Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

With 2023 behind us, it’s hard to hide from the obvious turn of season. Some choose to acknowledge this numerical progress through a new haircut, or by taking up an adventurous, experimental hobby. Moreover, for many, they mark this temporal modification by establishing a set of honourable New Year’s resolutions. Yet, something that I’ve taken away from my 21 years of calendar changes is the value of stepping out of your comfort zone; more specifically, the importance of crushing it. 

Let me elaborate. A close friend of mine often talks about her upbringing, how her mother instilled in her what she referred to as ‘comfort crushers.’ The concept of such ‘comfort crushers’ has continued to inspire me each and every day since learning about them, and I hope it does the same for you.

In short, ‘comfort crushers’ are a seemingly radical display of acceptance and courage. You become the brave explorer navigating the uncharted waters of your very own comfort zone. These moments in time may manifest as acts of childlike fun, grand displays of love, or gentle exchanges among people. The common themes among these coveted occasions is the level of discomfort they initiate within you. Simply put, the idea is to do something that scares you, that intimidates you. Ultimately, something that makes you truly uncomfortable. Something that challenges the repetitive cycle of normalcy we all tackle each and every day, all in pursuit of happiness, joy and love. The beauty of this concept lies within its vagueness. The direction of discovery you take within this adventure is completely personalized to you.

I encourage you to follow your intuition as you create and experience your very own comfort crushers, welcoming the safe and respectful impulses you have but may feel timid about expressing. Some examples of these moments can include giving a compliment to a stranger, attempting to cook a new, challenging meal or even rocking a new pair of sunglasses that you normally would be quick to say no to.

I’d like to share a story of a successful comfort crusher of mine, in hopes of potentially compelling you to create your very own. A few months ago, my sister, mother and I were staying at a hotel on holiday. The entrance had several of those large revolving doors, which whisk away passerbys in the blink of an eye, leading them to a different world, whether it be inside or outside. After hearing about the treasures of crushing your comfort zone from my close friend, I was deeply inspired by her own mother’s comfort crusher, also involving a revolving door. In an impulsive moment of joy, upon exiting the hotel, I decided to crush my comfort zone and remain spinning within the door. 

My smile widened as I began to jog in circles, enveloped by the wooden panels and tinted glass. I felt the laughter and wonder a child would have had in that moment. So much curiosity, weightless fun, and that incalculable feeling that anything was possible. I didn’t stay for too long, as after about eight turns of me running around, I began to feel like a hamster trapped in its wheel and was concerned the line to exit the establishment was growing. So, for good measure, I completed two more spins in my hamster wheel, and landed outside, breathing in the fresh air, and feeling truly free. The euphoria lasted for only minutes after, but changed my perspective for the rest of that day. It allowed me to see the world around me full of opportunities for positive experiences, for fun, laughter and joy. Now, it’s safe to say that I’d happily enter a revolving door and not be afraid to be stuck or fear any social judgment. With that, I encourage you to try out your very own comfort crusher today, and to never stop chasing the good butterflies in your chest.

Natalie is a fourth year student in the Life Sciences Program. She is originally from Toronto, Ontario, and recently studied in Utrecht in the Netherlands.