How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: 3 Helpful Habits

Step out of your comfort zone“Move 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

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
John Augustus Shedd

People often get stuck in mostly discussing or reading about making positive changes. Instead of spending that time and effort on actually making the changes they want in life.

Why?

One big reason in my experience is simply that it is uncomfortable to step outside of your own comfort zone.

So what can you do about it?

In this article I’d like to share three habits that have helped me to make it easier to step outside of my own comfort zone and to make real changes in my life.

1. Mix the small things up. Often.

This is an easy to do habit you can use every day if you like.

You can for example:

  • Try new music. Listen to music that you wouldn't usually listen to or have never heard before on Spotify or a similar service.
  • Eat something new. We try to cook from at least one new recipe each week. It often makes for an interesting experience, a tasty treat for the taste buds and has helped us to find many, many new favorites in the past few years.
  • Read something your friends wouldn't guess you would read. It can give you many new ideas and open your mind up to new perspectives.
  • Take another path home. Instead of taking the usual route home from work, school or a friend’s house take another path and see something new even if you are in transport mode.

Mixing things up in these small ways every day or several times a week will help you to change you perception of yourself from someone who likes to stick to the good old comfortable to someone who is curious and likes to try new things out and to step outside the comfort zone quite often.

And the very nice thing about that change is that it make it easier and makes it feel more natural to mix things up in other areas of life and to take steps outside of your comfort zone when it comes to bigger things than what to eat for dinner too.

2. Take small steps forward.

Making big changes can feel so scary that you start to procrastinate and so no action is taken towards what you want.

So instead, take just one small step forward. And if you come up with a small step but it still leads to procrastination then find an even smaller step and take action on that one.

If you want to get into better shape then focus on going out running or lifting weights for just 5 or 10 minutes a week at first.

If you want to improve your social skills then focus on just smiling and being kind towards one or a few people a day. Or simply have one small conversation a day where you are fully listening and focusing on the other person for a few minutes.

If you want to write and start selling your own e-book or course online but it seems daunting then do what I did. Take a smaller step and just create a very short e-book to give a way for free to new subscribers.

Take one small step after another to make the uncomfortable feelings manageable so you can keep moving forward and towards what you want out of life.

3. Bring a friend along.

A friend to keep you accountable to stick with it and to keep going outside of your comfort zone is a great way to make it more likely that the change you want to make will last.

So if you are going to a party where you know few people then it may be easier to bring a friend. Otherwise it may feel so uncomfortable to go that you skip it and spend your evening doing something else.

If you have decided to start going to the gym it is often easier to actually get going and to keep going there every week if you have a gym-partner that will give you a nudge forward on the days when you feel like just staying on the couch and watching TV.

And in my experience, having a friend that also wants to start eating healthier can make it a lot easier to stick with it until the new habit becomes the new normal for you.

Image by Graham (license).

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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 Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Roger Mphafe

    Each time I read your blog I feel renewed and refreshed. It is as if you know exactly what I am going through. I am on course to change my character, attitude and behavior. I do not keep many friends yet I am known by a lot of people. I want to start making friends and trusting but it seems quite a challenge at the moment. I interact with students on daily basis to motivate, tutor and counsel but I cannot seem to do the same for myself. So reading your blog is what really gets me going.

    • Anonymous

      Roger, I have similar sentiments. Hang in there you are not the only one!

  • I second this amazing advice, Henrik.

    A couple of year ago I would’ve never thought I’d be an early riser, an avid reader, a vegetarian and so on but it’s crazy how small changes like this can make a huge shift in your mindset and behavior over time.

    All you have to is make one tiny change, stick to it and watch the results accumulate like crazy over time.

  • IHENACHO, Godson

    This is excellent, thanks for encouraging me.

  • I loved this post as I am currently writing an ebook about this topic. Thanks a lot. :-)

  • Irma

    Hi Henrik!
    Thanks for the frequent pick-me-ups: I find myself scanning to your mails first thing when I start up my computer – it’s almost like the first cup of coffee in the morning: can’t do without them anymore!

    good luck and please keep writing!
    irma

  • Ian

    Thanks Henrik for all your emails, blogs and courses. The constant feed is always very motivating.
    In regards to stepping out of your comfort zone whether you make the move or not time is still going to move on, the next hour or day is still going to come so why not make the move; time is still going to be moving on.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Henrik
    I would like to express my heart full thanks ,

    always Best for you

  • TOM

    Thanks a lot.I am getting charged little by little each time I read your mail.Please do not relent

  • Meg

    Your articles are so encouraging and uplifting. They bring a smile to me each and every day :)! Please continue to write and spread the positivity :)!

  • NTEZIMANA JUSTIN

    thanks for this interesting topic, when you want to stay on comfort zone you follow the following : have self confidence, maintain your good health by taking balanced diet, regular exercise, improve your capacity, make good relationship with other, make creativity and innovation, become problem solving, use critical thinking and know to prioritize, change negative into positive and enjoy life.

  • Great post. I started my own business 2 years ago and in parts it has been hell but I have taken each problem as it comes and it has given me confidence to do other things. Going out of your comfort zone gives you strength and the knowledge that you will survive and you can achieve.

  • Hi,i like these blogs .i
    feel them helpful in taking the life that way,that we want.everytime I m waiting for the new blog.these r very easy steps to take nd follow.thank u mr. John

  • Hi Henrik!
    Thanks for your article! I find it interesting how for some periods in my life it was super easy to step out in the unknown and some other times it was really difficult. I noticed that with meditation my sense of security has moved from the outside (such as having a lot of money in the bank) to more inner securities (related to my spirituality!). The more I grow, the more risks I am willing and able to take!