Circus Olympus and Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Young Bloggers  /   /  By Sarah Cymrot
Stone Soup Magazine
May 2019

By Wholtone [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

The wooden doors loomed in front of us as we struggled to put aside the thought of what was on the other side. Blackness seeped in and the door swung open, cueing the circus music to blast and multicolored lights to shine on. “Who is ready for some theater?!” was cried and we burst out through the aisle and onto the stage. My hands are shaking uncontrollably and my teeth are chattering. Deep breaths. There is no going back now. What is the worst that could happen? And then it begins.

For almost my whole life, when someone asked me to act in front of someone, a surge of intense emotions would overtake me and I would cry so hard that I wasn’t able to breathe, speak, or act in a reasonable way. These feelings used to come up when I had to speak to someone I didn’t know too well, be in a video, or even introduce myself in a new class. It slowly lessened and grew more intense for bigger things, like being asked to act, play my cello or piano in front of someone I didn’t know, and so on. It barred me and bars me from doing many things, making me feel uncomfortable and ending up with me not being able to do things that I should.

Multiple times, these emotions hit me especially hard. When I was eleven, my cello teacher tried to convince me to play in a recital during one of my lessons. I slowly began to start to feel more and more trapped and when she asked if I wanted to play for someone who just walked in the door for her next lesson all the stress that was building up burst out. I froze and started crying uncontrollably, unable to stop myself. I ended up not participating in the recital. 

The play whirls by, I slowly start to get more comfortable. The glare of the lights dim, my hands slow their shaking and my teeth stop chattering, my fear dissipates into giddy excitement. The moments tick by, each one nearing the goal of the end, but the seconds stop feeling like minutes and more like seconds. It is the last scene, then my last line, then the end. I did it. I had broken a barrier that had held me back for my whole life, or had carved a hole to step through. I proved to myself that I could, that I did, and that I didn’t let myself be held back by something that made me uncomfortable.

Have you ever thought that there is no chance that you could do something? Has something ever held you back from doing something? Have you ever then made yourself do it, or succeeded in something that you thought you couldn’t? If so, then leave a comment below! I would love to hear your experiences.

Sarah Cymrot
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One Comment
  1. Alice April 29, 2018 at 9:43 am Reply

    I enjoyed reading this. Good job overcoming your fear!

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