Comfort Zone Escape Plans. 11 Break Out Ideas

Comfort Zone Escape Plans: Introduction

We call it a comfort zone because, well, it’s comfortable.

“I’m happy to sit at the back of the class where no one will notice me.”

“I never volunteer for anything.”

“I don’t like to drive outside my neighborhood because I might get lost.

Whether we like it or not, life, living, is  risky. Most of us try to mitigate that risk by building a fortress around ourselves.

We get comfortable with living small.

But you weren’t called here to live small.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

Source: John A Shedd

To live a life of purpose is to be called to venture beyond your shire.

Feeling comfortable?

Welcome to the trap.

Nothing new or spectacular happens in that comfortable place. Nothing changes.

If you want to grow and experience new things, it’s necessary to move beyond your comfort zone. This is easier said than done.

Your brain makes your comfort zone feel good, because it believes that’s where you’re safe. The only way to go outside that zone is to endure some discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the discomfort.

With time, you can teach yourself to enjoy this uncomfortable feeling, because you understand the potential it holds.


“The best piece of advice someone has ever given me was ‘do it scared.’
And no matter if you’re scared, just go ahead and do it anyway because you might as well do it scared,
so it will get done and you will feel so much better if you step out of your comfort zone.” –

Source: Sherri Shepherd

Try these 11 breakout ideas

1 When it gets difficult outside the comfort zone put your awareness on your surroundings.

What ultimately makes you feel emotionally uncomfortable are your thoughts. You imagine the worst. You ruminate. You create stress and then proceed to magnify it.

The image reminds us about having a Positive AttitudeOne way to short-circuit this process is to turn your attention outward and focus on your environment. When you feel uncomfortable, focus on what you can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch.


What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more,
to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks
where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes,
or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that
tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!

Source: Helen Keller



2 Mentally rehearse. 

Studies show that mental rehearsal can be just as real to your brain as the real thing. Before acting outside of your comfort zone, mentally rehearse your actions and success in that situation. 

Journal Sketch for visualizing a situation

 Creating a drawing or sketch is one way to enhance visualization. 

Mentally rehearse by writing in the present tense in colored ink using all your senses to create a vivid idea of what you will be doing.

The more you practice (in your mind), the easier it will be for you when the time comes to physically do it.

This can easily be done in bed just before falling asleep and immediately after awakening.

These are two powerful moments everyone should avoid wasting!

Don’t be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone. That’s where the joy and the adventure lie.”

Source: Herbie Hancock

3 Change your wardrobe

What! Change my wardrobe? I bet that feels like a non sequitur. But it makes more sense than  you think.

A jean jacket on a field of grass. Change your styleYou’re accustomed to dressing a certain way. Dressing in your usual manner doesn’t evoke any anxiety.

An effective way to turn up the heat a bit is to change your style.

You’ll feel slightly out of place, and at least a few people are bound to draw attention to the change.

Don’t stop at just one unconscious habit. 

Change other things you do habitually too. 

The biggest habit you need to break is you.  

You can’t change your world without changing yourself.

“If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself, and reinvent a new self.”

Source: Joe Dispenza

4 Take a new route home

This is similar to number 3.

Freeway traffic at dusk with car lightsWe become so habituated to our routine that we actually stop seeing our surroundings.

I’m sure if you’ve ever commuted to work for while you’ve often arrived at work or back home and can’t remember part of the drive.

It’s a scary feeling!

Over the many years I commuted to work I tried a variety of methods to keep the experience fresh.

I took a number of different routes purposely exploring every little nuance to change up the route. I’d ask myself, what is my best snow route home? I develop three snow routes. What’s the best way to avoid rush hour on the freeway? 

Make it fun.

I also played this game to see  how many new things I could spot along the way each day.

This is one really simple way to break out of your comfort zone.

Even if you walk to work or work from home. Stop reading this for a second and look around your immediate environment and notice something you’ve never noticed before.

“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Source: Jim Rohn

5 Give someone a compliment.

Giving compliments can be a little nerve-racking. We worry about what the other person might think our motives are or we’ve grown up in a family where insults rule the day.

You are Awesome with a happy faceSo after all, you don’t know how they’ll take it.

You also know that you’re putting them on the spot because they’re forced to provide a reply.

Receiving compliments can also be a challenge because we tend to downplay compliments through social conditioning.

Practice saying thank you without any additional comment.

No matter how uncomfortable it is, it’s ultimately a positive experience for everyone involved and an effective way to stretch your comfort zone safely.

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
Source: Brian Tracy



I want to challenge you today to get out of your comfort zone. You have so much incredible potential on the inside. God has put gifts and talents in you that you probably don’t know anything about.

Source: Joel Osteen

6 Spend time with risk-takers

The people you spend time with matter. Spend time with risk-takers, and you’re bound to feel a little bolder.

This could be someone you’ve always felt uncomfortable around. Someone you think of as pushy or too fun-loving, or too flamboyant for you.

When I first started coming to Panama for the winters I promised myself to say yes to adventures no matter how terrified I felt. That promise pushed me way outside my comfort zone on many occasions. This has resulted in the best adventures of my life which I would not trade for anything.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Source: Eleanor Roosevelt

7 Usually what we imagine as a worst-case situation never materializes.

I’m sure you experienced this for yourself. 

A little kitten showing aniety about leaving it's comfort zoneCan you remember obsessing over a situation you know was going to be really really bad, and then nothing happened? Or the outcome was good?

Many of the most rewarding opportunities in life have few downsides and huge upsides.

Approaching an attractive person and applying for a job over your head are two simple examples.

There are plenty of options in life with great upside and minimal downside. Realizing this can reduce your anxiety.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Source: Mark Twain

8 Take tiny steps

This can’t be stressed enough. 

Yes, dream big. Perhaps you want to go mountain climbing but you are terrified of heights, snow, and cold. 

A worman in a gym working out to get outside her comfort zoneYou may be out of shape and need to get into condition.

When you are escaping from your comfort zone use a little common sense.

Figure out what your first small steps outside your comfort zone should be.

In the case of climbing mountains perhaps you need to join the gym and start working out.

Perhaps joining a hiking club will help you develop the skills you need to aim higher.

Taking too big a step right away is a big mistake. This could send you scurrying back into that nice safe, warm comfortable space. 

“Anything you to do to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone will ultimately enable you to take larger risks and grow.”

Source: Leslie Evans

9 Involve a friend.

Take a friend along with you. Do you want to become comfortable talking to strangers? Would you like to take salsa lessons? Drag a friend along with you to any activity you’d like to try. You’ll have the support and you won’t feel alone.

Two young friends

This goes to the old saw that there is safety in numbers.

A really good friend of mine could talk to anyone about anything without hesitation or self -consciousness. Just standing next to him opened the door to so many interesting conversations that I am eternally grateful for his ability to drag me out of my comfort zone.

Sometimes matching yourself with some who is the opposite to you can work wonders in areas where you want to expand in your life.

My other suggestion here is to take a big breath and go out and find groups of like-minded people. 

Meet Up. Com is a great place to start exploring the possibility of your own local area. 

I discovered a large number of my current friends using this very simple method. 

Comfort zone has the most comfortable bed in life where dreams become alive in your mind but never become a reality because you never get up from bed to make it happen.

Source: Oscar Bimpong

10 Pretend you’re a brave person

As children, we had no problem taking on any role without hesitation or fear. Be it superman or a clown. We’d jump into those roles with gusto and actually live the role.

A sign says BE BraveWell, you’re all grown up now and you’ve learned to stifle your imagination.

Because you restrain yourself like this you hold yourself in your comfort zone.

Escaping that zone requires bravery on your part. 

Take a page from your childhood and go out and play the role of being brave.

Imagine you’re an actor. How would you think, stand, and behave if you had to pretend you were brave?

Become that person and take action.

Magic and mystery lies on the edge, just outside the comfort zone.

Source: Amit Ray

11 Try something new

A snowboarder in mid jump Take up a new activity that isn’t very threatening. It could be trying a new restaurant, going to see a play, dusting off your bike and going for a ride, learning to ride a motorcycle, or taking tennis lessons.

Download our Do Something Differently Worksheet.

Keep it handy for when things start to feel a little stale. Pick something from your list and go out and do it.

Again let me repeat. You don’t need to jump out of a plane (though that would certainly get you out of your comfort zone) to start pushing at the edges.

Keep it simple.

Start small.

Think and dream big. 

To succeed in life, we must stay within our strength zone but continually move outside our comfort zone. –

Source: John C. Maxwell


Now you have 11 ideas for breaking out of your comfort zone.

You don’t have to use all of them at once but you do need to keep moving yourself outside that zone where you feel comfortable.

Try a couple of the ideas that seem the easiest for you.

Then tackle one of the ideas that scares you.

Which one of these ideas are you going to try first?



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