What is life without a challenge? We need to continually push ourselves outside our comfort zone to grow and stay sharp. It is easy to become lazy and complacent. However, our brain and our body are a use it or lose it proposition. Don’t waste your potential!
We need to find ways to challenge ourselves with new activities and learning opportunities to live life to the fullest. If you have something that makes you uneasy, then face it head on! Push yourself outside your comfort zone and you will beat all your fears. Don’t grow old gracefully! Fight it every step of the way by seeking new ways to stretch yourself! Here are some ideas to help get you started.
1. Travel to a foreign country
Take out a map and find a place you’ve never been. Plan a trip to a country that is unfamiliar to you. It will stimulate your mind and your senses. You will have the opportunity to pick up parts of a new language, eat different foods, and meet interesting people!
2. Participate in a yoga class
Yoga will stretch you very literally. There are numerous benefits to yoga. It will help you mentally, physically and some say even spiritually. It certainly will help you to relieve stress and become more physically fit. If you are looking for ways to keep your body toned, then a yoga class may be a good choice.
3. Go on a solo backpacking trip
There is something very stimulating about camping alone in the woods. You are totally dependent on your own wits and skill. A trip like this pits you against nature for comfort and sometimes survival. The solitude will also give you time alone with your thoughts.
4. Arrange a public speaking engagement
Apparently, speaking in public is a fear greater than death for some people. This is one fear that everyone can conquer. Why let something simple shackle you? The key is to just do it. Your local Toastmasters club would be happy to help.
5. Audition for a role in a play
Give your creative side a chance to come alive in the theater. Were you in a high school production? Why not give it a try again? You might rediscover something about yourself that has been suppressed.
6. Read a book with an opposing view
We can all get set in our ways and our limited view of the world. Pick up a book at your local library that purports a view that is contrary to one that you hold dear. Read it from cover to cover and try to keep an open mind. Note points that make some sense and ponder them.
7. Change jobs
I run into people all the time that seem to hate their jobs, but they won’t go out and find a better one. Don’t stay stuck in a rut any longer! Take a step today toward finding a new position. After all, if you aren’t happy now, what do you have to lose?
8. Volunteer to improve your community
Volunteer opportunities abound. These needs give us the chance to expose ourselves to things we won’t normally see in our safe little lives. It will expand our horizons and give us a greater appreciation for what we have. In addition, you might just make a difference in someone else’s life along the way.
9. Learn to scuba dive
Find your local PADI certified training center and learn to be an Open Water Diver. I was fortunate enough to do this myself recently. It is a lot of fun and a bit of a challenge. You will feel like a true explorer once you are certified!
10. Dress up for Halloween
Get yourself a costume and find yourself a Halloween party! Express your inner child by dressing up and having some fun. My wife and I did this last year and it was a complete hoot! I highly recommend it as a way to bring yourself out of a shell.
11. Take a dance class
Dancing is great exercise, a fun way to meet people, and a fantastic way to creatively express yourself. There are all kinds of dance classes that you can find to meet your individual tastes. You might even meet a new friend in the process!
12. Enroll in a college course
Is it time to expand your knowledge in a particular area? Maybe you need a way to spark new interest in a subject that has always intrigued you. College courses are a great way to give yourself a new challenge while also expanding your opportunities.
13. Introduce yourself to a complete stranger
For some, this is no big deal, but for others of us, this is not something that comes easily. Set a goal to meet five new people this week. What’s the worst that can happen? You might make a connection that will blossom into a fruitful relationship.
14. Attend a service at the church of your choice
Are you attending to your spiritual needs? If not, maybe it is time for you to seek out a place of worship. Not sure where to go? I would suggest asking a friend if you can accompany them. It will make their day!
15. Sit alone in complete silence for an hour
This one sounds simple enough, but give it a try. It is harder than you think. We are so accustomed to noise and to being in the presence of others that you might initially find this very challenging. My guess is that if you do it for a few days that it will become something you love.
16. Move to a new home
Find a new place to live in a different city or at least on the other side of town. A move will force you out of your ruts. You will have to develop new routines and explore a new area. This will give you a chance to grow and expand your boundaries.
17. Go on an eco-adventure
Travel to Belize, Costa Rica, or another location that offers eco-adventures. The world is a big place and nature is full of fascinating creatures. Get out there and see something new. A trip like this is dangerous because it could change your entire life!
18. Fly down a zip-line
Taking a zip-line tour is a rush! It will definitely get your adrenaline flowing. I did this when I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico earlier this year. The zip line was total fun. This type of thrill seeking awakens your adventurous spirit.
19. Organize a reunion
Reach out to some people that you haven’t seen in awhile. This could be family, classmates, or just an old friend that you haven’t talked to in years. Reminiscing about the past might stir up old ideas in you that you forgot you had.
20. Write something and get it published
Writing is a terrific way to express yourself and tap into your creativity. Getting what you write published will give you a sense of accomplishment. You will also probably get quite a nice boost from the positive reviews that you’ll receive!
Don’t spend another day in your comfort zone!
There is no excuse for remaining in your present rut. A new challenge will energize you and give you the courage to continue to grow. We only have one life to live and you do not want to waste another day. Go stretch yourself outside your comfort zone!
What other ways are there to get out of our comfort zones?
Photo by stephcarter