Image by Jeff Kubina via flicker

As a child, playing with bubbles is often encouraged. They are fun and relatively speaking, do not make a large mess. However, what if you continue to grow older and older, but never leave the bubbles behind? Often a cluster of small bubbles come together to create a larger bubble. And in this crazy world of life, many people become so surrounded by bubbles that they end up living in one.

This issue is not any one persons’ fault. Every individual or group experiences this is some form, whether they grew the bubble themselves or were forced into it. However, every individual must be responsible for popping their own bubble and supporting those around them to do the same. But why? Just as when we were kids, bubbles are often appealing and comforting, so what is the reason to want to leave them? There  are many answers to this, but simply put, by limiting yourself to the confines of your bubble, you are ensuring that you can never grow past it.

What else is bad about living in a bubble though? In a bubble, new and different perspectives are often ignored, especially when it comes from outside one's own community. Global issues are ignored, or even issues from a few communities over, because it does not affect the person inside a bubble. And while the saying “ignorance is bliss” may be right in some situations, most would argue that this is incorrect most of the time.

What exactly can you do though to burst this bubble? Everyone’s bubble is different, but if you find yourself stuck in a bubble and follow these steps, you are at least one step closer to freedom.

Step 1: Recognize that you are in a bubble. It is easier said than done, but if you are reading this article, chances are that you have already completed this step!

Step 2: Figure out how you got into your bubble in the first place. Was it your friends? Family? Yourself? By understanding how you found yourself in a bubble, you can limit your chances of finding yourself back to one.

Step 3: Step completely away from your bubble. Now I am not necessarily telling you to do a complete 180 and shave your head (circa Britney 2007), but I am saying to push your limits. If something/someone/somewhere scared you while in your bubble, put yourself there mentally. Figure out why it scared you and then understand it. You do not necessarily have to take that belief or thing and accept it as your own, but you should respect it.

Step 4: Learn, learn, and learn. You are outside of your bubble, so make a conscious effort to learn about the things that were not in your bubble! Make it a point to read 1, 2, or 3 news articles a day. Or if you do not like reading, watch a video or listen to a podcast about something foreign to you instead.

After completing these steps however, the work does not stop. It can be easy to fall back into a bubble, especially when surrounded by people that have yet to escape theirs. So your final step must always be to constantly reevaluate to ensure that you are living a life outside of your bubble constraints.