In ordinary life, we tend to live in our own little area of comfort. Often referred to as our "comfort zone", this is the safety barrier that we build around ourselves to protect us from feelings of hurt, upset and a desire to react defensively. Every day, it helps to take a step outside this comfort zone to extend our limits and explore more life. Healthy challenges help us to build courage and strength!
1- Do one little thing outside your comfort zone every day. It doesn't have to be a big step, just something different from what you normally do or say. Even changing your thoughts about someone or something that has been bothering you can have a big impact on opening yourself up to new perspectives about the world and ways of coping with difficult situations.
2- Believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people who believe in you also, will help. Your sense of self-value will be enhanced if you give yourself the opportunity to "think that you can be someone or do something". Believing in your skills and abilities is key to using them well and this is bolstered by the love and compliments from those who care about you.
3- Create some goals for each day. Start off with small goals to make changes to your lifestyle that will help you to grow more courageous and forthright in your approach to the world. Start small and be more open and trusting of your acquaintances, then your community, then your region and finally, your world. Over time, your goals can grow bigger and bigger, as you grow more and more courageous about interacting with others and sharing your skills and knowledge.
4- Have a good attitude. When faced with something frightening, think of it as a challenge that can be changed into an opportunity. Turn the challenge into a duty that you have to do, and do not question it, just deal with it. It's much easier to be scared when you don't have to do that frightening task - when you must face it, you suddenly find yourself reaching on reserves inside yourself that you probably didn't realize were there. Trust your instincts, skills and judgment and face the challenge head on.
5- Don't hesitate. If, say, you're doing something that requires a "sudden plunge", for example, picking up a spider if you hate spiders, or jumping from a ledge if you hate heights, do not do a countdown. That only makes it worse. Instead, simply hold your breath, quickly assess the situation for the safest option and go for it.
Photo: Creative Commons.