Ânia Marcos
Ânia Marcos

Comfort Zone: Can It Expand Without Overwhelming Us?

Baby Chibi with her plush dog.

Your comfort zone can grow.

…at least that’s what my cat taught me.

When I adopted Chibi, my home was new and scary for her. For the first few days, she didn’t get out of my bedroom.

When she finally went through the door, she refused to go past the corridor in front of the room. After some time, she ventured to the living room and then the kitchen.

…but every time she was startled by a sudden movement or sound, she dashed back to her comfort zone.

After a while, the most curious thing happened: Instead of dashing into the bedroom, she stopped at the corridor.

She successfully expanded her own comfort zone.

Today she walks like she owns the whole apartment! Everywhere is safe – especially corners!


Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone Doesn’t Have To Be Overwhelming.

If you take one step at a time outside your room, who knows how far you can go?

Four years ago I wasn’t able to have a conversation in English when a foreigner asked for directions. I would start stuttering like a madwoman and forget all the words.

Today I’m almost as comfortable with English as I am with my own language.

I could have moved to an English speaking country. There’s a lot of value in that.

…but, like Chibi showed us, throwing yourself into the deep end is not the only way to get out of your comfort zone. Instead, I expanded it by practicing the language more.

What About You?

Are you fine doing something now that was uncomfortable last year?

Please tell me all about it in the comments below!

Oh, and Chibi says hi!

Adult Chibi, having a nap on my couch. Or her couch. I don’t know anymore…


  1. Abrian C - 2 years ago

    Definitely did some uncomfortable things in the past year! Ran my first Kickstarter, had my first booth at a convention… so much. I’ve learned that success is much scarier than failure. Failure is very comfortable. We know what it’s like where we are. But actually leveling up? Not only is it scary, but you find that it’s hard to know what to do once you’re there unless you progress slowly.

    So many of us try to rush to “make it” and we don’t realize what “making it” will feel like. Thankfully I was able to crunch numbers and realize that I will be better off taking one step at a time 🙂

    Nice article!

    • aniamarcos - 2 years ago

      Thank you, Abrian!

      Love what you just said about success being scarier than failure. I can relate too! After I did my Kickstarter I was also overwhelmed for a while. Working on my new book has been a challenge because of that. But you’re so right: one step at a time is just what we need 🙂

      You’re awesome. I’m so thrilled for you and your projects! Hug!

  2. Fernanda Nevitiv da Costa - 2 years ago

    You are awesome with words Ânia.. I relate to so much of this. I love to look back and see the things I thought I would never be capable. English was one for them too, and even if now I can comunicate what I need, I still feel very nervous doing so. How did you improve yours? To write like this, and talk with everyone the way you do?
    Thank you for taking the time to write this things, they are really cute notes that make me thing so much.

    • aniamarcos - 2 years ago

      Fernanda! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words <3
      I really appreciate you taking the time to drop me a comment. Means a lot.
      What I remind myself all the time is that it's normal to not say things the "right way". People know it's not your first language. Plus, your English is FANTASTIC already. Nothing to worry about 😀 Just do your best, and practice. It just gets easier 😉 I keep learning new nuances of English every day, and the right way to say certain words... No one is perfect and failure is growth!

  3. Neru - 2 years ago

    Ahahahaha! That’s Chibi’s couch ? I love your words: “If you take one step at a time outside your room, who knows how far you can go?”
    I did so by joing the welcome session with you Ania! And then joining sketch hangout and then character design hangout. Schedules cross but interacting with my fellow artists face to face or face to voice is difficult but very rewarding for me. All in the Estuary that is OA.

    • aniamarcos - 2 years ago

      That’s wonderful to hear, Neru! 😀 I’m so glad I was able to help – you just made my day! Hug!

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