted life.

But what I’m getting at here is that you have to look at your introversion itself as a unique strength, and find ways to be socially relevant with that proficiency. Here’s some examples:

yoga class1.) Take yoga or dance classes,
2.) Start a book club or meditation group,
3.) Give lectures at your apartment,
4.) Go to a library or museum and look at the event calender for more ideas

…get where I’m going with this? Find introverted things to do that’ll help push you out of your comfort zones, and in the event that there aren’t any, CREATE THEM.

You’ll feel more comfortable (so you’ll be in your element) and it’ll magnetize the type of people you’d naturally be attractive (and attracted) to.

Learn to master your environment ON YOUR OWN TERMS and in ways that give you personal leverage

Hope this helps…don’t forget to check out that film – I’ll be mentioning it in the next newsletter.

african american carpenter



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