I signed up to take a class at the Wells County Public Library - Polymer Clay Jewelry Class. I don't do things like this very often. Even though I would love to. Why? Because, to me, it means stepping outside my comfort zone. Sadly, I've missed a lot of things I wish I hadn't due to my confining comfort zone.
Everyone has a comfort zone. Some are very narrow and small in size. Others are almost without boundaries. If you would ask me to define mine, I would say it is "the familiar". I am most comfortable with what I am familiar. Familiar people, familiar food, familiar places, etc.
As a REALTOR, I am probably perceived as an extrovert. It's my job. I'm comfortable with it. I'm good at it. Even though, at times, I work with people I am not familiar with, I am doing something I'm very familiar with. With that said, I am a borderline introvert/extrovert. Which probably would surprise those that know me well. Those that know me well are those "familiar people" that are within my comfort zone. They would most likely describe me as an extrovert. With them, I am always laughing, joking, sarcastic...myself. If I am going to a function where I know there will be a lot of familiar faces, I won't stress over having to attend. I will go willingly, knowing I will have a good time.
However, my introverted side is present when I am surrounded by unfamiliar people. It's then that I have to stretch the boundaries of my comfort zone.
Extending my hand and introducing myself to a stranger is something I've had to force myself to do through the years. Learning to smile at people as I pass them in the grocery or other public spaces is necessary so I don't appear to be a snob. Years ago, I attended a women's retreat where I learned that the majority of the women in attendance thought of me as stuck-up. A snob. WOW! That was my wakeup call and I decided I had to stretch the boundaries of my comfort zone.
So, unless I can recruit a friend to attend the polymer clay class with me, I will have butterflies in my stomach before I get there. I will walk in with a smile (a nervous one) on my face. I will chose a seat next to a friendly looking face. I will say "Hi, I'm Dianna McBride". Then, maybe, I can relax and enjoy myself.
On the other hand, this is a small town and chances are good that I will know someone there.