We’re often told to step out of our comfort zone, but what exactly does that mean?
Is it a friendly, helpful nudge towards breaking down our own boundaries to experience something new? Or is it unnecessary pressure to do something that makes us feel awkward, scared, or upset?
For the most part, I believe it’s said with our best interests at heart. The intent is to help us lead a more open-minded life with less fear – and if we want this too, then the result is great!
Leaving our comfort zone when we want to break down our own walls is such an exhilarating experience. It’s filled with adrenaline rushes and cheesy smiles that we can’t wipe of our faces for days! This shout-it-from-the-rooftops emotion fills our soul and we really feel we’ve achieved something truly special.
Even if to everyone else our leap may seem small – for example, “just” chairing a meeting instead of attending it – for us, it’s a personal victory.
But what I don’t love – and what can be very common in the comfort zone situation – is the lack of thought behind being told to step out of it.
Telling someone struggling with a feeling of discomfort to “step out of your comfort zone” – to do the very thing that fills them with dread can be as inconsiderate as telling someone struggling with depression to “get over it”.
People might think they’re being helpful in giving this advice, and indeed it may be in some situations that, in a so-called “snowflake” generation, we unintentionally take things a bit too personally.
However, lack of thought behind verbally nudging us out of our comfort zone can be damaging. It might be said with care, but it isn’t said with common sense.
What could seem like a walk in the park to some (maybe even literally in the case of sufferers of agoraphobia!) could bring others out in a cold sweat.
In a world that is now very fortunately doing everything it can to raise mental health awareness, the same unwritten Do’s & Don’ts and each-to-their-own rules that apply to our emotional wellbeing should also be applied to this. Especially when a life inside our comfort zone can be problematic enough already before we even contemplate setting foot outside of it.
Our comfort zone is a very personal place, and as such it is our personal choice whether we dive out of it into a world of unknown adventure or stay snug & warm in our familiar bubble.
Even if it’s something seemingly trivial (like wearing a different colour than what we’re used to) it’s not up to anybody else to recommend – however kindly it is intended – whether or not we should step out of our comfort zone.
We’re right behind you if your choice power propels you out there into the great wide world. But, if you’re happy sitting pretty where you are, you just keep doing you. There’s no pressure to push yourself further than you want.
About The Artist
“I am Cassie Evans, the face behind Cadva.
I’m a pensive 26 yr old artist from Brisbane and have been painting since I was 14.
I love to paint anything to do with space, skies, nature and the occasional fan art, but the one thing that fuels my work is capturing thoughts and sentiments.
Art and writing are great mediums for me to explain my mental health subtly without too much talking.
I am proud when people can relate, and feel comfort, with my work.”