I think it’s a huge misconception that stepping out of your comfort zone always works out and you’ll feel amazing about it. Recently, I stepped out of my comfort zone and did something that I had wanted to do for years but had found various ways to avoid. I did it, and guess what? It didn’t work out. A few weeks before that, I had taken another chance, and by some twist of faith — and what I like to call some good ol’ fashion luck — it somehow worked out.
Films, television, books, and everything in-between have romanticized the idea of doing something “crazy” and “outside the lines,” so when we do it and it doesn’t work out, it’s discouraging. We use it as an excuse to go back into our little comfort zone like a hermit crab, or at least I do, and we promise ourselves that we will never do something like that again.
Someone told me that I was living my life in fear, waiting for the next anxiety attack to approach, and he told me to look up at the stars because, compared to the stars, my problems were tiny. I realize how adorably cheesy and cliché that sounds, but it worked.
Yes, I recently discovered that my childhood anxiety wasn’t just me being overdramatic but was an actual issue. I had unknowingly let it navigate my life in a straight line, and dealing with it has helped me take control of my own life.
I spoke up for myself when I knew I wasn’t being treated right.
I spent less time in front of the mirror critiquing every flaw and more time enjoying the lack of them.
I talked to that one boy. I was happy.
I talked to the other boy. I wasn’t happy.
My comfort zone went from a necessary sanctuary to a suggestion.
I still fall on my face just as much and bite my tongue more often than not, but at least I did it, right? It’s easier to look back on an opportunity that didn’t work out than to look back on one that you never even took.