We often hear that Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” As you probably know by now, the quote, however accurate, is not Einstein’s to claim. The credit actually goes to Rita Mae Brown, an author, screenwriter, activist, and feminist, who used the line in her 1983 novel, Sudden Death.
Brown, you see, had a point. And she’s far from being the singular smart person to realize that only when you step out of your comfort zone, face your fears head on, and take risks can you change the game. Whether it’s jumping out of a plane or jumping in with your opinion during a meeting at work, let these 13 phrases of inspiration be the spark to live a little more boldly.
13 quotes to rocket you out of your comfort zone
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” —Anaïs Nin
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that—that’s what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” —Amy Poehler
“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.” —Chuck Palahniuk
“But we need to take risks. We need to go broke. We need to prove them wrong, simply by not giving up.” —Awkwafina
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” —Amelia Earhart
“For one year, I would say ‘yes’ to all the things that scared me. Anything that made me nervous or took me out of my comfort zone, I’d say ‘yes.’ Public speaking? Yes. Acting? Yes. A crazy thing happened—the very act of doing the thing that scared me undid the fear.” —Shonda Rhimes
“Boys should be allowed to climb tall trees and walk along the tops of high walls and dive into the sea from high rocks… The same with girls. I like the type of child who takes risks. Better by far than the one who never does so.” —Roald Dahl
“Happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.” —Sarah Addison Allen
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… Unless you fail to make the turn.” —Helen Keller
“Risks last a moment—you never lose. As long as you grow from them, they drive you to where you need to be.” —Amy Emmerich
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” —Theodore Roosevelt
“You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” —Louise Erdrich
“Without saying yes to the things that we’re terrified of and continuing to step into what life asks of us or create those big opportunities for ourselves, I think we’re asleep at the wheel.” —Sophia Amoruso