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For example, is

All I had to do was step out of my comfort zone, or in this case, be pushed out of it.

or

All I had to do was step out of my comfort zone or in this case, be pushed out of it.

preferable? I think I know which one to use, but I would like to know why I would use it.

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There is no dependent clause here. You are saying that you have to do one thing or another. As for punctuation, there will certainly be many opinions, but my view is that

All I had to do was step out of my comfort zone or, in this case, be pushed out of it.

is correct. Because or is not starting a new clause but merely joining two options, no comma is required in front of it. "In this case" adds the "additional" information that being pushed out of your comfort zone is what happened this time.

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The basic sentence is, "All I had to do was [to] step out of my comfort zone or [to] be pushed out of it." So the correct punctuation would be, "All I had to do was step out of my comfort zone or, in this case, be pushed out of it."

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