For me, that means noticing when I shut others out and allowing myself to be open. I am 29 years old and just now becoming aware of how others perceive me. I always wondered why it was so hard to continue conversations with people or why people weren't immediately drawn to me, but it's because I send off a signal that says, "Hey, don't talk to me!" Every time I'm in a conversation with someone new I notice that I cross my arms, even if I'm really interested in talking to them. As many body signal experts will tell you, this is a sure sign that the person crossing her arms doesn't want to be bothered. I'm not sure why I do it, but it's almost instantaneous without me even realizing it. Thankfully, I am starting to become more aware of the body signals I'm giving off and working towards being more outspoken.
I think talking to new people is a scary realm for me because I always felt inferior as a child and teen. I thought no one cared to talk to me and that I had nothing interesting to say, so why bother. It was easier to tuck into my shell and move on.
Although I don't think it's necessary to overhaul my personality and become a social butterfly, I do see the importance of making new friends, being more open, and stepping out into the unknown. Practice makes perfect!
What is your comfort zone? Have you stepped out of it lately? Please share!