This article was co-authored by Arda Ozdemir, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Madeleine Criglow. Arda Ozdemir is the Executive Coach and Founder of Rise 2 Realize, a nonprofit organization in Palo Alto, California that is dedicated to providing a practical roadmap toward one's full potential in their life and career. Arda is a Reiki Master, an Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner, and a certified HeartMath Trainer and Mentor.
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There's not a lot of room for adventure and excitement in your comfort zone. To add a little zest to your life, it's important to try new and sometimes scary things. Stretch your limits! Getting outside of your comfortable box may be tough at first, but facing unfamiliar challenges can make you happier and more fulfilled in the long run. To help you out, we've rounded up some of the best, most effective strategies for stepping out of your comfort zone and adding more excitement to your life.
1 1 of 13:Do small daily activities that you normally wouldn't do. Download Article
- Challenge yourself in small ways every day. Look for ways to step outside of your comfort zone by taking tiny actions.XResearch source Once you've made stepping out of your comfort zone into a daily routine, it'll be much easier to handle bigger challenges.XResearch source
- For example, you could start up a conversation with a stranger at the grocery store, listen to a new genre of music on your drive to work, or try a different flavored coffee in the morning.
2 2 of 13:Change your usual habits to mix it up. Download Article
- If you're stuck in a rut, break the pattern! Look for spots in your life that feel repetitive or monotonous. If you always go to the same coffee shop each morning, try the other one across the street instead. Changing up your routine helps bring new experiences into your life.XResearch source
- Maybe you'll become friends with the barista at the new coffee shop, or perhaps you'll discover a new favorite coffee drink. Target any opportunity in your day-to-day to step outside your comfort zone and liven up your life!
- Even small changes can enrich your life. If you always order vanilla ice cream, go for caramel next time.
3 3 of 13:Turn every day into a learning experience. Download Article
- Change the way you view your day-to-day life. Look at each day as a chance for you to learn something new. Remember that this can only happen if you're stepping outside your comfort zone. You can do this by always making an effort to find ways to grow.XResearch source
- Start a book you've been meaning to read. Buy a different newspaper than the one you always read. Take a different route to get to work. You never know what you'll learn about the world when you explore different sides of it!
4 4 of 13:Pick activities that challenge you. Download Article
- Think about a few things that scare you or make you nervous. Write them down in a list, and put a star next to the one you want to start with. You can tackle the others later. Making a list helps you formulate a plan for how exactly you want to put yourself out there. Rather than just thinking about it, coming up with specific ideas forces you to put these plans in motion.XResearch source
- Your list may include things like: "Go skydiving, read Moby Dick, write a short story, go on a blind date."
5 5 of 13:Ask yourself why you want to tackle these new obstacles. Download Article
- Come up with a reason (or a few). Think about what you're going to get out of these new experiences. Once you have your answers, write them down on a piece of paper and keep it with you. Return to the paper anytime you want to back out. This can help remind you why you originally wanted to step out of your comfort zone and boost your motivation.XResearch source
- If you're going on a blind date, for example, you might tell yourself: "I've gone on lots of dates I set up myself, and I haven't met someone I can picture myself with long term. This could be my chance!"
- Maybe you want to move to a new city, but you're afraid you'll miss your friends and family in your hometown. Remind yourself why you originally set out to move, such as better job opportunities and the chance to meet new friends.
6 6 of 13:Bring a buddy for some added support. Download Article
- Doing something new on your own can make it even more challenging. There's no reason you can't rely on friends or family to help you get out of your comfort zone! Pick someone who's naturally adventurous to be your partner in trying new experiences. If you set a goal to hike somewhere new every weekend, for example, bring a friend along! It'll be more fun to reach the end of the trail with a buddy, and they can make you feel more comfortable navigating the unfamiliar terrain.XResearch source
- Your partner-in-crime should be aware of what you are doing and want to go along with it, too. If you decided you want to learn how to cook, ask a friend who's into food to take a cooking class with you.
7 7 of 13:Do some research to get more information. Download Article
- You'll be more comfortable trying new things if you're informed. This new activity might feel like you're facing a big question mark at first. To answer all your lingering questions, go online and read about it. This will leave you feeling a little less lost, and can even help you get excited for the change! Make sure the information you find is reputable to ensure you're knowledgeable and prepared.XResearch source
- Let's say you're moving to New York City, but you don't know anything about it. Research the different neighborhoods you could live in, how to navigate the subway system, and all the fun things you can do in the city.
- Try for .gov, .org, or .edu websites when you can. Otherwise, be sure to avoid sites with misspellings or formatting problems.
- The Internet can sometimes be overwhelming. While it's a great idea to be more informed, don't dig so deep that you start scaring yourself with scenarios that are unlikely to happen to you.
8 8 of 13:Break the activity down into small steps. Download Article
- You don't have to do the activity all at once. If you're feeling intimidated by the challenge you've picked, make it a multi-step process that will let you slowly climb that mountain. Conquering your fears gradually can help ease you into new challenges. Think of it like learning how to swim. You start in the shallow end and work your way to the deepest part of the pool with time!XResearch source
9 9 of 13:Give yourself an ultimatum. Download Article
- Don't give yourself an out. Tell yourself that you're trying this new thing, or you'll "take away" some other daily activity you enjoy. Maybe you want to take a painting class, but you're nervous because you've never painted before. In fact, you suddenly fear you won't enjoy painting at all. Tell yourself that if you don't go through with the class, you won't be allowed to watch the new episode of your favorite TV show.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Business ReviewOnline and print journal covering topics related to business management practicesGo to source
- If you don't like the new thing, you never have to try it again. Just make yourself try it once so that you can make an informed decision about whether you like it or not.
- The punishment for your ultimatum should be primarily mental, but if you're really struggling, make it concrete. Say to yourself: "No coffee for a month if I don't try this."
10 10 of 13:Think positively to overcome fear Download Article
- Visualize challenges as chances to grow. The biggest obstacle keeping you from stepping out of your comfort zone is fear, especially fear of failure. Instead of focusing on the possibility of failure, think of steps outside your comfort zone as opportunities. You may be right around the corner from changing your life for the better!XResearch source
- Stepping out of your comfort zone can make you happier and more fulfilled. Keep those positive possibilities at the front of your mind to push out the fears.
- For example, you want to throw your name in the ring for a promotion that just came up at work, but you're terrified of not getting the job. Instead of focusing on that outcome, imagine what could happen if you get it!
11 11 of 13:Coach yourself through scary situations. Download Article
- Some good self-talk can be really helpful in these moments. When stepping outside of your comfort box, repeat encouraging, positive phrases to yourself. Use your name and the first person to make it more effective.XResearch source
- You can say something like: "Jenna, I know you're scared, but you're going to try this anyway. Just think about how much fun you could have! You're strong and brave."
- You can even find a quiet spot or a private bathroom and talk to yourself out loud in the mirror.
- This can really help you with that final push. You're in the plane, ready to jump out for your very first skydiving experience. Don't stop now!
12 12 of 13:Practice deep breathing to relieve stress. Download Article
- Take deep breaths and focus on filling your belly with nice, clean air. As you breathe in, picture yourself also taking in confidence. Once this confidence has filled you up, it's there to stay. Release your breath and your insecurities along with it. This will help you relax and actually enjoy life's new challenges, as you won't be so distracted by feelings of stress, insecurity, or fear.XResearch source
- This can be a great daily exercise, or something you do right before you need an extra boost of confidence. For example, be sure to take a few deep breaths before you meet your blind date.
13 13 of 13:Picture the worst-case scenario to put your fear in perspective. Download Article
- Ask yourself, "what's the worst that could possibly happen?" Think about ways you could deal with those circumstances if they happened. Once you're prepared for the worst, you can only be happily surprised by something better!XResearch source
- Avoid answering your question with crazy possibilities like: "I could die." If you do this, then follow it up by thinking through how unlikely that is.
- Let's say you want to take a cross-country road trip, but all you can think about is getting stranded if you break down or run out of gas. Make a plan for this! Bring along an extra gas tank and a radio to get in touch with emergency services.
Expert Q&A Did you know you can get expert answers for this article?Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow
- QuestionWhat does it mean to step out of your comfort zone?Stepping out of your comfort zone means expanding your horizons and courageously facing your fears. You can live a fuller life and live to a higher potential. Most comfort zones are built on fears, and stepping out of the zone shows a readiness to face your fears and expand your options and understanding of the world.
- QuestionWhy is it good to step out of your comfort zone?
- QuestionHow do you step out of your comfort zone examples?The biggest way I stepped outside my comfort zone is leaving my old career in the finance corporate world. I answered my calling to help and service others. I left finance because I didn't enjoy making a large impact for the company but not for society. I left a large income and lifestyle and followed my calling to become a life coach, which meant leaving my comfort zone, facing my fears, and following my dreams.
- Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can require lots of time. Don't panic, be patient and always believe that nothing is impossible.
- It's good to not know what will happen, to ignore dangers a little bit less, and to take risks a little bit more. Just don't ignore dangers too much -- always keep yourself safe and do not take risks you will end up regretting in the future!
- Don't confuse stepping out of your comfort zone with being reckless.
About This Article
If you want to step out of your comfort zone, try starting with small things so it doesn’t seem like a big jump. For example, talk to a stranger at the grocery store or listen to a new genre of music. Once these small challenges become a daily routine, you’ll find it much easier to tackle bigger challenges. You can also ask a friend to join you for support in doing an activity that’s outside your comfort zone, like an exercise class or skydiving. If you’re feeling stressed about the activity, take deep breaths to help calm yourself down. Remember to approach your challenge with a positive outlook, which will encourage you to take it head on. For instance, if you’re worried about applying for a promotion at work because you don’t think you’ll get it, imagine what it would be like if you did get it. For tips from our co-author on how to break up larger challenges into manageable steps, keep reading!