The Orion

Burst the comfort zone bubble

Allison Galbreath

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Illustration by Darian Maroney

A comfort zone is like a plastic bubble.

Inside that bubble are everyone’s routines: the people, places and activities that someone encounters on a day-to-day basis.

Living inside of the bubble is good, cozy even. There’s nothing wrong with being in it.

Humans create comfort zones to reduce anxiety and stress levels.

But it becomes a problem when people get so comfortable in their plastic bubble of comfort that they become complacent about their life and experiences.

It can become like a stasis: not moving forward, not moving back. Just standing still in the middle of a rushing world.

People often forget that they don’t have to be trapped in their bubble if they don’t want to be.

Comfort zones are patterns of behavior that reduce risk. Doing the same things, going to the same places, eating the same foods.

But risks are what give people a chance to grow, change and learn.

Yes, one of those possibilities is failure. But the flip side is success.

And honestly, the worst thing that could really happen when people fail is that they are uncomfortable for awhile until they leave and never do whatever it was again.

But the chance for reward is even greater. Something unexpected and amazing could happen.

It’s best to just start small.

Switch up the daily schedule a bit. Try a new class at the gym. Make something new for dinner.

Something that will shake things up so bigger risks don’t seem as terrifying.

It could be as simple as trying out a new restaurant, like my family and I like to do.

A lot of the time, the new restaurants we try are terrible, and we only end up appreciating our favorite restaurants more. But sometimes, we find something we like even better.

I know breaking out of a comfort zone is a lot easier said than done.

Taking a risk or trying something new can be a frightening, anxiety-filled venture that only assures that person that they never should have left their bubble in the first place.

But a normal amount of anxiety is actually a good thing. It can push people into action.

At the same time, going too far can be dangerous as well. Too much of a risk can increase anxiety so much that it only scares us into inaction.

Think of taking risks as expanding the bubble. It allows for someone to have more experiences, people, places and activities that they could potentially enjoy.

So take a risk and step out of that bubble for a bit. And don’t be afraid to take a chance.

Allison Galbreath can be reached at [email protected] or @agalbreath19 on twitter.

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Burst the comfort zone bubble