Stacie Bloom on Breaking Out of a Comfort Zone

In Chapter 9 of 18 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, Neuroscience Institute Executive Director Stacie Grossman Bloom answers "Where is Your Comfort Zone and What Do You Do to Break Free of Living in It?"  Bloom notes she feels comfortable in a broad range of situations.  She learns over time to push through situations where she feels self-conscious or uncomfortable, such as speaking up at a meeting with someone very senior in her field.  

Stacie Grossman Bloom is Executive Director for the Neuroscience Institute at the NYU Langone Medical Center.  Previously, she was VP and Scientific Director at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) and, before that, held editorial roles at the Journal of Clinical Investigation and Nature Medicine.  She earned her BA in chemistry and psychology from the University of Delaware, her PhD in Neurobiology and Cell Biology at Georgetown University and did post-doctoral training in Paul Greengard's Nobel Laboratory of Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience at Rockefeller University. 


Erik Michielsen:  Where is your comfort zone and what do you do to break free of living in it?

Stacie Grossman Bloom:  My comfort zone is pretty big. I would say that it takes a lot to get me out of my comfort zone. I think one of my best characteristics, one of the things that’s helped me the most is that I feel comfortable in a really broad range of situations. To break out of it, you know, I sort of force myself sometimes to do things that I’m not necessarily comfortable with. I’ll force myself to speak up at a meeting where, you know, there’s the head of the FDA sitting across the table from me. Those are situations that might make me feel self-conscious or uncomfortable. At work, you know, I very often have to have difficult conversations with people that are a little bit outside my comfort zone, I just make myself do it, I don’t usually hesitate very much, I’ll just usually go in guns a-blazing.