There's that phrase, "Get Out of Your Comfort Zone," that is repeated, posted, explained, talked about and quoted every day, everywhere, pressuring you until you feel you're going to explode.
There's something about imperative quotes and phrases that is very dangerous: They might have good intentions, but the only thing that's absolutely true is that no good advice applies to everyone in every situation.
So sometimes, a phrase like this can make you feel a failure because, even if you agree with it, you're not able to apply it for whatever reason. And if you're down, it can drag you down even more.
Don't get me wrong: getting out of your comfort zone is good for reaching new heights, but that's not what you should be doing 100% of the time in all cases.
When you're upset or a bit depressed, this kind of pressure can push you over the edge. You should allow yourself to stop, regroup, recuperate. Recharge your emotional batteries so you can come out the other side fresh and ready to tackle your goals again.
This is when you should get IN your comfort zone. Do something you know you enjoy. Come back to an activity that calms you down, that get you in "the zone," that makes you vividly remember why you decided to make art in the first place, which is probably that it makes you feel good, feel alive, joyous and maybe, for a moment, OK with the world.
The external pressures of this society might have eventually started clouding your ludic enjoyment of making art… "You have to get better," "you have to make money," "you have to be popular," "you have to be respected!"
No matter who you are (believe me, I've watched the most amazing artists burn out because of these), if you don't keep these voices at bay, they will drag you down until you feel you're drowning.
It is NOT because there's something wrong with you.
It is NOT because you're not good enough.
It is NOT because you're lazy.
It is simply because we all need balance. You can't be running uphill 24/7. No one can.
That tacit expectation is what's actually wrong. And it's pervasive and SO very hard to keep out of your emotional system.
But if you're aware of this and learn to recognize the moments when it's eating at you, you can apply this counter measure by allowing yourself, by giving yourself permission to get IN your comfort zone.
You'll have more energy to try new, uncomfortable things later, and you'll be happier overall.
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina. Learn more about Barbara and her work at the following links:
Barbara Din Patreon page
Barbara Din YouTube Channel