If most of your days consist of the same mundane things (AKA going to work, watching TV, being BFFs with your dog, repeat), then it might be time to switch things up. Getting out of your comfort zone is probably one of the most important things you could ever do. Yes, you might feel nauseous at the thought of speaking in front of hundreds of people or traveling to an unknown part of a country by yourself, but these experiences are essential for you to live a fulfilling life.
"Each day our world is continually becoming more comfortable behind a computer screen, making it that much harder to have meaningful connections with those around us. Last year I did something I called 'leaping into the unknown' and it's what brought me here today. I left a job I loved to pursue this idea of a kinder world having no idea how it would end up but just believing in the idea. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever been through and yet I'm happier than I've ever been," says founder of Kindness.org Jaclyn Lindsey in an interview with Bustle over email.
Take a leap of faith and try any of these nine tricks to help you get out of your comfort zone.
1. Connect With New People
Life is about the connections you choose to make with others. Some of your best memories most likely involve other people who you've grown to know and love. Consider reaching out to people — whether it's through social media or in person — to expand your network and gain new friends. "[Get] out of your comfort zone and [meet] someone new. [Some] ideas include having a meaningful conversation with a service professional, such as your cab driver or barista. Another initiative involves reaching out to someone you’ve lost touch with. These both challenge people to do something a little outside the norm," says Lindsey.
2. Begin The Day By Doing Things You Love
You'll most likely be more inclined to try something new if you're in a good mood. Start the day by doing things that will make you happy, whether that be going for a walk or sipping on your favorite tea. "I encourage people to start their morning early! Take time to journal, meditate, watch a TED talk, read a chapter from a favorite book, listen to a song that brings you joy, sit in silence, watch the sunrise, don't look at your phone, and be open to listening to yourself," says Lindsey
3. Travel Somewhere New
There's nothing more exciting than traveling to a new country or city. However, sometimes it can feel a little daunting to explore the unknown. And while I would have agreed with this statement in the beginning of this year, a few months ago I traveled across the pond to the hidden (and super high-quality) sparkling wine region of Franciacorta, Italy, where I got to explore the vineyards and meet new people — something I never thought I would ever do. "I partnered with Topdeck Travel for their wellness program called MOVE because, to me, there is no sweeter way to completely leave your comfort zone then to rise to the occasion of exciting travel and simultaneously go inward to be the best that you can be," says meditation guru and Topdeck MOVE spokesperson Biet Simkin in an interview with Bustle over email.
4. Try New Experiences With Someone You're Comfortable With
If the thought of trying something new makes you want to shelter underneath the covers for all eternity, then it might be a good idea to ask a friend to join you. "We love the idea of getting out of your comfort zone with a loved one by doing something kind. Sometimes even the smallest acts can help friends feel empowered to do more. For instance, you can ask a friend to help you clean up the litter in your neighborhood, park, or beyond. Or you can grab a colleague you don’t know as well and go for a walk together (leaving social media and the online world behind). The options are limitless of ways to not only get out of your comfort zone but spread kindness while you do it," says Lindsey
5. Be Vocal About Your Wants
"It is uncomfortable to talk about what we 'really' want because we are afraid if we say it out loud others will hold us to accomplishing it. So many of us stay silent. What we don't get is that by not speaking and pursuing it we block ourselves from joy," says Simkin. Don't prevent yourself from being happy because you're afraid to speak up about your wants. You never know who can help you achieve your desires if you don't communicate it out to the world.
6. Challenge & Hold Yourself Accountable
Even though it can be intimidating to try something new and be out of your comfort zone, you don't want to give up the minute something doesn't go the way you thought it would. Hold yourself accountable when you have a slip-up and challenge yourself to keep moving forward. "It is uncomfortable to push for new heights in your career, to seek a perfect romance, to travel the world, to pursue excellence. It is uncomfortable. However, we will all die one day and it is my belief that we are allowed to find bliss now. When we do something totally new externally and try something totally new internally that is when the magic happens," says Simkin.
7. Be More Spontaneous
"Do something unpredictable that no one would expect from you, like going on a road trip, that you never planned to do — changes of scenery, location, and spontaneous decisions have brought me a lot of new positive emotions," says CEO and co-founder of Grabr Daria Rebenok in an interview with Bustle over email. Say "yes" more often to things you would normally not do. You may be surprise to find out things about yourself that you've never known before.
8. Let Your Friends Take Charge
Being in control allows you to determine exactly how you want your life to go, but sometimes this way of living can permit you to be a creature of habit and miss out on some great opportunities. "If you are the person who is always the one in charge of deciding where to go, what to eat, what to buy and etc, just for one day let your friend or someone you love to take control of the decisions and enjoy it," says Rebenok.
9. Try Something New Once A Month
If you don't want to feel overwhelmed, opt to try something new once a month instead of every week. This is a great way to gradually ease yourself into becoming more comfortable with the thought of being uncomfortable so you can live an adventurous life."Every month go and try something new: discover new hobbies, sports, food, people, and learn new skills," says Rebenok.
Take the lead in your life by using these tips to get you uncomfortable. Take your time and try new things with familiar friends. You might enjoy this new lifestyle more than you realize.