20 Small Ways to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

An watercolor image of a man getting out his comfort zone by hiking up to the top of a mountain.

“Get out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
Brian Tracy

I’m a big fan of doing the unusual thing. Sometimes in big ways. Often in small and daily ways to mix things up.


Because this habit is a simple and relatively easy way to:

Get out of your comfort zone.

And if you change your perspective on yourself from someone who sticks to the old and comfortable all the time to someone who likes to mix things up then it will feel more natural and easier to break out of your comfort zone when comes to bigger things too.

Because this habit makes the inner resistance and the fear that may hold you back smaller.

Add a spark to your day and come alive. 

It keeps you from getting stuck in the same old daily or weekly rut. And it adds more fun to your life.

Refuel your curiousness about the world and life.

When you do the unusual thing regularly you to discover a ton of new and exciting things.

And that will refuel your curiousness about what else is out there that you haven’t discovered just yet.

So how do you do the unusual thing and break out of your comfort zone in small and sometimes bigger ways?

20 Ways to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

1. Eat the unusual thing.

Instead of choosing the meat-based dish at lunch try the vegetarian alternative.

Or try the fish if you usually go for the beef.

2. Smile towards everyone.

Instead of just going along with your day in your normal social way try smiling more.

Smile more towards your co-workers, the lady at the checkout at the supermarket, the people closest to you and smile to yourself when you encounter a mirror. See what happens.

3. Cook something new.

Each week we try cooking a new recipe.

It is most often a tasty experiment and helps us to find, sometimes unexpected, new favorites.

It has also certainly made me a better cook in the last few years.

4. Mix up your music.

I mix things up by trying new music every month.

I have a look at the best music on sites like Metacritic. Then I load a few of those albums on Spotify and listen.

5. Work in complete silence and stillness.

Shut the door to your office, shut off your music, unplug the internet and just focus on doing the most important thing you can do today while enjoying the silence.

6. Read something that your friends wouldn’t guess that you are reading.

Doing this has helped me to expand my horizons and learn new skills and many, often unexpected things about the world around me.

7. Do all your shopping for the week.

Instead of doing grocery shopping when you feel like it or need to, sit down and plan what you will eat and need for a whole week. Go and get all of that at the store.

Now you don’t have to go back there for a week and you’ll probably have a bunch of extra free time (and less stress) to enjoy this week.

8. Have a day of kindness.

Instead of having the usual bursts of irony, sarcasm etc. during your day try to go for a day where you are just being kind and friendly to everyone including yourself.

9. Enjoy it all.

All fluctuations during your normal day is a part of life and as life it’s a gift in some way or another.

So on some days I just tell myself: “enjoy it all”.

Then I try to enjoy my day no matter if the inbox is overfull, if I’m hungry and starting to get cranky. The things I usually don’t like so much I tell myself to enjoy as a part of life.

And so my day actually becomes more enjoyable because much of how we see life is about how we choose to think about it.

10. Watch something odd.

If you usually watch thrillers then try a romantic comedy. If you most often get stuck with documentaries try an animated movie from Japan (I recommend anything by Hayao Miyazaki).

If you love Family Guy, try Severance. Expand what you watch to get new ideas and impressions.

11. Listen to the sound of the world.

Leave your portable music player/app at home or shut off and in your pocket.

Just listen to sounds of the city, nature and people as you move about during your day.

12. Take a day to be offline.

I tend to spend a day a week offline (usually Saturday or Sunday). It’s a wonderful change of pace and feels like I’m on a small, healthy and extra relaxing vacation.

Plus, it makes it more fun to get back to work on Monday.

13. Take a news black out.

Instead of reading the paper or watching the news as usual try to go without that for a day. See how it affects you and how much you miss the news.

14. Hide a note for a loved one.

Hide a sweet note of affection for a partner, family member or a friend in his or her cookie jar, tea or coffee container, book on the nightstand, hat, shoes or somewhere else where they look each day.

Make him or her happy in an unexpected and unusual way.

15. Take a different route.

To work or to school. To your gym or home.

See something new even when you are in transport mode.

16. Walk or take the bicycle to work.

Instead of taking the car or riding the bus as usual. Get some exercise and fresh air before it is time to start working and on your way home.

17. Let it go just for today.

If you often get into arguments or have trouble letting issues go and replay them over and over in your mind then just for today let it all go.

Tomorrow you can take up your old habits just where you left them.

But for today, instead of getting into an argument just let it go and walk away. If you replay something in your mind, let it go for today. If an old memory pops up today too, let it go instead of dwelling.

18. Go out.

If you usually stay in during the weekdays, then call up a few friends and head down to the pub for a few hours even if it’s just a Wednesday.

Or call up someone you haven’t met in ages and go for a cup of tea or coffee. Or pop down to the movie theater and catch a movie.

If you usually do those things though, consider just staying in with PJs on and taking it easy.

19. Sit in a new place.

If you have favorite chair or part of the sofa where you always sit then try another chair or place to sit today. It can give you a new perspective at work or at home.

And I have found that it can even give me some new and fresh thoughts and perspectives on life.

20. Throw out the things you haven’t used in 1 year.

Go through one part of your home – a closet, a drawer in your desk or bedroom cabinet – and see what’s in there.

Go through the items one by one and ask yourself:

Have I used this item in the past year?

If not, give the item(s) away to charity or a friend or simply throw it out.


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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shameka

    Thanks for sharing this!!! I will definitely put many to use.

  • Anna

    Thank you Henrik these are good advice, I am calling courage to go out and to clean up my stuff out. Have a fun day!

    • Hannah

      That’s the one that freaks me out the most!! So today I shall tackle it and get uncomfortable but ultimately I know I will feel better for it… and my partner will be so happy to have some space in a wardrobe! My daughter too, as I have claimed her entire wardrobe aswell.
      Thanks Henrik! Much appreciated…I absolutely needed that little distraction from ones mind right now.

      Wish me luck folks! Hahahaha!

  • Pat

    Yes #11 is the best. I strongly suggest this one.

  • This Article Really Motivate me ..And Direct Me How to Feel Always Motivate IN Any Condition…Thank You So much
    Have Grate Day

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing. Even though these things are so small, they might bring a big change!

  • Gostha Bihari Das Mohapatra

    Hi Henrik !
    You have done a lot for me and many like me. I have the following problems in me :-

    1. I forget the things while doing something. Say I took out a document from the closet and forgot to close it. Other time in garden I used an implement and did the job but left the implement there only. The forgetfulness.
    I think much.
    I feel myself unfulfilled.
    I am shy to talk to others.
    I have very least balance in me.
    I am not dutiful.
    I don’t follow a routine.
    I have neck problem and it makes me feel down.
    I am in the habit of procastination.
    I request you to help me in attaining a balanced life.
    Thank you.
    Gostha Bihari Das Mohapatra

    • Hannah

      That was admirable honesty Gostha! Thank you.
      I love that you can recognise these things in yourself and instead of denying or hoping nobody notices our ‘less than desirable traits’ .. you speak of them yourself :) I know this sounds cliche but it is so true; Recognising there is a problem is the first step to resolving the problem…
      Awesomeness, you have already taken the first step!

      I wish you patience, forgiveness, understanding, strength, perseverance and results for today and each thereafter.

      Stay honest, it’s a beautiful quality and I’m sure people in your life think so too – even if they don’t tell you.

      In fact “Honest” should have been at the top of your list, along with “strong” because it really takes a strong person to stay honest and I know this to be a fact as I too am both… along with a few of the ‘less desirable traits’ you listed. Hahaha!

      I personally have come to find this life never seems to dish out more than we can chew or grow to, don’t get me wrong – my childhood was baked in an oven of tribulations and Horror…
      BUT!!… hindsight has taught me to view the present applying knowledge of the past so now I naturally process my own personal Trials and tribulations as … ‘opportunity!!’ It tastes much better than ‘oh poor me’

      Opportunity to learn and grow :) “knowledge is power” and “fortune favours the brave”

      ^^Those are my favourite and most lived/applied quotes.
      And if you can be honest with yourself – like you are!!.. you truly learn more from every lesson than most.

      Easier to be brave when you have knowledge… provided it’s honest, real and personal knowledge.

      Sorry for the novel – I just felt compelled to thank you…. everything you didn’t say in your message. All the ‘between the lines’ stuff.

      I hope my words will summons a smile to your face.

      Stay safe. stay strong.
      Peace x

  • This is one of the few self-help articles I’ve been exposed to that I genuinely feel passionate about… I feel like this is so helpful to those who just want to get out of their usually daily routine and habits and add some excitement to their life. Our mental health will benefit so much if we utilize these steps.

  • I’ve never heard about sitting in a new place to get out of the comfort zone. That’s a new one!

  • VTT

    This sounds like a good ideas, I need try some of it

  • Cydni Raven

    Thank you Henrik! I wrote the “20 ways” in my journal ( along with your name) Number 17 is especially important. Your blog is helpful!

  • This blog post is a refreshing reminder that embracing the unconventional can lead to personal growth and a more vibrant life. Each suggestion offers a simple yet impactful way to step outside the comfort zone, encouraging us to break routine and infuse our days with variety. The practical tips, from trying new foods to taking a different route, are not only easy to implement but promise to add a spark of excitement to our daily lives. It’s a great nudge to explore the uncharted, find joy in the unexpected, and cultivate a mindset that welcomes change. Here’s to a life less ordinary! ?

  • I recently stepped out of my comfort zone too, so I found this touching! Overall, this text serves as a valuable reminder that life is full of opportunities for growth and enjoyment if we are willing to step out and embrace the unusual. It’s a great source of inspiration!