Do You Challenge Yourself Enough?
When was the last time you left your comfort zone? When was the last time you dared yourself to do something really crazy?
Last week, I challenged myself to run a six mile Halloween race called the Monster Dash. I joined hundreds of other runners, all of us in costume, and together we ran through a spooky forest after dark. The experience was unbelievable…and it made me think – I need to do things like this more often!
The problem is, we don’t always allow ourselves the chance to have amazing, eye-opening experiences. We pass up opportunities to try new activities we might not be good at, go on trips we might not like or meet new people we might not jive with.
Here’s how we can start pushing our limits more:
Visualize Where You Want to Go
Make yourself a vision board or a bucket list. For your vision board, cut out magazine pictures or text that inspire and excite you. Look for images that represent the things you want to bring into your life – and the things that make you say “I’d love to do that!” Paste everything onto a Bristol board and hang it up where you can see it. For your bucket list, buy a bucket and cut out thin strips of paper. On each strip, write down a different desire. Don’t censor yourself – write down everything, even if it feels out of reach. Once you complete a goal, tape it to the outside of the bucket.
Stop Putting Pressure on Yourself
Remember – you don’t have to excel at everything. Accept that you might not do new things all that well. If you’re trying out a new recipe – it might flop. If you’re trying out Bikram Yoga – you might struggle with balance. Enjoy the experience without expecting yourself to be perfect. And don’t let the fear of failure stop you from trying something new in the first place.
It’s nice to have a support system when you are breaking your boundaries. Invite your spouse, a friend or family member to join you on your adventure. With the two of you working towards the same goal, you will feel more motivated and accountable for your actions. If you can’t find anyone to join you, find a team or group that supports your desired goal.
Stop Making Excuses
Is that little voice inside your head saying “I’m too old for this?” “I’m too busy for this?” “I’m too scared for this?” Instead of saying “I would like to do this, but…” try saying “I would like to do this, and…” It can help to write down your obstacles and address each one of them individually.
Say Yes When You’d Rather Say No
Dare yourself to go on adventures you would normally shy away from. Do the very things that scare you, and you will feel a remarkable sense of accomplishment. Each time you try new things and step out of your comfort zone, you grow incredibly. If you’ve ever been to an improvisation class, you may have learned the golden rule: Always say YES. Try living up to this rule. Approach the world with an open mind. Let down your guard for a while! At the very least – you will make some great memories.