Sorry that I did not post on Monday as I did not even realize it was Monday. That is what happens to me in the summer, I lose track of the days. The extended weekend from the 4th of July did not help either. Don’t you fear though, because I am posting for you today. I needed to switch things up a bit anyway.
In the last year I have changed so much and there are some many things I am proud about. I have become a much more confident and positive person. I have changed my philosophy on life, appreciating much more and becoming truly happy. There is always room for growth though. A few weeks ago I posted about feeling uncomfortable. For those of you that did not read it you can read it here. For those of you that did read it and maybe forgot, how could you?! Despite your disloyalty, I will sum it up for you. Basically I talked about how when you feel uncomfortable you are growing. Furthermore, and more related to today’s post, I talked about what a truly awkward person I am to be around sometimes. Even after all the changes I have made to myself, this is where I have room to grow.
This is why I am doing a 30 day challenge; a social challenge that is (for those who couldn’t tell from the title). This will consist of doing something every day for 30 days that will hopefully make me into a less awkward person. I have not really come up with the entire list yet but I did complete day one today: start 5 conversations with people you do not know. The conversations did not have to be meaningful or long and they weren’t. The point was to attack any anxiety that I had about talking to people. Some other ideas for days I have is to keep eye contact while I am talking to strangers, have a meaningful and long conversation with strangers, and of course get some numbers. (I am a college guy remember.) As you can see it is still a work in progress but I believe this will help me substantially in my effort to eliminate my awkwardness.
Where do you have room to grow? Do you think a 30 day challenge will work for you? If so here are some tips to help you plan one.
Tip 1: Start small and work up to hard task that make you closer to your goal. Maybe you are trying to get over your fear of heights. Start out by climbing half way up a ladder. The next day climb all the way up and so on. End the 30 days with something you always wanted to do but have been to scared of, such as riding Kingda Ka the world’s tallest roller coaster.
Tip 2: Challenge yourself! This may seem obvious but it is a lot easier said than done when you are creating the list. If you do not increase the task to challenge yourself you will not grow. The point is to feel uncomfortable so that you can expand your comfort zone. If by day 20 you are just making it to the top of the ladder, you are not challenging yourself enough.
Tip 3: Remember why you are doing it! If you do create a good 30 day challenge then there is probably going to be a point that you want to give up because you will be too uncomfortable. For example maybe I want to approach a group of 10 people or more. I may be thinking to myself that it is too many people for me to fit in but that is the point. I have to push myself to get to where I want to be and you do too. Remember that at one point in your life, probably around 15 to 20 days ago, you said to yourself, “I do not like that about myself and need to chance it.” You took the first step to change for a reason! Hold on to it.
Tip 4: They do not really have to be 30 consecutive days. Yes, it would be better if they were but sometimes life gets in the way. I know that I will most likely not be in a social setting every day for 30 days straight. That could make accomplishing a social challenge hard. So if you miss a day do not worry but make sure you do not go crazy missing days left and right. If you go a week or more without doing a task that is probably too much.
Tip 5: Have fun! I know (if you stuck with me this long) you are probably thinking how are you going to have fun when you are going to be putting yourself in uncomfortable and awkward situation. I am crazy right? Well maybe I am but I believe it is very possibly to have fun especially after completing a task you would not normally do. If you could never climb a ladder before but you made it to that point in your challenge, you may just start climbing ladders because it is fun because you can actually do it. Maybe that was a bad example but hopefully you get the point. The more uncomfortable tasks you make yourself do the more things you will become comfortable with enabling you to have more fun.
Research says it takes about 30 days to form or break a habit. I do not know what research says that but that is what everyone says and we all know that if everyone says it has to be true. So you can spend the next 30 days sitting on your couch, soaking up the sun on the beach, or on vacation in Hawaii; or you can spend the next 30 days forming a habit you always wanted or breaking one you always wanted to get rid of. I am sure you can do all of those things and if you got the opportunity to vacation in Hawaii for 30 days I would support your decision. However, if you really want to make a change in your life for the better you are going to have to challenge yourself and a 30 day challenge is a great way to start.