Should I continue keeping myself in the comfort zone?

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    Hien Vu

    I have always been quite a reserved person and usually not confident in myself. Through time, even though I have gained more confidence but it seems like I will never be able to walk out of my own shell.
    Due to family problem, I had to moved in a new town by myself where I had no friend whatsoever, I was completely lost on the first day here and it made me struggle for about 2 months to feel a bit more comfortable. It was a horrible period of time for me that I cried a lot, missing my family and the old town where I was surrounded by great friends and much more care-free.
    Now it’s been half a year, I’m glad that I finally feel being settled in this place. There are good friends that I made, challenges that I’ve been through, new routines that I created to fit my new life here.
    And now there is a big opportunity for me, to be an intern for a well-known company for a year. I was nervous but considered the first round interview as a great experience, but then the more I think about it, I have to leave this town again, get ready for another turning page that I’m not sure if I can ‘survive’ or not. To be completely honest, I’m not a native, that’s why my communication ability is limited, plus my introvert character, I can never think of myself performing as good as other interns.
    So I’m extremely confused and tired of thinking about the uneasy, awkward scenarios that I have to encounter if I get the job especially when they call me as I was chosen to get in the last round of interviewing. I don’t want to leave shell that I have just made here, I have just recovered from the ‘culture shock’ and now my parents are expecting me to experience that again, in order to get me a better future which is actually still uncertain. Here I have met people from the university, I find it easier to understand them as we are from the same ethnicity and the natives they just act so cold which is hard for me to cope with and build relationships. But then in the new place, it’s no longer a school with friends but a workplace with colleagues, the chance that I can have close friends whom I can talk to is relatively small.
    I am just so confused typing these words down, my mind is all messed up with reasons pros and cons.
    Am I too illusional, negative? But the loneliness that you feel, you are by yourself in a new town, no one to come to, no one cares, it’s just, too much.

    Robert Indries

    Hello Hien and welcome to the community!

    For several decades now the world has grown to become evermore fast-paced and borderless. Things change very, very fast and for those that find refuge in certainty, the world can feel like a very demanding place.

    One thing is for certain: Feeling bad for your situation is not going to serve you in any way, other than maybe push you to search for answers, as you are now.

    As Scott Hamilton said: The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

    What I personally think is that you should try to better understand yourself and then “mold your world” around who you are and allow yourself to addapt to things that may be out of your control.

    Lori (TinyBuddha) has many amazing articles and books ( that can help you simplify (or get the hang of) of not only your outer world (ambience, relationships, changes, etc.), but also your thoughts.

    If you think it would help, I would gladly keep in touch with you and help in any way I can. You can send me an email at whenever you wish.

    We are stronger whan we allow ourselves to believe. The new town, the new job, the new whatever, is just that: whatever. In the long run, none of those will matter. What matters is that you find something to live for, to strive for.

    If the first thing that pops up in your mind when you wake up is “Why me?” or any other negative thought, then that state in which you put yourself will “contaminate” you entire day. (if you let it)

    I’ve already decided what I’m commited to ( and you can do the same. If you find something that motivates and exites you enough, then life’s challenges will seem just a natural step to getting wherever you want to go.

    I hope that I was of service to you today and wish you the strenght to adapt to and enjoy life.

    Creating a better tomorrow,

    Alex M.

    Hey there,

    I’m Alex and I’m 23 years old. I’ve always been a very shy person and not great at interacting with people (like small talk and things like that… mainly being social). I’ve gotten better over the years, but there are times that my shyness gets in the way of doing things that I really want to do. Not just in my personal life, but in my career. That’s where it will hurt you.

    I think you should pursue something that makes you happy and comfortable, something you actually see yourself doing. Once you have that figured out everything else will fall in place. You see when we as humans do something we really love and feel passionate about we become confident about it without even realizing it. That is what you need to figure out.

    I wish you the best of luck and keep moving forward!
    Alex M.


    Do you only want to take that job because it is “a great chance”, people expect it from you, you think you have to to secure your future? Or do you actually find the possibility interesting and exciting?

    I really feel with you when you say that it is important to you to have a stable net of friends and places you know around you – and if everything in you resists leaving that, maybe you should not force yourself.

    Studies do show that we regret the things we didn’t do more than those we do. But on the other hand I think it is equally important to follow your gut, and be brave enough to pass out on an opportunity if all your warning signals say it’s not a good idea for your wellbeing.

    Apart from that: If you don’t really have the job offer for certain yet, why don’t you just go to the interview and see how it feels? Maybe it’s less awkward than you think, or maybe you will know then for sure that you don’t want this?

    Good luck!



    I can’t say what you should do because I’m still figuring this stuff out for myself. I’ve read a number of times that life will present us with opportunities for growth until we have learned what needs to be learned. You seem to need your ‘shell’ of security. The thing is, I’ve seen it enough in the lives of others and my own life, that whenever you try to stop life from moving, just keep things the same, then you will also be removing the life from your life. By that I mean all the excitement, experiences, opportunities for growth, new people, friends, relationships. You see, it’s natural to want to remove all the risk and uncomfortable situations and build security and stability into your life. People do this by buying a house, getting a steady job and then they often get stuck in it and lead boring empty lives, too afraid to make a change. Their lives become stale and essentially they are just waiting to die. I know it sounds harsh but it’s true in many cases. If you want to live life to the full, it means you have to allow life. So, by default, that also means accepting risk, discomfort, and most certainly change. Actually, when you really do this, life can become really exciting and enjoyable. It just requires letting go, accepting all this, accepting the discomfort. Deep down remember that you will be OK. The thing about this ‘security’ that people try and create in their lives, not only does it make your life stale, the security is just an illusion anyway, it can all fall apart very quickly because life will make changes even when you don’t want it to. There are plenty of examples of people keeping the same job for decades and then being made redundant and losing a lot of the security they sacrificed there own happiness to gain, eg losing a large amount of their pension. They also find it very difficult to get another job sometimes because they have been doing the same thing for decades so have a very narrow range of experience, so they also end up being trapped. That is the price of ‘security’.

    Anyway, to come back to my first line. Perhaps life is trying to teach you to let go of the shell by providing you with opportunities to do just this. After all, that is true freedom, liberation, if you can feel safe and trust without needing to have a particular set of circumstances. People who build these illusionary shells are very vulnerable if a crack appears, e.g. they lose their job, because they can’t deal with change, it’s too uncomfortable and frightening for them because they’ve avoided it for so long. After all, when you avoid fear it grows.

    You speak of this as a great opportunity and you also applied in the first place so you must want it at some level. You’ve also got quite far so maybe you’re better than you think. If you get through, maybe it’s meant to be. On the other hand, if you genuinely feel it’s not right for you then by all means don’t do it, but you have to learn to figure that part out for yourself. I once got fairly far for a quite prestigious position but pretty soon realised that it was not me at all to do a job like that, it just didn’t fit who I am so once I realised this I said no to it and know I did the right thing. The question is, does it fit who you are, do you really want to do it in your heart, it’s just that fear is holding you back, or does it just seem like a ‘good job’ as other people would describe it but you know that it would make you miserable to do it? The thing is, even if you make the wrong choice for you, you will learn from the mistake, sometimes it’s necessary to make the wrong choice in order to know that you don’t want something.

    Good luck,


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