Just because you couldn’t doesn’t mean you can’t
One sign of being comfortable is sameness, doing the same thing over and over. Do you take the same route to work every day? Do you find yourself eating in the same restaurants, even ordering the same meals? What would happen if you didn’t go to the same place, or if you didn’t have “the usual”? Consciously decide to do something different. Break out of your routines. It will probably feel very uncomfortable at first – Great! Experience the newness. Over time, it will feel less and less uncomfortable. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
2. Try new hobbies
Ever thought about being a magician? Playing the ukulele? Knitting? Performing standup comedy?
Make a list of 20 things you think would be fun to try, then pick one. Find a class through your local continuing education, YMCA or parks and recreation department. Sign up, attend the first class and go in with the idea that you will have fun. If you are really bad at it, so what? At least you tried. Now, try another activity on your list! Chances are, you will have fun, develop new skills and you’ll likely make new friends.
3. Try new things at work
Is your first response when the boss asks for volunteers to avoid eye contact, shrink down in your chair and try to make yourself really, really, really small?
Often times, your organization will be asked to provide people to participate in focus groups or special committees, for example for an open house or for planning a holiday party. Seek out lateral work assignments and volunteer yourself. Make your manager know you are happy to fill those roles that, in the past, you and most of your co-workers probably shunned.
4. Say yes
If your natural inclination is to say No to new opportunities, change your mindset. The more you say Yes to new opportunities, the broader your experiences will be and the less afraid of new things you will become. Want badly to say Yes and set a high threshold for saying No. Use this new mindset at home and at work.
5. Get back up
Falling down is not failing. We often hear, “it is better to try and fail than to fail to try”. Inventors rarely create their inventions the first time. They try, observe the results, and then try it differently. They repeat it until they get the results they desire. Another saying we often hear is, ‘the only person who doesn’t make mistakes is the one that doesn’t do anything’.
When you try new things and they don’t flow smoothly, don’t be discouraged. There are often bumps in the road. What is important is how you handle the bumps in the road. Do you know when to ask for help? Do you figure out what happened and then provide corrective action, so the same problem won’t occur again? Each time you go through a learning experience, you become more seasoned and more confident when facing future challenges.
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