Life begins when you step outside your comfort zone. Although your comfort zone creates a sense of security and minimizes stress, studies show that breaking out of it can be difficult yet highly beneficial. This is because you are taking a risk, but at the same time challenging yourself to open new doors leading to new opportunities. Individuals who challenge themselves know that the efforts often lead to amazing and unforeseen rewards.
In my experience, challenging yourself doesn’t have to mean quitting your job and moving to India. With just a few adjustments, you can break away from your routine and notice great changes in your life. Here are some life-hacks that I use to break out of the box and challenge myself:
1. Work on something that you’re passionate about, but not an expert at. For instance, if you are in finance — make a creative video or photo collage for your friend or significant other. You will leverage the left side of your brain more than in your day job, learn tons of cool skills and make someone very happy.
2. Travel alone. You owe it to yourself to try a solo vacation at least once. Ideally, go alone to a new country, but if that is not on your radar just take a short trip. Traveling alone gives you that sense of an absolute freedom which is hard to come by in our daily routines. As a result, you will become much more comfortable with yourself and the decisions you make.
3. Be uncomfortable. I am serious. You will learn how to manage your fears and boost confidence. Do you hate public speaking? — Take a stand-up class! Not comfortable with your own body? — Do a burlesque class and dance in the final show! These acts allow you to kick yourself into high-gear instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
4. Talk to strangers, but cut the small talk. Here is an idea: go to a bar and start talking with someone you’ve never met. Spend some time and hear their journey, be attentive and try to understand them. Each person is a unique story — billions of stories that may never get written.
5. Bars aren’t your scene? Attend a dinner with strangers! I know it sounds uncomfortable at first, but after a few minutes you’ll realize how much do you have in common with a divorced investment banker or that girl who is wearing a headscarf across the table! That moment of connection feels very special — it builds empathy and gives you a unique thrill of understanding something real about someone outside your inner circle. Such moments are what truly get you out of your comfort zone, and trust me, its feels great.
So these are my hacks. Share with me how you break the daily routine!