Practical Ways to Shatter Your Comfort Zone

There comes a time when you get struck by complacency. Or maybe get tired of being the same person for too long.

Then, you can either shake things a little and bring a change in your life – or you can continue to overthink and sink in dissatisfaction.

This post has a list of practical steps that you can take to do the things that make you shudder so that you give up procrastination to an extent.

It contains no vague terms like do what scares you, or think outside the box. Just some concrete bulleted points that have worked for me.

But before that, here’s what stepping out of your comfort zone really means

Doing what’s right for you, even if it makes you uneasy.

Like giving up pastries when you’re a diabetic. Or learning data science although you abhor numbers.

These aren’t the things you love doing – but they make life easier or benefit you. You reap the rewards while bearing with slight discomfort.

Sounds fine? Now here’s what getting out of comfort zone doesn’t mean.

What giving up comfort zone doesn’t mean

Needlessly exhausting yourself and giving up your peace of mind doesn’t mean stepping out of your comfort zone.

You must focus on the outcomes and not on what makes you uncomfortable. The steps in this post are meant to inspire you to do what you’ve been holding back yourself from doing, either due to fear or overthinking.

And to help you get started with what you wouldn’t do otherwise.

You may skip this part if you’re in a hurry, but here are some genuine reasons why this list can help you

  • You’ll break the usual routine and make space for other facets of life
  • It’ll get easier for you to overcome the personality barriers
  • You’ll learn better by exposing yourself to different situations
  • You’ll overcome your fear by getting used to taking risks
  • Finally, welcoming randomness and getting ready for the unplanned instances can itself be interesting

Start with the easiest steps to change your attitude and then transition to bigger decisions. You can do it slowly.

Finally, pick what works for you from the ideas shared below. You don’t have to do everything, but you’ll notice when a thought resonates with you.

Here’s a comprehensive list of steps you can take to step out of your comfort zone:

1. Get a different haircut

You’ll feel weird and uncomfortable, however, you’ll break your resistance about bringing minor changes in your life.

It’s probably the smallest change you can make.

2. Change your toothpaste and soap brand

You live in a cozy space full of preferences that you’re fond of – but that makes you too used to sameness.

Make space for newness by giving up the old favorites.

3. Exercise every day, for a month

You don’t have to sweat like a bodybuilder or commit to having six-pack abs.

It’s more about staying disciplined– so start with about ten pushups each day, or try the 30-day fitness challenge.

4. Take a different seat

In plane or bus or classroom.

Most of us are subconsciously inclined to choose the same places. But next time, give up your usual side and choose a different seat or berth.  

5. Uninstall your favorite app

Leave it for a week. Or uninstall it. Whether it’s Instagram or that investment app that you think makes you smart – let it go for a while.

You’ll feel at peace and find other important activities worth doing.

6. Change your reading genre

Switch from self-help to classics.

Or from adult fiction to business.

This change can be tedious when you’re not a huge aficionado of certain genres, but that’s how you expose yourself to the vastness of the world out there.  Browse this site to find recommendations from your favorite people.

7. Take cold showers

Initially, you may get chills down your spine – but you’ll love it. I tried it for four months of winter and felt better.

Not everyone has to do it, but it can be useful, considering how cold showers can improve your immunity and relieve depression.

8. Change the way you dress

Shave your mustache, try formal shoes, or don a hoodie.

Try some colors if you’ve been a minimalist. But basically, adapt a different dressing style than usual.  

9. Reply fast to emails

Type your thoughts after you receive a notification and click send.

It supports your decision making and forces you to gather your thoughts concisely.

10. Rearrange your furniture

It feels wonderful, like entering a new home.

It’s rare that changing furniture can make you uncomfortable. Rather, it adds a feeling of newness to an otherwise obvious life.

11. Listen to an unusual playlist

Listen with an intention to understand, not to judge.

Rap, opera, reggae or anything you haven’t heard before.

Start with Richard Wagner maybe – Nietzsche adored his music and Salvador Dali died while listening to his Tristan und Isolde.

12. Create a video diary

Turn on the phone camera, speak up about what’s happening in your life, and save it on cloud.

It can will be uncomfortable – but two years later it will seem worth it.

You’ll notice how you’ve progressed in life, what life was like then, and gather some lovely clips of your family.

13. Get rid of a superstitions

Leave behind your lucky charms.

Stop weird practices, like turning back because of a black cat or touching wood when someone congratulates you. It can be liberating.

14. Try a guided meditation session

The initial experience of getting started can be weird for many, but as you see your thoughts fall in place and observe your body relax, you’ll often return to it.

It can be exciting if you’ve never tried it. I suggest that you follow this fifteen-minute video by Mingyur Rinpoche.

15. Spill your feelings

Write down your deepest feelings in a journal or a password protected word document.

Doing so can work as therapy and take away the weight that you carry in your heart.

Secondly, you can also use whatever you write for introspecting, which is like talking to yourself in your head and then evaluating your innermost feelings.

16. Don’t use your phone right after you wake up

Make sure it’s not the first thing you see in the morning – not before the sun or chirping birds. Step out, even if it’s only for five minutes after you wake up.

Allow your body and mind to grasp the mornings before you fill it with the internet junk – and stay consistent for about fifteen days.

17. Try traveling alone

It’ll help you overcome a bunch of insecurities and fears.

Or do the exact opposite and hang out in groups instead – because that requires getting used to socializing (Which is something I struggle with).

Choose the approach you usually avoid – and go to a nearby places if money is a problem.

18. Eat something you don’t like

But what’s healthy for you.

Like, a personally hated vegetable or cups of green tea. It can be really difficult if you’re always particular about taste.

Yet, simple food can do wonders.

19. Go vegan (or vegetarian) for a month

Tough? It depends.

Lionel Messi sticks to a vegan diet for a few weeks before the playing season. Joaquin Phoenix has been vegan since he was three.

Personally, I watched Earthlings and didn’t consume dairy products for more than a month – just to practice some self-control.

Going vegan, cutting down sugar, intermittent fasting – all these ways allow you to take better control of your body.  

20. Avoid late-night snacking

Say, you wouldn’t eat or snack after 7 p.m. or 9 p.m., because that ruins digestion and any chances of good sleep.  

Been there; done that.

Those pangs of hunger inside your stomach can make you crave the tastiest stuff, but snacking at night destroys your sleep and then you wake up feeling drained the next day.

21. Place things where you pick them from

In short, get organized.

Pay attention to where you keep your belongings or see if you have a specified place for your keys and phone.  You’ll find a gap for improving how you take care of things.

22. Question yourself, a lot

Ask what makes you happy. Ask why you want a certain job. Ask yourself what excuses you’re making. And be persistent about discovering the truths for self-awareness.

The process can be painful because it’s philosophical and bothering, but you’re also left with more clarity when you’re done.

23. Make a list of tasks that you’re shunning

Resolve to complete the responsibilities that you’ve been avoiding by adding them to your to-do list.

It can include making a budget, completing the pending paperwork, or keeping a journal finally.

24. Stay someplace else

In a new city or a different state.

Basically, someplace where you’re required to explore and learn things on your own, manage your finances, and do the usual chores along with a regular day job.

I don’t believe that it has a lifechanging effect – but initially, it does help in becoming more accountable.

25. Do jobs imperfectly

Be an imperfectionist and dare to screw up occasionally.

It’s also important to silence the control freak inside you.

I’ve realized that perfection can be a bigger problem than procrastination itself. In some cases, perfection causes unnecessary anxiety.

So it becomes necessary to make blunders and lower standards just to be able to work more and to work without burden.  

26. Change the brands

No need to be a fanatic.

The fact is that the labels on your t-shirt or chips packet don’t define you. Staying too attached to them can close the doors to new experiences.

So, try out the product offered by different brands for a while – then you can go back to your comfort zone if that bothers you too much.

27. Break one strong habit

Like biting nails or cracking knuckles. It’s difficult but it helps you become disciplined in other aspects of life.

You may triumph or lose – but it’s still worth a shot.

28. Got to a new place without using a cellphone

The point here is to temporarily give up your dependence on technology. And yes, Google Maps particularly. Just make sure that you’re safe.

29. Talk to strangers

Try it with the cab driver or the shopkeeper maybe – initiating conversations can be easy.

Here’s a trick: ask a question or talk about how things have changed around the city.

30. Watch different artists perform

Not live concerts but stuff from the internet – as it will increase your patience and improve your ability to listen when you’re uninterested.  

Also, watch documentaries even if you don’t get them.

31. Sit doing nothing

Watch your thoughts but don’t act.

Aim for five minutes at least.

It teaches you to calm down. It’s useful in a time when we’re stuck to screens all the time and have forgotten the art of doing nothing.  

32. Consume different media

Listen to the news on podcasts, use videos to learn, and read articles often.

Trying methods other than the ones that you’ve got used to brings flexibility to your learning.

33. Spend time with new people

Spending time doesn’t mean hanging out together for hours or becoming best friends.

Simply initiate new conversations and get to know the people around you to overcome any insecurities.

If you’re not social, then maybe hang out with people at workplace or talk a few minutes more with an acquaintance.

34. Go out, once, briefly

Or ensure that you won’t stay home for consecutive weekends.

Go to a nearby mall, beach, or theatre – but don’t stay at home.

Even going for a brisk walk around you neighborhood counts.

35. Choose an alternative communication mode

Call instead of emailing, text instead of calling. Do what you usually wouldn’t do.  

36. Do one embarrassing thing

Alright, this one got tricky, but it helps you dissolve your ego and take life less seriously. Try singing or dancing at a party.

Bad memories often serve as a reminder about the times when you didn’t care and went ahead anyway – sort of fun and regretful at the same time.  

37. Do the chores

It’s tough, useful, and you need to do them anyway. There’s no way around.

38. Speak up when you need to

Don’t conceal emotions.

Not the ones that can make you restless if you don’t share them immediately. Share that idea, confront that impolite coworker, and get done with what needs to be said. 

39. Ask the question you’ve been holding

Ask for help, ask about what you don’t know, and ask about what you want. You won’t know the answers or what you deserve unless you ask.  

40. Say yes for opportunities

Saying yes despite insecurities and fears opens doors to memorable experiences. The next time, raise your hand and volunteer instead of finding a corner to hide in.

41. Say no for assertion

Be assertive when you need to – despite your soft-spoken attitude and introversion.

It can save you from the burden of unrealistic expectations and prevent you from becoming a scapegoat.

42. Maintain eye contact

And don’t be the one who looks down first. Don’t budge and stay firm during those random interactions. It improves your confidence

43. Do a childish thing

Like playing see-saw in the park, running inside a mall, or an activity you loved as a child.

Who knows, buy soap bubbles and balloons for no reason (or maybe not). The best idea, watch the cartoons you enjoyed as a child.

44. Be who you’re afraid of being

You can be normal, too. Don’t be so careful, self-conscious in public.

It’s one of those ‘easier said than done,’ tasks but life’s easier when you give up the imaginary expectations and false image you have in your head about yourself.

45. Call a random old friend

You know, the people you think about at random instances but don’t call.

Maybe you’re thinking about somebody right now. Call them this week if you’re serious about all these things you’re reading.

46. Express anger publicly, once

Speak up about what annoys you. Or express your dissatisfaction through a blog post.

Venting is surely not the best way to convey your feelings, but holding feelings for too long can hurt equally.

47. Decide, decide, decide

Order food from the menu, give clothing suggestions, and make small shopping decisions in a snap. 

And that’s all.

There you have it – a concise list of 40+ ideas to get out of your comfort zone, as promised. Additionally, you can bookmark this post by pressing Ctrl + D.