HomeBlogThe Rubber Band Effect: Stretching your Comfort Zone

The Rubber Band Effect: Stretching your Comfort Zone


  • May 13
  • 2 min read

Have you ever noticed that tension in your body as you are about to try out something new?

A lot of times I hear people call it anxiety or jitters. Sometimes it does feel that way, especially since it is out of our comfort zone and there’s some fear of the unknown at work here.

If you look at what is in your comfort zone, you will find that it encompasses your whole past experiences. Even the things you didn’t enjoy. You survived it, so unconsciously, you know that you can find your way through similar situations and survive them again. But if you are looking to experience something new it feels a bit unnerving when you first start out.

rubber band

The thing is, our comfort zone is a lot like a rubber band. Yank it too far right away and it will snap (and probably hurt like heck) but if you instead just keep applying just the right amount of steady tension to it, over time it will stretch out. However, if you aren’t paying attention, it’s easy to let that tension ease up until it isn’t stretched out anymore and you are right back where you started.

Change takes place over time and often takes a lot of practice and intentional awareness before we feel comfortable in the new space, complete the new task, or act on the new behavior. When we are working on stretching our comfort zone, we feel that discomfort, or tension, as it stretches. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the new thing is bad or not for us, it just means that our comfort area is expanding and stretching.

Just like rubber bands, we each have our own threshold for the right amount of tension that needs to be applied, some are thin and a bit more fragile, needing much less tension, while others are thick, wide bands needing a lot of tension before they will budge.

Whether you are trying to find more balance in your life, set better boundaries, stand up for yourself, or adopt a new habit, you have to pay attention to your rubber band and make sure you are keeping the tension steady. After a while, you will notice that it’s becoming more and more accustomed to the tension, beginning to expand and there is less tension needed to hold the space for that new habit. Eventually, it will encompass that space without the tension, taking it on as its new form.

All that to say, keep going, you are doing great! Find the right amount of tension and hold it there for a while, you will master this just like you have mastered so many other things in the past. There’s nothing to be scared or anxious about, things are just expanding for you.

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