Everyone has fears, big and small. With those fears come comfort zones -- the place where we stay to relax and feel like a normal human being. Comfort zones can be nice, but I believe that people's personalities shine brightest when they step outside of that safe space. Expanding your horizons and trying something new is healthy but scary to do!
Sometimes, we just need something small to inch us across our boundary lines and into the wild, beautiful unknown! Here are a few small acts of bravery to give you that push outside your comfort zone.
1. Approach someone you think is totally out of your league
This may be a guy or gal you've always wanted to be friends with or that person you wouldn't mind having a romantic sunset picnic with. Don't be afraid to hear "no," or even to hear "yes!"
2. Stand up for someone
We've all heard someone gossip about one of our friends. Most of the time, we are inclined to say nothing and let it slide. But how would things change if we stood up for the people we love or even the ones we don't like? Standing up for someone is always worth it, even if that someone is yourself.
3. Try a new food
God has given us a world full of yummy food variety! Try a recipe from a different culture, like Thai or Lebanese or a new fruit, like dragonfruit or mangosteen.
4. Eat by yourself in a restaurant
Another food-related challenge, how exciting! The thought of eating alone in public terrifies most people because they fear being judged by other customers. Who cares what others think? You're amazing, and that's why you're taking yourself to dinner. It's important to learn to have a good time with just me, myself and I!
5. Learn a new skill
Are you the most inflexible person you know? Sign up for a yoga class! Wish you could create something with your hands? Ask grandma to loan you some knitting needles! Your new skill may come in handy someday!
6. Tell someone a secret
It can be something as small as, "I think Michael Jackson is overrated." or "I'm wearing the same pair of underwear two days in a row." Relief and a sense of trust both come with bearing our souls to others, especially when you're afraid of being judged.
7. Do something weird in public
For example, do a little spin in the grocery store aisle! My personal favorite is Home Depot (the floors are extra slippery)!
8. Say no to something
Do you really want to go to your friend's cousin's birthday party, or is your FOMO getting the best of you?
9. Take the lead
Sign up to be the head of that new project! Take that promotion at work! Teach a new extracurricular class on campus! The world needs your expertise.
10. Conquer a small fear
Hold a beetle in your hand, go knee deep in the ocean, or jump off the high dive! It probably won't hurt you.
Of course, all these small acts are easier said than done. Fear is a powerful force, but I believe that the need for a purposeful, exciting life is far greater. I think you will find that after you take on a few of these challenges, you discover things about yourself you didn't know before.
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"