Cheney Free Press -

By Al Stover
Staff Writer 

Get out of your comfort zone and go into unknown territory

Write to the Point


Trying new things is scary, especially when it forces us to move out of our comfort zone.

Some instances where we find ourselves doing this can range from being hesitant to try a new restaurant that you have never heard of before.

Will the food be as good as their clever ads proclaim?

Or what about walking up to a person who catches our attention and starting a conversation with them?

Will they take their recently bought glass of beer and throw it in my face if I say the wrong thing about their favorite football team?

These are risks and if we knew the outcomes of some of these risks, we may be less hesitant to try them. Lots of us don’t take these kinds of chances because it forces us away from our securities and preferences.

In college, I was constantly challenged to get out of my shell. I felt uneasy in my English 101 class because I was the only student who was not taking the class through Running Start.

Getting out of my comfort zone wasn’t limited to just my classwork.

I, along with several of my fellow journalism majors, were trained to get out of our comfort zones and write about topics where we had no experience writing about.

I remember sports writers who would be assigned news stories and shuffle their feet because the interviews for the news story would interfere with covering the game on Saturday. However, many of those writers would come back with smiles and well-written articles because they took the chance and immersed themselves in covering the news story.

Another instance where I was taken out of my comfort zone as a reporter was covering the drag show fundraiser at Eastern Washington University in 2012. It was uncomfortable at first because I had never seen anything that resembled a drag show, other than the 1995 movie “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.”

After the event was over, the only thing that made me uncomfortable was the sore feeling in my knees and legs after having to comfort and bend my body in order to get some good photos from the stage. Putting my aching joints aside, I developed a respect for the performers because of the time and dedication they put into their performance.

Although I am recommending you to move out of the comfort zone, this doesn’t mean you need to go out and do things that could get you hurt or arrested. There are several things you can try that will not result in a trip to the hospital or prison.

This can be something small, like eating at a new restaurant that was not reviewed by user JoeLoveCake on a food review website.

If you are not feeling that adventurous, you could simply deviate from your usual order and try a new drink or dish. On nights when your favorite television shows get moved due to an event, take a chance and watch something on a different channel or Netflix.

The great thing about living in a college town like Cheney is there are all kinds of ways we can take chances and venture into the unknown.

A freshman, who has left home for the first time and doesn’t have a lot of traveling experience, will find themselves in new situations throughout the city, such as going to the bar for the first time.

Longtime residents of Cheney will get glimpses into other cultures and backgrounds from students they come across at the grocery stores, restaurants or coffee shops.

If you see a student, who is constantly staring at the menu because they are unsure what to order at a place they have never eaten before, don’t be afraid to say “hello,” before recommending one of the dishes. This could lead to a conversation about where that student is originally from.

If you’re a student and someone asks you why are you are wearing the clothes you are wearing, do not be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone and tell them about the significance of our outfit, whether it ties into your culture or because you like that particular garment. You could turn the conversation around and learn more about Cheney.

Getting out of your comfort zone can be scary, especially when there is a chance that your expectations will be unmet, but sometimes it is good to take that chance.

It is fine to have preferences, but if we stick with the same routine things day after day without experiencing something new every once in a while, we are limiting ourselves from the bigger world around us.

Al Stover can be reached at

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