As human beings, we are inherently afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of what other people will think of us, afraid of being alone, afraid of change and the unknown, and afraid to let ourselves go and step outside of our comfortable little environment – our tight-knit circle of friends – never wanting to leave the path we’ve been told we’re “supposed” to take.
I’ve been there. Hell, I’m still there sometimes. I’ve let my fear control and define who I am. It took me a long time to realize that sometimes, even when it seems ridiculous or even inappropriate, you just have to let yourself go – and be YOU – in the purest sense of the word – you have to connect with what makes you unique and tap into your full potential. We’re told all the time that you have to do what’s best for you – but when you take a step back and think – are you actually doing it? Can you honestly say you feel like you’re the master of your own destiny, or are you riding on the coattails of faith in hopes that it will lead you in the right direction?
If you’re wandering around wondering how to take that first step – how to quit your job and find something better, move to a new place, try a new food, get back into working out – whatever it is, big or small – just do it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know “just do it” may be a cop out – and a total rip off from Nike – but all I’m saying is that you can do whatever you set out to once you’re ready and believe in yourself.
Usually, to get there, you have to step outside your comfort zone – you have to throw away being content and rock the boat a bit until you figure things out. You have to experiment and try new things – sometimes without a back up plan. It’s not easy, it can’t always be calculated and strategic – but causing a riff every now and then and introducing a little “chaos” into your lifestyle is sometimes the only way to get things done.
Go out and try Sushi for the first time (not the lame-o California roll – as delicious as they might be – I mean the real raw fish kind). Travel to a place you’ve never been – and before you do it – try to make some friends there who can show you around and maybe give you a place to crash (no sense in not saving a little money, right?). At the next networking event, don’t just sit in the corner with the people you know – go challenge a friend to a game of pool and let complete strangers set the stakes of the game, even if it involves cartwheels you know you can’t possibly do (hypothetically speaking, of course). Start looking for another job if you’re feeling stuck where you’re at (there IS something better out there). It all comes down to you and your willingness to run, not walk, out of your comfort zone.
If your reading this from a business perspective – take this year, or hell, even this quarter or this month, and try something new. Get on board with Social Media – invest (IE hire someone) to join your team as a community manager – a person who is 100% invested in building relationships with your customers. Been there, done that? Then try something else – integrate new media (like video) into your marketing campaign – take your staff out for a happy hour every other week. Hell, just do something you’ve never done before.
Odds are – by going against the grain and trying new things – you’ll become a trend setter – someone that other people will follow and admire. One minute you’ll be shrugging your shoulders to Coolio’s rendition of “Fantastic Voyage” and the next, you’ll be leading everyone on the dance floor in the “Electric Slide”. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below.
What’s one thing you’ll do this year that you’ve never done before? How would you encourage others to bring a little innovation into their own lives?