12 Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

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While trying to think of titles for this post, I had quite a bit of trouble thinking of a different way to say “step out of your comfort zone.” Is there really any other way to say this, besides “broaden your horizon?”

I couldn’t really find much, so I apologize for the lack of variation!

But enough of that, let’s talk about how to get started with stepping outside of your comfort zone and a few ideas you can try to broaden your horizons, whether it’s in your personal life or related to your job or business.

How to successfully step outside of your comfort zone

An important aspect of self-development is to know when it’s time to change something about yourself. When you change, you often become more knowledgeable, skilled, and comfortable about a task or situation.

As your business grows, you’re going to find yourself in a variety of new situations and new roles as you deal with marketing, production, accounting, and sales. And that’s just to name a few!

Any kind of change, even if it will make your life more enjoyable or your business more profitable, can be difficult because it involves stepping out of your comfort zone.

However, the more you push yourself to step out of your comfort zone, the more you gain. The more you gain, the easier and more likely it becomes that you’ll be willing to push yourself again in the future.

For some of us, this might seem overwhelming, overly challenging, or just plain scary, but there are ways to expand your comfort zone gently. It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you complete the journey.

Start slowly

Before we get on to the list, let’s first talk about starting slowly.

Big changes tend to feel the most uncomfortable, so it’s best to start with small first. The thought of doing 50 push-ups for the first time in five years is daunting. The thought of doing one isn’t a problem.

Create small changes and then increase those changes over time. This is a great way to keep the discomfort at a minimum.

You might even find that after you take the first step, you’re willing to go just a little bit further right away. If not, that’s fine, you still made the first step!

You can try something that’s on this list or refer to that list of your own that’s been sitting around in the back of your head.

If you’ve been waiting for some sort of permission to act, I’m giving it to you right now! You don’t need it, but if it’s what’s been keeping you from trying something, here’s your sign to try it.

Acknowledge any discomfort

Your feelings are normal. Almost everyone feels a bit unsettled when they do something for the first time. After you identify those fears, it actually becomes easier to try something new.

Jot down what scares you when it comes to engaging in the experience.

Recognize that thousands of others have likely done what you want to embark on and they made it through.

You may feel a bit fearful but plan to dive into the experience anyway.

Recognize the awesomeness of trying something different

You’ll always have the memory of the experience within you. Make sure you take a moment to soak in the feeling of pushing yourself past your self-imposed limits, especially if it was a positive experience.

Knowing that you felt good or energized after completing the activity and that the world didn’t fall apart, will help you feel more comfortable when its time for the next activity.

Sprinkle your confidence on others

If your friends tell you they feel like they never do anything interesting, give them encouragement to go for something they want to experiment with. Share a recent personal story of how you were hesitant to engage in a new experience. Tell them they can learn to embrace new things.

Find a mentor

If you still struggle when trying new things, find a mentor. Choose someone you see as the type of person who just goes for it, regardless of what “it” is. Spend time with your mentor and pick his brain about his process of experimenting with new things.

When we see and learn about someone else’s bravery and sense of adventure, then we can be brave and adventurous, too.

Visualize the desired experience

Imagine what it will be like to experience something you’ve longed to do. Picture it in your mind.

For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to go kayaking, but were afraid to try it. Close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting in the kayak, floating down the river. You see the birds, the fauna, and the fish in the water.

As you let yourself visualize the experience¸ you see that it will be marvelous. Then, go sign up for your first kayaking lesson!

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be an exhilarating experience. Lose yourself by trying new things. Who knows, you may even discover a whole new you! At any rate, you’ll greatly increase the enjoyment in your life.

12 ideas to broaden your horizons

Do something new once a week

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Instead, open your mind to original ideas and experiences. Engage in a new activity every 7 days or so.

Maybe you’ll try reading a biography instead of a mystery. Jogging every so often on your daily walk brings variety.

I like to do one huge new thing that’s completely out of character for me each month as well. If I keep it at just one thing, Often it’s really exciting because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

You can try this with something that’s exciting for you but you’ve been off, too.

Eat something new

Most of us are a little hesitant to try new food, but it’s a non-threatening way to stretch your comfort zone. Try a new restaurant or a new fruit from the grocery store.

Perhaps there’s a new recipe you’ve been curious to try for the first time. Go for it!

Read something new

Not just new, but something that’s totally different from what you’d normally read. Use reading to gain a different perspective or just enjoy something out of the ordinary.

Take a new route to work

Better yet, don’t look at a map beforehand. Follow your instincts and see where you end up. Hopefully, you’ll make it to work on time.

Unplug for an entire day

Turn off your phone, the internet, and the television. This will be more uncomfortable than you think.

Even if you don’t completely unplug, try cutting yourself off from your main device. While my situation wasn’t one I created on purpose (a part in my computer burned out), the life-changing decision to start blogging came because I was cut off from my usual routine.

At the time I didn’t think it would become a business for me, but going through the process helped me realize I had other talents and knowledge that people wanted to know—something that I could market and sell. Finally, I could see a way to build a business so I could get out of my other business that was starting to take much more time and make much less money.

Sit in a different place

Sit on the couch instead of your favorite chair. Choose a different seat at the dining table.

Strike up a conversation with a stranger

It doesn’t have to be a drawn-out, twenty-minute affair. If you can maintain a conversation for 30 seconds, consider yourself successful. There are plenty of people in the world available for practice.

Write about a personal topic

Do you struggle with writing email newsletters to your email list? Do you find it difficult to come up with ideas for your business’s social media?

Try taking a personal topic and explaining how it relates to your products or services. Someone out there in your audience can probably relate and this email or post will get their attention.

Apply for a new job that’s a step up from your current position

You might feel like a bit of an imposter, but that’s okay. Worst case? You might get the position and a new career. Your bank account might even benefit.

Call someone you haven’t spoken to for at least six months

Just pick up the phone and do it. You’ll feel great about it afterward.

Travel out of the country

If you’ve never traveled outside your home country, you might be in for quite a shock. The food, people, and culture can all be different. Apply for a passport and consider where you’d like to visit.

Give yourself a thrill

Tackle something that makes you a little fearful. Go skydiving or ride a roller coaster. Give a speech. Take a dance class.

Sit by yourself in silence

This can be tougher than you think. Turn off all your devices and just sit alone with yourself. Avoid allowing yourself to daydream. Just stay with yourself for at least 30 minutes.

Expanding your comfort zone opens up numerous possibilities. Think about how your life would change if your comfort zone were larger. It’s possible to accomplish this without the pain you might imagine.

Stretch your comfort zone a little bit each day. You may be surprised how big of an impact a small change can make!

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