Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone

As someone who struggles with anxiety, in the post-pandemic world my comfort zone had started to feel like a harness that held me back from experiencing life to the fullest. I felt a little hesitant to study abroad, despite the fact that it was something that I had been dreaming of for as long as I could remember. Coming abroad would mean leaving all that was familiar to me including easy access to the support systems that had helped me when my mental health had become its worst. 

Everyday of my life abroad I experience some type of challenge. In fact, there’s usually about 15 challenges. It could be something as simple as trying to find an Italian skincare product to replace the one I’m familiar with (I’m a bit of a skincare snob), or as challenging as trying to seek medical attention in the new healthcare system. 

Yet, I’ve found that my anxiety has been less hindering since I’ve been abroad. It is as if by overload I’ve broken the comfort zone. This quote really speaks to me:

“By leaving your comfort zone behind and taking a leap of faith into something new, you find out who you are truly capable of becoming.” -Anonymous

Honestly, I have had the choice whether or not to step outside of my comfort zone, it’s been something I’ve had to do in order to survive living abroad. I have to communicate with storekeepers or other people in Italian although I am not confident in my pronounciation or grammer.  I have to put myself out there to make new friends (I wasn’t able to bring all of mine from home!). I have to ask for help when I need it. 

But, each of these little things have been adding up to shape me into a stronger version of myself. Challenging yourself to step outside your comfort zone is the same as challenging yourself at the gym.  You build it up little by little, and suddenly you’re breaking your personal records left and right.