Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. And what better way to get out of your bubble than by participating in some comfort zone challenges?! I’ll be the first to tell you that I love a good routine!
I’d do the same thing over and over again every day if I could. BUT… I know that’s not where real growth happens. You have to put yourself in awkward situations and let go of the fear of failure if you really want to reach your dreams.
So here’s a closer look at why you should leave your comfort zone, along with 35 comfort zone challenges to help you do it.
Why are comfort zone challenges important?
Leaving your comfort zone is oh-so-important for a couple of reasons. First, it helps you develop a growth mindset where you’re not afraid of trying new things. You don’t fear failure because you know it’s necessary for growth.
A second benefit of leaving your comfort zone is that it helps you build resilience. You learn to grow and thrive when exposed to new things instead of buckling under pressure.
Lastly, stepping outside of your comfort zone opens the doors to new opportunities. It allows you to grow into the fullest version of yourself — one where you’re confident in your creative, intellectual, and social abilities.
But why is leaving your comfort zone so dang hard?
Your comfort zone has some pretty sweet perks, which is why it’s so difficult to get out of it. You feel in control when you’re in your comfort zone. Your stress is low. There’s no anxiety. It’s comfortable.
But too much comfort can backfire. Your productivity can tank. And you can begin to feel unfilled by your life and out of touch with your dreams. It takes courage to step outside of your comfort zone.
But once you start to do it, it actually gets easier. Neuroplasticity research shows that once you expose yourself to new stimuli and environments, new pathways begin to open up in your brain. In other words, you begin to achieve a growth mindset.
35 Comfort zone challenges to get you out of your comfort zone
So I’ve rounded up a list of my 35 favorite comfort zone challenges. Read through the list now and write down all the ones you want to try first. Once you begin to step out of your comfort zone and see how much it improves your life, you may just try them all!
1. Have a photoshoot out in public
There’s something bold and empowering about taking photos in public — especially professional ones. However, you may feel all nervous and timid at first. (I mean, do you really want all that attention on you?)
But then something magical happens. You get dressed up in your fanciest outfit (hello, gorgeous!). You strike some fierce poses even Tyra Banks would be jealous of, and pretty soon, you're oozing confidence left and right!
2. Hit up your local karaoke bar and flex those pipes!
The idea of leaving your comfort zone by singing karaoke may seem wacky, but it’s a low-stakes way to boost your self-esteem. You may be really nervous at first and think things like:
“I can’t believe I’m doing this!... Gosh, is this really what I sound like?... Please let this song end soon.” But once you exit the stage, your anxiety melts away, and your comfort zone gets a little bit bigger. Singing is also good for your health! As if you needed another reason to flex your pipes!
3. Reconnect with an old friend
Who’s that one friend you haven’t spoken to in years but constantly think about? It could be someone from high school, college, or an old job. Breaking this radio silence can be a great way to step outside of your comfort zone.
You don’t have to do anything grand. Send them a simple text saying it's been a while and they were on your mind.
4. Give your honest feedback on something you don't like — no matter how badly you want to lie
Okay, if you’re anything like me, you don’t like confrontation. But there can be something really empowering about giving your honest feedback on something — even if you’d rather lie and take the easy way out.
So the next time a coworker asks for your advice on a project. Don’t just say, “Yeah, it looks good.” Give constructive feedback on how they can improve it. You can also try it with your friends and family!
5. Start a conversation with a stranger
It takes a lot of courage to strike up a conversation with a stranger in public — especially when everyone’s eyeballs are glued to their phones 90% of the time.
Next time you’re out and about — whether it be at the grocery store, at a coffee shop, or at the park — try striking up a conversation with someone and see how it goes!
6. Ask your crush out on a date
Who’s that little cutie pie you can’t stop daydreaming about? Get out of your comfort zone by asking them out on a date — even if you think they’re way out of your league! (They’re probably not.) You could also check out our list of date-night ideas beforehand so you have plenty of great ideas for your date!
7. Go somewhere you’ve never been before
Everything gets shaken up when you visit a new place for the first time because you have to figure out where to go, what to eat, what to do. Nothing is familiar.
So give this comfort zone challenge a try by visiting a nearby city or flying to a new state or country. There are tons of budget-friendly vacations you can try!
8. Sign up for a digital course and learn something new
Mastering a new skill boosts your confidence and reminds you that you have the power to bring about change in your life. And depending on what skill you learn, it can also make you a more marketable employee. This could also give you an edge when asking for a raise!
So, what’s one thing you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t? You could sign up for a public speaking class, learn a musical instrument, or even take a free personal finance course through Clever Girl Finance!
9. Go one full day without wearing makeup (in public)
Decades of advertising have led us to believe that our natural skin is flawed. You may think that you can’t go out in public without a face full of makeup. But guess what?! You’re beautiful just the way you are!
Ditch the makeup for a day and let your natural beauty shine. If you are self-conscious about your skin, then try out our minimal makeup guide and our minimalist skin-care routine to get a natural glow!
10. Volunteer someplace new to break through your comfort zone
Volunteering isn’t just good for the community it's also good for your health and personal development. Studies show it also reduces your stress and anxiety, boosts your self-esteem, and increases your happiness. Plus, it gets you out of your comfort zone!
11. Turn your phone off for an entire day
There’s nothing that screams “comfort zone challenge” quite like turning your phone off for the day because we tend to check it more than we think. No text messages, phone calls, or apps. Just you and the great wide world. So give it a go and see what you think!
12. Don’t watch TV for an entire day
Ooh, la la. Can you imagine a day with no TV? Take all the time you’d spend in front of the telly and use it to try something new! Since the average American spends over 3 hours a day watching television (ouch), this is an excellent way to make time for better things like a new hobby!
13. Cut out all technology for a day (one of my favorite comfort zone challenges)
Whoa, now it’s getting intense. This is one of my favorite comfort zone challenges because it requires you to unplug from ALL technology.
I’m talking no phone, TV, or computer. Pass the time by reading books, playing board games, coloring, baking, writing, going for a walk, whatever!
14. Drive a new route to work or the grocery store
Do you usually take the same old route each time you go to work or head to the grocery store? Change it up by going a different way (even if it adds a few extra minutes to your ETA.) You just might enjoy the new scenery.
15. Navigate somewhere without your phone’s GPS
Do you think you could drive to a new place without your phone’s GPS? For this comfort zone challenge, you focus on using road signs for directions.
And if all else fails, you do what your grandparents did and ask for directions. Either way, you’re leaving your comfort zone with this one.
16. Spend the day by yourself
Research shows that making time to be by yourself doesn’t hurt your social life — it can actually improve it. Spending time alone can spark creativity, build your mental strength, and help you get to know yourself better.
So give it a go! Take yourself on a date. Dine in at a new restaurant (don’t just get your food to go and eat it in the car). Visit some shops. Go to the movies. Spend some quality time with Y-O-U.
17. Paint your nails a fun vibrant color
Some comfort zone challenges are very practical, but this one is all about fun! Step outside of your comfort zone by trying a vibrant nail color you'd usually be too shy to wear.
Do you usually go for neutrals? Go bold with a tomato red, a rich brown, or olive green. Rock those nails like there's no tomorrow!
18. Get a fun hairstyle that's out of your comfort zone
This is another one of those fun comfort zone challenges. If there's a hairstyle, you've always wanted to try but haven't, just go for it!
Dye your hair that funky color. Get some fun braids. Go all-natural and let your curls flow freely. Get a pixie cut. Shave it off. You do you, girlfriend.
19. Put together a bold outfit from your closet and wear it with pride!
That Fuschia pink top with those dark teal pants?! How bold… But seriously, wearing an outfit combination you’ve never thought of before is a great way to get outside of your comfort zone. It's also a fantastic way to upcycle your wardrobe and put a fresh spin on your look!
20. Let your inner child roam free for the day
Choose an entire day where you do all the things you used to love as a kid. Go to the zoo, buy one of those adult coloring books, do some fingerpainting. The sky’s the limit! So check out our post on experience gifts for kids for ideas and do them yourself!
21. Have a “yes” day with your family for a fun comfort zone challenge
This is a good one if you have kids. Say “yes” to everything they ask, but set some ground rules beforehand (i.e., it can’t cost more than $100, it has to be in the city, it can’t be illegal, etc.). See what fun transpires!
22. Learn a new dance routine and record yourself doing it
Choose your favorite dance from TikTok or Instagram and teach it yourself. Bonus points for recording the full thing once you’ve memorized it! (We want to see it!) Dancing is fun and also great exercise!
23. Ask for a discount next time you go into a store
Next time you’re in Old Navy or at a coffee shop or wherever, ask the cashier if they have any discounts. You might just be surprised at what they can make happen for you to help you save some cash. And if all else fails and they say no, it's still a good lesson in speaking up for yourself.
You can also ask if they have any coupons they can use for you too. Stores like Kohl's will sometimes have extra ones they can scan so you can save some cash!
24. Open up to a close friend about something you’re struggling with right now
It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to open up about something negative going on in your life. Choose someone you can trust, then step outside of your comfort zone by sharing it with them. Confiding in someone you trust is actually healthy, and can help you find the strength to keep going.
25. Try a new recipe that’s way out of your comfort zone
Do you usually make the same meals week in and week out? Expand your comfort zone (and your food palate) by picking out a new recipe you’d typically never try. We have a ton of delicious frugal meals that you will love!
26. Visit a restaurant that serves a type of food you’ve never had before
Never had Indian food? Look up a restaurant in your area! Never been to a fancy restaurant with a seven-course tasting menu? Give it a go!
Trying new foods at new restaurants is a double-whammy when it comes to leaving your comfort zone. You can enjoy luxury dining experiences even on a budget!
27. Go one full day without caffeine
Where are my coffee lovers at?! Or maybe you’re more of a tea or soda gal instead. Whatever it is, see if you can go one full day without any caffeine at all. Want to break your caffeine dependency altogether? Extend it to a week!
28. Sleep on the opposite side of the bed
So if you have a bed buddy, then one of you probably always sleeps on the right side of the bed while the other sleeps on the left.
And no matter where you sleep — whether it's at home, a hotel, or a friend’s house — you feel like something’s totally off if you’re not on “your” side.
Why not get out of your comfort zone by switching sides? Who knows maybe you will both get better rest by simply trying out something different.
29. Switch up your morning routine for a comfort zone challenge
Throw a little bit of spice into your morning routine by mixing things up. So if you typically shower in the morning, try doing it at night.
If you typically read before bed, do it before work. See what happens! You can also incorporate some ideas from your morning routine
30. Reach out to someone you’ve wronged and apologize
It takes a lot of courage to admit to someone that you were wrong because let's face it, none of us like making mistakes.
So if you’ve got a person or two weighing on your mind, making amends with them could be one of the best comfort zone challenges you try. Perhaps you could mend an old friendship and have a fresh start.
31. Send someone you love a care package just because
Who’s a random person in your life who could benefit from a care package or handwritten note? Even if you think they’ll think it’s awkward, send it to them anyway just to let them know you care.
It's so amazing when someone surprises you and lets you know that you're thinking of them. No matter how big or small the gesture is, it's sure to brighten their day.
32. Sign up for an adrenaline-inducing adventure for a classic comfort zone challenge
When you think of comfort zone challenges, you probably think of adrenaline-inducing adventures like skydiving, parasailing, and zip-lining. Why not give it a try?!
You could even start small and try something like indoor skydiving and go from there. Who knows you may be a thrill-seeker and not even know it!
33. Outsource a task that takes up a huge chuck of your time
If you’re a perfectionist, the thought of outsourcing a task to someone else can seem mortifying. But imagine how much more free time and mental energy you’d have if you asked for help? Let go of the idea that you have to do everything yourself, and give this comfort zone challenge a try.
34. Tackle one of your biggest fears
What’s one fear that's holding you back in life? Are you afraid of failing? Or maybe you're scared of success? Whatever it is, spend a day strategizing ways you can face and overcome it. Then, tackle some of those adventures!
35. Do something you’ve been putting off forever
This could be downloading a budgeting tool, learning how to invest, or ramping up a side-hustle. Whatever it is, step outside of your comfort zone by committing to do it today.
Procrastination is self-sabotaging to everything from your finances to your health. However, you can overcome it and accomplish anything you put your mind to!
Bonus: 30-day comfort zone challenge idea
Okay, I’ve got an idea for you. You know how 30-day challenges are all the rage right now? What if you chose 30 of your favorite items from the list above and combined them into one supercharged, super awesome 30-day comfort zone challenge?!
It takes 28 days on average to make a habit, so this can be a great way to make some permanent changes to your life. Besides, just imagine all the self-growth you'd experience if you challenge yourself every day for one month…
Which of these comfort zone challenges will you try first?
Even if you don’t do the full 30-day comfort zone challenge, I hope you at least choose a few comfort zone challenges from this list to try out this week.
And if you’re looking for some challenges specific to saving money, check out our free Savings Challenge Bundle. It has six individual challenges to help you stay motivated and focused on saving money.
Also, tune in to the Clever Girl Knows podcast and YouTube channel for inspiration to achieve all your big goals!