When was the last time you did something that scared you? The last time you took a risk and created an opportunity for change, no matter how small or big?
In the fast-paced world of today, full of “new age fear”, anxiety over drive, screen time crazy and no switch of; it’s easy to lose perspective and get sucked into it all and become far more isolated as a society as we become less engaging in a humanistic sense. Our modern culture of living increasingly exposed lives which are often subject to scrutiny, perpetual comparisons and judgement can seriously exacerbate many fears and anxieties, therefore giving our confidence and resilience a knock if we let it!
So the idea here is to start reconditioning and transitioning our mind and body for positive change in line with encouraging the attributes that make up a very robust “zone zero” personality, with some of the following 30-day warm-up resilience challenges. There’s a challenge for every day over a month and each is deigned very purposefully.
You can warm up to handling uncertainty by randomly choosing a number between 1 and 15 every day for a month and look at the list below to see what challenge it correlates to. Alternatively, you can work through the list from 1 to 15. Either way it will give you new daily challenges.
These are all designed to help with self-challenge and breaking some common comfort zones to create positive change, and the point of each task is to complete it whether you like it or not, whether it seems pointless, silly or stupid . . .
Do you have the flexibility to do it?
Can you dare yourself to do something different?
Can you lose your inhibitions, utilize humour and handle the uncertainty of the task and the response you’ll get?
You can find the full list of 30 challenges in “out of your comfort zone” as well as the 25 markers of a “zone zero personality”. You can also start be taking The Zone Test™ to check out your current comfort zone personality at www.outofyourcomfortzone.uk and compare it again after completing the challenges – never mind the entire book!
- Say “Hello, how are you?” and smile at five random people who you don’t know.
Given how many people do this naturally – it might be harder than you think J
2. Play a game with your friends of challenging one another to integrate funny or random phrases into normal conversations. A good one to play with is the renowned funny British football presenter, Chris Kamara’s, expressions: “I don’t know, Jeff” or “It’s unbelievable,
Jeff”, or something like “razzamatazz”, “fandabidozi”, “cowabunga”, “Willy Wonka” . . . Essentially, just have fun thinking of your own random funny phrases and getting them into everyday conversation. It’s good harmless fun and acts as a little dare, starting to push your comfort zone. You’ll undoubtedly make a few other people laugh too.
3. Strike up an amiable conversation with a stranger or acquaintance, or say something amusing or unusual, either in person or on email.
4. Be assertive and honest– speak out (albeit within reason!) Speak what’s on your mind.
Things that you might not otherwise have dared to say; perhaps something you don’t really like or agree with! Go a day with no subjugation – push your boundaries.
I’ve had so many experiences where I’ve heard people complaining profusely among themselves or to me about something; yet when they have the chance to tell the person they really need to be telling to make a difference, the cat’s suddenly got their tongue – nothing’s said and nothing changes. So, if you want to change things, this is a great mini-challenge to start with.
5. Wear something different from usual.
Something more colourful perhaps, smart, glamorous; casual if you’re used to feeling “stiff” in your clothes all day – just something that’s a positive change for you! Perhaps change your hair colour or style, change your make-up, go without make-up, grow a beard or moustache, conversely shave it off . . . You’re no doubt getting the drift by now! In any case, note how different it makes you feel.
When you change, that’s when you’ll notice everything around you also begins to change.
A client of mine initially came to me feeling demotivated, worthless and consequently spiralling into clinical depression, and although her full spectrum of challenges was complex, when I asked about how she spent most of her days from the moment she opened her eyes, I soon established that she paid no attention to herself and generally wore a T-shirt and leggings all day, every day. I suggested some changes – getting her hair restyled, changing its colour, getting up a little earlier to pay more attention to herself and dressing smarter – and she began to feel different. In time she began acting differently and had a greater sense of pride and authority about her. Not surprisingly, this subconsciously created a change in her behaviour and habits overall, and subsequently the responses she got from other people. It’s the old classic – if you don’t deep-down respect and value yourself enough to care, how can you expect others to?
6. Make that phone call you’ve been putting off or call family or a friend you’ve not spoken to for ages. Listen to those voice mails and plan to confront what you’ve otherwise been avoiding.
7. Have a complete mobile phone and social media switch-off for 24 hours – it’s very liberating and certainly pushes boundaries!
8. Travel alone – In a context that you are unfamiliar with.
9. Buy a copy of the Big Issue… (the street newspaper sold by homeless people or individuals at risk of homelessness, giving them the opportunity to earn a legitimate income)
And Have a conversation with the seller about how they came about to be selling it. And if you have the bottle to take it further, have a go at selling a few to give the seller a short break. If you don’t have the Big Issue where you are, do something similar: buy a homeless person a drink or take them to lunch and listen to their story, or think of another act of kindness you can perform – for a stranger in need or perhaps a new colleague.
Trust me, it’s not just exclusive to monks, Buddha, and Hippy’s!
There are some great ways and information in the book to help explore meditation – you can’t not enjoy it really, well unless you hate relaxing and zoning out.
11. Look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself aloud “I love who I am, and I enjoy what I do.”
If you find you can’t do this yet and don’t like the answer as to why, say to yourself instead “I have the balls/guts to change my life and I respect myself enough to do it.”
12. Use a different mode of transport.
Leave your car at home and take public transport, walk or cycle for a change. Or instigate learning to drive if you don’t already. If that’s not feasible, just park further away from your destination to make yourself cover a greater distance. Just shake up your routine, even if – especially if! – it makes things a little less comfortable or easy for you.
13. Do something different and fun midweek, again to shake things up a little.
Things like EscapeDrome™ experiences. Escape rooms are great fun and a brilliant distraction from “the norm” allowing for a bit of inner child fantasy mid-week. Alternatively, look up all kinds of interesting stuff you can explore from seeing a show to a fighter jet simulator lesson. Even having a night in a nice hotel or meal out.
14. Do something out of character or spontaneous that makes you feel a little uncomfortable – but that isn’t harmful in any way . . .
For me this might include leaving my handbag at home while I go for a coffee, because my bag contains provisions and everything that I consider necessary – but in reality I can probably manage without. For you this might be leaving your mobile at home for the day, not wearing your watch, going outright commando or not writing out a shopping list and changing where or how you do your food shopping.
15. Visit somewhere you haven’t been before.
It can be quite an adventure if you pick and travel in a certain direction and then simply follow the brown signs indicating tourist attractions to see where you end up, and what you end up doing. If you’re feeling less adventurous, or that’s not feasible, try going to a restaurant or coffee bar that’s new to you. It’s good to have a go at finding places without relying on your GPS satnav too.
The things that you do may seem trivial; conversely, they may seem like a pretty big deal. It will depend on your specific anxieties, confidence level and fears. Either way, this list will bring its own challenges for you in some way, and will therefore help with building up resilience and confidence and stimulating a positive amount of adrenaline to help motivate and push you further, promoting some of the the attributes needed to fully break your comfort zone.
It’s also worth considering how pushing your boundaries and participating in the 30-day challenges can positively shape your life in other ways . . . Imagine what could come of opening up to meeting new people, experiencing new things or behaving differently. In any case, it will create a different “law of attraction for you” (see Chapter Eight in the book for more on this) – perhaps steering you in a direction you’d never previously considered, becoming good friends with someone you’d never have expected or being presented with prospects you’ve never before contemplated . . . who knows? But the more you push forward and get out there, the more you’ll experience and the greater prospects you’ll invite.
In any case – just have fun with it!