To be totally honest with you, I kind of hate when people say that life only happens when you leave your comfort zone. They have a square and a circle mounted on their wall, and the circle is labeled as your “comfort zone” and the square is “where life happens”. Ultimately, that’s not true. I think there’s a lot of value in finding what you like and continually incorporating that into your life to feel good. That said, the way that I’ve found almost all the things that I like and currently incorporate into my life was by going out of my comfort zone at some point. If we never go out of comfort zones, we develop ruts and boring routines we grow to regret. That’s not what you want.
Keeping in spirit with the new year and the new energy people have, I wanted to write a list of ways you can refer to when you’re trying to get out of your comfort zone a little bit or a lot a bit. Some of these things might be on your Fucket List, and that’s okay! It’s important and empowering to say no to things you are sure you’ll hate. It’s also important to make sure we’re trying new things every once in a while because sometimes our tastes change (quite literally! I used to hate broccoli…) and we need to be open to the possibility that our favorite hobby or new best friend is just waiting for us to leave the house to find them.
Some of these things are simple, some are kind of out there, and many are on a spectrum, meaning you might fall on one end of the extreme or the other, so your challenge to get out of your comfort zone would be to simply do the thing that doesn’t come naturally to you (i.e. go towards the other polar end of the spectrum). Truth be told, if I would have looked at this list six years ago, I would have been intimidated by a lot of the things on the list, but now as I was writing it I honestly felt like it was pretty tame (for me), and the thing that scares me the most on this list is probably waking up two hours earlier, hahah. I’m telling you, the more new things you try, the easier it will be to try even more new things, and the less anxiety you’ll have about trying them.
Let me know where you fall on the scale of “I’m fine in my comfort zone, thank you very much” and “I live to get out of my comfort zone”, and what benefits you think that brings you in life. I wanna know!
50 Ways To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
1. Say your scariest, biggest, craziest goal out loud – bonus points if you share it with someone else
2. Play hooky for a day and only do things that excite you – check out 50 Solo Date Ideas
3. Go out to eat alone, or just have a picnic outside by yourself – start small at a cafe if you need to
4. Take on a regimented project, like a 365 Project, where you hold yourself accountable to something every day or every week, etc.
5. Frame something you made and hang it in your house proudly
6. Read a book every month – each from a completely different section of the library/genre
7. Be honest the next time you’re inclined to lie and see what happens
8. Write a passionate love note – bonus points if you deliver it
9. Go the opposite way with technology – if you’re addicted, disconnect completely for 24 hours, if you hardly use it, try getting a smart phone for the first time or downloading an app
10. Take care of a live creature that’s not intuitive to you – a cat, dog, snake, baby, whatever (feel free to ask for help)
11. Film yourself dancing – bonus points for sharing it online
12. Go the opposite way with meal planning – if you’re an avid planner, start flying by the seat of your pants, and if you never plan, start mapping out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks for an entire week
13. Do stuff around the house like chores, computer work, etc. completely naked or even all dolled up in lingerie, jewelry, make-up, etc.
14. Go the opposite way with leadership – next time you have the opportunity to lead a project, if you’re always the lead, relinquish control, and if you’re always a follower, stand up and be the leader this round
15. Shadow an intense profession (like go for a ride along with a police officer)
16. Purposefully live out your most embarrassing fantasy and get it over with (because it’s not that bad and you’ll live through it)
17. Learn a new physical skill – like a specific dance, how to snowboard, etc.
18. Say “yes” to everything for an entire day – see movie “Yes Man” for inspiration
19. Sing Karaoke to your favorite song
20. Call, text, write, etc. family members you care about but don’t communicate with that often – try also saying “I love you” if you mean it
21. Go to a strip club – bonus points if you get a lap dance
22. Let the waiter or bartender pick out your entree or cocktail
23. Try a new nutritional plan for a week – specifically try removing something like meat, dairy, etc. and see how you feel
24. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger – check out these 103 ideas for RAOKs
25. Ask for a raise, or raise your rates/prices in your business
26. Take off that thing that you wear every single day (a piece of jewelry, the same coat, whatever) – or try starting to wear something every day
27. Do something healthy in place of the times that you’d watch TV or check Instagram like stretch, meditate, journal
28. Sell something you’ve made, or at least put it up for sale
29. Do some form of public speaking – open mic night for poetry, stand up comedy, debate team, etc.
30. Go a week without complaining and only use positive reinforcement for people who annoy you (instead of telling them what they did that you don’t like, tell them when they’re doing something that you *do* like)
31. Learn how to say/write/read one sentence in another language – bonus points if it’s one with an entirely different alphabet (like if you’re used to the A-Z English alphabet, try learning a sentence in Mandarin)
32. Do a daily routine backwards – like showering (shampoo/condition your hair at the end of the shower instead of at the beginning, etc.)
33. Go the opposite way with spending – if you’re always saving money and never spending, splurge on yourself; if you’re reckless with spending, start saving 10% of every check you get
34. Go the opposite way with body hair – if you have a beard, shave it, or grow out long side burns; grow out your leg hair, shave it, etc.
35. Forgive someone, and then tell them that you do
36. Jump off a known, safe hill/cliff/ledge into a water spot
37. Let someone else decide something for you
38. Hire a professional photographer
39. Go to a burner event or an overnight camping festival – see What To Expect At Your First Burn
40. Get an esoteric treatment – your aura photographed, past life regression session, Tarot card reading, etc.
41. Ask customers/clients for a review/testimonial
42. Try doing your work, commute, drive, workout in total silence
43. Share a secret, or just get something off your chest
44. Try out a sexual fantasy you’ve only thought about till now
45. Go through all your belongings and throw out things you haven’t used in a specific period of time (a year is a good timeline)
46. The next time someone is mean to you (including internet trolls), ask them what’s wrong and how you can help them
47. Take a burlesque class – bonus points if you perform
48. Go the opposite way with sleep – if you tend to sleep in, wake up two hours earlier; if you always wake up super early, take a Melatonin and let yourself sleep in on your day off
49. Get your hair dyed a weird color, get a piercing or a tattoo
50. Wear a ridiculous outfit out in public – like pajamas & pearls, a pinstriped suit with rain boots and a rain hat, or a leotard, kilt, clown tie, and faux fur coat
How do you like to get out of your comfort zone?
You might also like:
- How To Embrace Your Inner Weird
- 50 Ways To Live In The Moment
- Love Yourself Enough To Be Weird In Public
- 50 Ways To Change Up Your Routine
Photos: Maura Housley