“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett
Remaining in your bubble of perceived security and playing it safe will never leave you fulfilled.
I know. Getting out of your comfort zone is scary. However, you’ll never find real fulfillment and satisfaction by playing it safe. You cannot live your life by adhering to someone else’s plans.
Despite my fears as an introvert, I have continuously made the decision to venture outside of my comfort zone. This resulted in me finding some amazing friendships, investing in life-long hobbies, advancing in my career, and meeting an amazing and compatible partner.
However, I know that it’s easier said than done: heart palpitations, nervous sweats, endless thoughts racing from extreme to the other. I’ve been there. The fear of unpredictability and uncertainty pushes us further away from our aspirations.
What if I told you that there are low-risk/high reward steps that you can take today to prime our brain into reaching your highest potential.
In this blog post, we will go over 11 easy ways to leave your comfort zone, all of which are low-risk and high reward. These steps will give you the confidence to take the actions that truly matter.
1. Smile, wave, or talk to a stranger
In today’s world, it’s rare for strangers to interact. Heck, we barely acknowledge one another. I’ve tried to strike a conversation with others, only to be ignored time after time.
But the many other times my efforts at interaction were met with a reciprocal response. Because of that, I was presented with unique opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten if I never initiated.
The worst that could happen is that they won’t wave back to you and you both move on with your day.
2. Genuinely Compliment Someone
Since we are so disconnected and rushed, random acts of kindness are becoming more obsolete. As stated before, we spend fewer efforts on small talk and acknowledgment, and more time trying to survive and put up with our lives.
Genuinely complimenting someone can make their day, and their reaction can make yours as well. You might even make a new acquaintance.
3. Try a Free Fitness Class
I’ve always been interested in martial arts and fitness, but trying a new class at a new place never fails to scare me. However, the benefit of this is that most people know you’re a beginner. There is no pressure to perform.
Moreover, the best part is that most trial classes are free.
There is nothing to lose. If you find out that if the class isn’t for you, you can always try something different. Conversely, you can find your newfound passion. Despite my anxiety being at an all-time high, the feeling of regret makes me even more anxious. I never regret trying something out, but I’ll always regret not even starting.
4. Send a cold email
This could be to someone whose work you look up to, to an expert in something you’re interested in, or to an organization you want to work with. As long as you’re being respectful, there is nothing to lose.
The risk is relatively low here, as the worst that can happen is not getting an answerback. However, you might receive an answer when you least expected it, potentially finding new opportunities and building new relationships, all from one email and a small leap of faith.
5. Put out new content and share your perspective
Did you know that only 1% of people on the internet actively put out content? In this perspective, social media and blogging don’t seem that competitive now.
Rather than continuously consuming and storing content, try contributing, whether that be through commenting, writing a blog post, uploading your art, or posting a selfie on your social media. This will help you become more comfortable with articulating and expressing your thoughts and perspective.
6. Drive someplace new/take a new road
Our comfort lies in performing familiar tasks and patterns, but changing our routine can benefit us and help us become more confident.
One easy way you can introduce novelty is to drive someplace new or to just simply take a different route to work or any other areas you frequent.
You can use this as a justification to go on a road trip or to go to that nice coffee shop you haven’t been to before.
7. Challenge yourself to do Novel Tasks
It is common to have limiting beliefs. Sometimes we don’t feel adequate, think that we’re not smart enough, or believe that we’ll never succeed. We all have these thoughts.
A simple way to challenge this is to perform tasks that you have never done before.
Despite driving for well over five years, the thought of changing a tire never came across my mind. I thought it was a task that only men know how to do.
However, I recently dedicated myself to learning how to do it. After successfully changing a tire, I realized it wasn’t so bad and that I am a lot more capable than I thought. This can apply to anyone and any task.
Exposure and successfully tackling novel tasks will boost your confidence, help you become a better problem-solver, and stimulate creativity.1
Even if things don’t go according to your plan, these experiences help you learn from your mistakes so that you can have the confidence to face failure and better yourself.
8. Try New Foods
This is a small and extremely effective step that anybody can take at any time. Challenge your comfort zone in terms of the foods you eat.
Go to a restaurant you would have never thought of going to, try cooking something new, or try a piece of food you have never tried before.
The more you try something, the more you’ll get used to that feeling of uncertainty. Soon, you’ll embrace that feeling, knowing that something good will come out of it.
Volunteering is a great way to get yourself out there and interact with different types of people.
There are no grandiose expectations from you. They don’t pay you. You’re helping out of the good of your own heart. Volunteering is a great opportunity to make new friends, learn, and give to your community.
Also, it has been proven that volunteering does wonders for your health. Studies have shown that it is beneficial to one’s mental health, confidence, happiness, and a lot more.2
10. Hum even when other people are around
This might sound awkward, but it’ll help you find comfort in uncomfortable situations. You don’t have to go all out and belt notes. A quiet hum to accompany you throughout the day can help tune distractions out. Start with whatever makes you comfortable.
This helps build up the resilience you need when confronting others. It’ll also help you learn how to not give a crap about other people’s opinion.
Hum out all the naysayers, especially when they think they know you better than you know yourself.
11. Take yourself out on a date.
Learning how to be comfortable with being alone is important. You don’t need people paying attention to you 24/7.
Coming to terms with that is empowering, as you learn to love yourself. Learn to do what’s best for you by following your intuition and interests.
Enjoy your own company, treat yourself to a good movie and meal, and do you, the way you know best.
No matter where you are, you can always work towards your desired life. Confrontation, taking risks, and leaving your comfort zone is hard, but necessary to get where we truly want.
Here is your to-do list:
- Wave and smile to one person every day
- Compliment someone once a week
- Try one free fitness class
- Send one cold email to someone you look up to
- Comment on one blog post
- Take a new route to work/school or go somewhere new
- Challenge yourself to a new task
- Try a type of food you never tried before
- Volunteer for something you believe in
- Hum around your family and friends
- Treat yourself to a good date alone
Integrate these steps into your life today so you can reach for that opportunity and make the life-changing decisions you need to despite the opinions of others.
These are truly actionable and easy ways to leave your comfort zone. Live a life that is best for you rather than what other people think is best.
Did you ever leave your comfort zone? Let me know about your experiences in the comments below!