You only grow as a person if you’re willing to feel uncomfortable or awkward when you try something new. Life is all about change — and living — not about repeating yourself. Put yourself out there and try something you normally wouldn’t — it could bring out talent and feelings you wouldn’t have known you were capable of otherwise. For starters, check out the points below and give them a go. You’ll be amazed at your own amazingness, and if not, you’ll walk away with knowledge and appreciation for something completely different from your norm. Feel free to share tips and experiences in the comments section.
Showcase your personal work
As with most things, you must take the negatives with the positives. This includes having your most prized work, such as a short story, a video, or a painting, being bashed or praised. If all goes well, you’ll be in for a confidence boost, and if not, you’ll develop thicker skin while learning a thing or two.
Go on an adventure without using GPS
Whoa, hold up — now things are getting scary. Newsflash: You’re smarter than you think and can rely on yourself. Enjoy getting lost, for it can take you to new places and expand your knowledge. If you have to, ask someone for directions (gasp).
Order a meal from a restaurant you normally wouldn’t try, and eat it
Forget the burger or the chicken caesar salad. Go to a new restaurant and order something different — bonus points if you can’t pronounce it.
Set a goal that’s out of the ordinary for yourself
AKA: Train to run a marathon, stick with it, and actually do it. You’ll impress yourself and inspire others. Or, you know, read that awesome, lengthy trilogy and discuss it at that book club you’ve been eyeing.
Speak in front of an audience
This could mean reciting your latest poem at open mic night , reading a snippet of a short story, or cracking jokes on stage. Public speaking is scary, and once you get over it, you’ll find that it’s not bad, and can actually be enjoyable. People can get to know you and you can get to have fun with your new-found talent.
Say “yes” to every opportunity that’s thrown your way (except when they’re harmful, obviously)
Challenge yourself to take on things you’d usually make up excuses for in order to avoid. It doesn’t matter if these opportunities are big or small — from a party invite to accepting a job offer in a different industry, these can be life-changers for the better.
Confront a fear
Afraid of being in the ocean? Go for a swim. Wary of heights? Go skydiving. You get the point. Fear can hold you back from some extraordinary adventures. Confront those fears and grow like a dandelion.
Travel on your own
Whether it’s a road trip a few states away or a flight to Thailand, you’ll learn a lot about yourself while taking on the world solo. You’ll discover that you’re more courageous than you thought, smarter than you’ve imagined, and a pleasant person to spend time with. Also, you can set travels at your own pace and not have to run on anyone else’s schedule.
Attend an event where you don’t know anyone and talk to people
Learn to be comfortable in your own skin, and be open to other people’s ideas and opinions. Putting yourself out there and attending an event or workshop that you usually wouldn’t, by yourself, is some serious personal growth. Learning and socializing in a new environment can expand your world. Some tips for shaky introverts: don’t be afraid to admit that you’re vulnerable, offer to help the host, or compliment someone to ease your way into this different experience.
Stay offline for a day
Oh no, anything but that! I saved the most difficult tip for last (just kidding, or am I?). It’s tougher than you think, so try disconnecting from the Internet for a day, and fill those awesome hours that you can never get back with getting-outside-of-your-comfort-zone tips. Better yet, plan to do it once a week, twice a month, or a handful of times each year. There’s a world out there waiting to be conquered by your presence.