I saw a speech recently that was all about getting out of your comfort zone. At the end, we were all given a piece of paper with more than 100+ challenges to try. What was strange for me was that I had done more than half of them.
Having studied extraordinary people for the last few years, and been obsessed with how they think and act, I noticed they all did one thing: they got out of their comfort zone consistently. Getting out of their comfort zone was how they upskilled and crushed the normal fears that we all face.
It’s like being Mario and then getting a gold star – you feel invincible and extremely agile. We haven’t all gone on this journey of breaking out of our comfort zone. The good news is we can start with a 36-day challenge.
Each day, I want you to pick one of the below challenges to try:
1. Lie down on the ground for 30 seconds in a busy place…then get up with a smile and pretend nothing’s happened. This is the one I recommend the most and it was made famous by Tim Ferriss.
2. Slow dance on a rooftop with a friend or lover
3. Ask for 10% off the next coffee or tea you buy. (Don’t tell the waiter it is a challenge).
4. Drive around, crank your favorite songs and have a dance off at stoplights to make strangers laugh
5. Have a difficult conversation face to face instead of via email / text / phone.
6. Call your mother and tell her how much you love her.
7. Send someone flowers for no reason
8. Take a cold shower during winter for 30 seconds (remember to breathe)
9. Pull an all-nighter when the opportunity arises instead of going home.
10. Jump into a lake / river / pool with your clothes on.
11. Dress up in your most classy outfit. Go to a luxury car dealership, pretend to be rich and drive the swankiest car they have.
12. Walk around the city all night and then find a place to eat breakfast at dawn
13. Write a list of the craziest things you could ever do, have or be. Start doing them.
14. Go to a restaurant and convince the cook to create something completely new for you to eat.
15. Wake up early during one winter’s morning when it’s freezing cold and go for a walk.
16. Ask someone on a date who you think is way out of your league.
17. Eat somewhere way out of your budget
18. Attend a costume party and go all out.
19. Unplug from email, social media and your phone for 24 hours. (Try a “No-Tech Sunday”)
20. Go to a karaoke bar and sing like you’re the best singer there is.
21. Make a fool of yourself in public on a dance floor. You can’t consume alcohol beforehand either!
22. Crash a wedding that you’re not invited to.
23. Make a free hugs sign, stand in a high traffic place and dish out some lovin’.
24. Take a homeless person out to lunch and hear their story.
25. Go a whole week without TV.
26. After a week of no TV, donate your TV to charity.
27. Do a silent meditation retreat
28. Do stand up comedy for a night.
29. Try a food you have always disliked.
30. Be vulnerable. Tell someone your biggest fear, regret or desire.
31. Sign up for a public speaking event like TedX and then start preparing.
32. Invite a co-worker you don’t know well to lunch to get to know them better.
33. Dive with sharks
34. Spend a whole day answering the question, “How are you today?” with the response, “Outstanding! How are you?” – It’s more uncomfortable than you think.
35. Go on a fast for two days and drink nothing but water.
36. Pickup your significant other from work or the airport wearing a long jacket with nothing underneath.
Once you’ve read through the list, I want you to pick the five hardest ones. Then, I want you to do those first. Following those five, I then want you to complete the rest. All up, you should do one per day, therefore taking 36 days to complete all comfort zone challenges. By the end, you’ll have taken your life to the next level.
My experience of comfort zone challenges
Since I began doing regular comfort zone challenges as a habit I’ve achieved the following:
– I’ve dated girls I never thought were in my league
– I’ve become a lot better at dealing with fear
– I’ve started performing really well at public speaking
– I’ve learned new things about myself
– I’ve become more disciplined
– I’ve met loads of strangers and some of them have become friends
“If I had a choice between doing further education and learning to break my comfort zone through these above challenges, I’d choose the later”
Overcoming the stuff that scares you, and that most people would never try, helps you to become mentally tough. Mental toughness will help you overcome this negative world that you experience with your ancient survival brain, and see through your own eyes.
How can you take the whole comfort zone thing even further?
If you get the results that’s all fine and dandy. The way you supersize your experience and go to the next level is by encouraging your friends and family to do the same. As they begin to participate, they’ll push you further at the same time. You’ll then unconsciously be gamifying the challenges and seeing who can be the boldest. It’s kick ass when this happens.
Wrap up time
So I hope these challenges have inspired you. Each one is unique and builds upon a new and slightly different skill. It’s a lot of fun once you’ve done the first few. The key is to detach yourself from the outcome. Whether you succeed or not it doesn’t matter. There is no failure.
The aim of this comfort zone game is just to have a go and see what happens. Give it a shot and have fun! Send me your results via my website below if you feel like sharing your experience. I’d love to know how it goes.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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Motivation is something we all strive to have, but can also be one of those feelings that’s hard to keep. Whether we’re attempting to reach a new fitness goal or trying to stay motivated in our role at work, sometimes that motivation just isn’t there. You feel motivated for a while – you’ll listen to podcasts, read books, keep yourself accountable – but then it’s lost. You feel so much energy at the start, then feel yourself slowly losing that inspiration. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. (more…)
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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.
Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.
Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:
1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side
Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.
2. Do something that you love
When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all?
Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it
Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.
4. Get up and get moving
This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.
5. Reset your focus
It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do.
One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.
7. Expand your knowledge
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.
If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.
When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.
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