The best choices in life often require taking a chance that lands you in uncomfortable situations. Asking out that special someone, going into a job interview or even pushing yourself to face frightening fears that haunt you to this day. Life consists of a series of risks and rewards that require chance. Make the most of your momentum to break the walls of comfort in exchange for a life full of surprises.
Take a chance on this article and countdown 10 ways you can get out of your comfort zone.
10. Trying Exotic Food
After months of quarantining, the world begins to reopen. You spend an hour putting together the perfect outfit for that first night out at a nice restaurant. When you open the menu, you’re met with those familiar tenders, but you’re also given the chance to take a tasty adventure on the wild side. Sure, tilapia may sound like a medical side effect, but it’s on the list for a reason. What better way to take a chance than to become a connoisseur of culinary cuisine?
Perhaps you may consider yourself the Burger King, but beef patties only cover a minute portion of the wide world of eats. We all have preferences; we can’t change that. Yet to not ever take a chance on mushrooms seems unfair to both the mushroom and your tastebuds. Unchain yourself from your temple of traditional treats. Order that weird sounding French dish – maybe you’ll find out that you craved “Coq Au Vin” all along.
9. Book That Trip
There’s a lot that goes into planning for a trip. Budget’s need balancing, schedules need structure. Planning with a party can prove a daunting task. Before you know it, one person can’t go the week everyone else can go. Yet if you go the week they would like, then you can’t attend. This chaotic cycle will continue until someone stomps their foot in the ground to draw a line. Spending all those zoom calls fantasizing about a cross country road trip will not magically wish the expedition into fruition.
They say the twenties are some of the best years of our lives. Don’t let them turn to dust due to inconveniences. Pack those bags for paradise – time waits for no one. Nothing hurts more than knowing you waited for an event or plan only to have it get pushed back further with no certainty in sight. Taking off on a spur of the moment trip may sound maniacal but it’s one of those chances that can reward you with the experience of a lifetime.
8. Trying Out a New Role or Position
Once you’re comfortable in your day-to-day routine, settling in a new industry or position can prove a challenge. Everything you once knew gets filed away into your brain’s back room. It doesn’t matter if you mastered your previous role. Taking charge in your new role to become the alpha in this unfamiliar position is what truly counts. This could go for jobs in your career, it could even apply to athletics.
“During my sophomore year in high school I was chosen to be the catcher for my softball team. I didn’t have much experience in catching because I had never played that position. I remember always being so nervous and feeling unprepared at the start of games. But overtime I practiced more, got better and enjoyed the experience with my teammates,” St. John’s University freshman Isabelle Rella said.
What we recognize, we’re comfortable with. Something alien may appear intimidating, yet when given the chance you find that you enjoy this unfamiliar role even more than your last one. If you stick to what seemingly satisfies, surely you will suffer stagnation. Not allowing yourself the chance to grow only leaves you rooted in a role of possible regret.
7. Ask that Special Someone Out
So you think that “zing” is love. This special someone occupies every fleeting fantasy. One morning you look in the mirror and confidently assure yourself that today you will ask them out. You spruce yourself up, waltz out the door, strut your way to wherever they’re settled only to feel those bumbling butterflies. If you don’t seem remotely shy, I would question whether you’re more robot than human. Remember, the answer will remain no unless you try. Garner up those guts and get asking.
6. Listen to Some New Music
Playlists cycle the same songs in an endless loop. Why not take a chance on some new tunes? If you listen to rap religiously, try crossing it with some country. Similarly, if classy classical curates your culture consider jolting your jams with jazz. For all you know, you may find a newfound fixation on funk. In a generation where we could practically listen to any song from history, you’re truly going to restrain yourself to one specific setlist? Broaden your horizons by blasting those blues, reveling in rock and packing in that pop.
5. Say Hello to a Stranger
When I went on a cruise in January of 2020, my friends and I made it our mission to greet every single individual who passed us. At first, I thought ridicule awaited at every turn for our disruption. However, people welcomed our conversations. Before you knew it, we enjoyed fully fleshed out discussions regarding life back home. I’m not saying to start accepting candy from creepy white vans. I’m saying that a smile or a simple “good morning” can change someone’s entire day. If you ever received a compliment on your outfit, you know the feeling.
4. Turn Off All Technology
Technology retains total supremacy over the world we reside in. Everything we do finds its way back to technology. Our cellphones become an extension of ourselves. Think of the last time you went somewhere without your phone. Today, you likely forget your wallet more than you forget your smartphone. If suddenly the world went off the grid and we were left in desolate darkness, our society would cripple due to our reliance upon such utilities.
However, consider that we practically render ourselves a slave to these devices. It impacts our relationships, our health and our individuality. Challenge yourself to disable your phone for at least a day. Sit with your discomfort to determine the detrimental destruction that devices leave in their wake. It may just change your life.
3. Public Speaking
It still boggles my mind that people would sooner die than speak out in public. Do we need to look in the dictionary for the definition of death? Now, I understand introverts prefer their recluse lifestyle. I admire the ability to find comfort in solitude within themselves. However, the skill of public speaking can yield benefits that will last a lifetime within the professional sphere along with daily routines.
“I took a public speaking class at St. John’s University and I hated it. I hated to talk in front of people I even knew before that class. Public speaking was something that made me super anxious, but after that class, it helped me realize that public speaking isn’t so bad. Granted I’m still not the best public speaker, but because I took this class, it helped me be more comfortable with public speaking,” St. John’s University junior Steven Kaht said.
Of course, facing this fear rattles the knees. Put your mantra where your mouth is. Practicing oration often leads to improvement in regular social conversations. Until you decide to emerge from your shell, the hope of delivering an impassioned speech to an undivided crowd remains unfathomable.
2. Conquer a Fear
If your fear tends to be speaking in public, you were lucky enough to get your own section. Yet there are still many others who tremble at titans of terror. There’s no better time to face your fears. Take a chance to step out of your comfort corner to conquer whatever challenge in your path.
“Facing fears is something we all come across at some point in life. No one likes to jump straight at what we don’t like but sometimes it’s important or even necessary. Like when I was going to go ask for a job, I was scared to approach someone for fear of what they might think of me. But I realized that sometimes fears are irrational and by overpowering fear, we can end up in a much better place,” City College of New York junior Christopher Procaccio said.
If you fear death, please don’t go and suddenly become an inexperienced Evel Knieval. The same goes for if you’re paralyzed by particular animals. Sticking your head into an alligator’s mouth only equates to a free lunch. For the gator, at least. But if your fear seems tamable in a plausible manner, take that leap. Show the world and that kid that always picked on your fear in middle school who’s boss.
1. Be the True You
Perhaps the greatest challenge for college students remains finding their place in the world. But one thing may seem the most uncomfortable of all – being yourself. Don’t let the world beat you down for your passion. Pursue your future relentlessly with vigor. If you enjoy dancing in your downtime, don’t distress over dictation from society. Hoping to jumpstart a talk show based on unpopular opinions? The populace doesn’t get to decide your direction. Everyone cherishes something that they keep veiled from the world. Take a chance on yourself. If you don’t, who will?