Trying new things makes life rewarding. From mastering a new language to discovering your passion, fresh experiences gives us a thrill, boost our self-esteem and help us grow. But despite all the benefits, most of us tend to stick to what we know. Don’t let your insecurities get in the way of new adventures. Here are 6 tips to embrace change and grow your brain.
1) Create a list
Is there something that you’ve always thought about trying, but just haven’t gotten around to? Now is your chance. Start by making a list of all the things you might like to learn this year. Whether it’s becoming proficient in Spanish or simply cooking a new dish for dinner tonight, putting your personal-growth bucket list to paper can inspire you to break out of a rut and exercise your brain on the regular. Aim to cross something off each year, each month, and once a week. You’ll be amazed at how invigorated and accomplished you feel.
2) Build your way up
You don’t need to make big changes right away to feel the rush of new experience. Start small and work your way up. Why not take an alternate route home from work this week, or switch up your Podcast playlist to a subject you’re not familiar with? Get used to altering your routine in small ways, and you’ll feel encouraged to do it more often, and with more vigor. Before long, you’ll be eager to pick up new skills or study a challenging subject with enthusiasm.
3) Seek out opportunities
Don’t just wait around for the new to come to you. To fire up your brain, you’ll have to take some initiative. Leverage your spare time for self-investment, and pro-actively flex those creative muscles. Offer to host a book club with your literary-minded friends, or spearhead a new yoga session with some of your coworkers. Better yet, seek out a cause you’re passionate about and offer to volunteer. You can’t grow if you don’t explore and take chances.
4) Make the commitment
Are you a flake who bails on everything last minute? Do yourself a favor and really commit to broadening your mind — no backing out. For some of us, this requires an extra push out the door. Want to finally learn how coding this year? Sign up for a few non-refundable workshops. Often, we are our own worst enemies, especially when it comes to our habits, so find a way to make it stick.
5) Buddy up
Maybe there’s a new indoor cycling class you’ve been meaning to try, but you’ve been too nervous to show up on your own. Enlist your friend who loves spinning to help force you out of your comfort zone. Having a pal can not only help keep you accountable, but new experiences are always less scary (and a lot more fun) when there’s a familiar face around.
6) Set a positive intention
When you’re having a mental roadblock, take a breather and get curious about why you feel hesitant to try something new. Whether it’s insecurity, anxiety or a fear of the unknown, try to refocus your negative energy and set a positive intention. Intention is the key to a happier and open-minded approach, so you can tackle new challenges and experiences with confidence.