How do you challenge yourself to try new things in your life?
I think it is an essential part of growing your influence over time. I’ll explain why and then give you five ways in which you can challenge yourself.
There are a lot of reasons why trying new things helps you to grow your influence.
- It keeps you thinking- about the world, about your place in it and how you relate to other people
- It gives you different perspectives- perhaps the perspective of your ideal customer or target group
- It keeps you motivated by bringing fresh and exciting experiences into your life
- It reminds you that the person you are is not static and your customers aren’t static either. Everyone is constantly changing, (even if slowly) and looking for new things. How can you help them and how can you help yourself?
Here are five ways you can challenge yourself:
- Change your lifestyle
This is a huge one, but you don’t necessarily need to do it on a permanent basis.
Maybe you want to make some lifestyle changes because your current lifestyle is unhealthy. A few years ago I wanted to lose some weight and get more fit after a series of desk jobs. I moved abroad and all of a sudden I was in a new environment where I could more easily focus on some of those goals.
At the moment I am in a part of India where vegetarianism is the default- so I am planning to set myself the target of not eating meat for two months (the longest since I was a small child, I think!). This won’t be a permanent thing but it is nice to have a challenge and try something different.
- Change or vary the people you talk to
Do you find that you are always talking to the same types of people?
Are there ways that you can meet different people and talk about different things?
- Change the things that you read
Do the things that you read merely confirm the biases and views that you already hold?
Do you really learn from the things that you are reading?
When was the last time you read something which really challenged you?
- Put yourself in different environments
Can you put yourself in different environments? For example travel is a great way to do this. It doesn’t need to be expensive travel and it doesn’t have to be outside your home country.
Or, can you learn to experience your present environment in new ways? It is likely that even people living on the same street as you will experience it in completely different ways due to their interests, their history, their families etc. Is there any way that you can alter your environment even if only slightly? Maybe one day you can take a different route home or volunteer at a local charity, or speak to someone who has been in your area for a lot longer or a lot less than you?
- Try new things that excite you
Is there something that you’ve always wanted to try that you’ve never allowed yourself to?
It might be very small things, in easy reach. I remember when I was at university I hadn’t had olives much before. One day I was in the supermarket and I asked about some of the olives in the deli counter. The kind person there let me try something like 7 different types. In five minutes I had a new appreciation of (and liking for) olives, I understood much more about the different types and I had some idea of the type that I preferred. That morning I had probably tried less types of olive than most people and yet very quickly for free I had suddenly tried more.
It could be a really big thing that you know you have always wanted to try- what are the obstacles that you need to remove before you can give it a go? Can you start removing them right now?