I’ve been hearing that a lot lately, as you might imagine. Whether it’s taking my clothes off, jumping out of an aeroplane, blogging about my deepest darkest feelings or wearing lots of bright colours all at once, I seem to be doing a lot of things that a lot of people think they could never do.
I had an interesting conversation the other day with someone who wondered what the point was – her view was that each of these things might make a difference to me on the day I do them, but that it wouldn’t really change anything in the long run.
I beg to differ.
The reasons I’m taking on these challenges are as follows:
1. To challenge myself out of constantly thinking “I could never do that!”
I’m as prone to thinking like that as anyone else and the older I get the more frustrating I find it because it gets in the way of my doing all sorts of perfectly reasonable things.
So I figured that, the more REALLY challenging things I’ve done, the less I’ll believe myself when I tell myself “I can’t do that” about apparently simple things like asking for what I want, or challenging something that I’m not happy with.
2. To keep myself alert and interested.
I thrive on intellectual challenges. I am a creature of the mind rather than the body, but there have been some significant occasions when I have learnt really profound things about how my mind works from challenging my body.
So I want to see what more can I learn about myself and how I operate – and it seems to me the way to do that is by challenging myself physically as well as mentally.
3. To give myself choices and opportunities.
The more we stay in our comfort zone, the less choice and opportunity we give ourselves. It’s like choosing to wear blinkers, and only ever changing them for bigger blinkers. We all have comfort zones but for many of us they are misnamed – they’re more like Familiarity Zones – and even though they’ve long ceased to be comfortable we cling to them because familiarity feels safe.
But sometimes we need to take a good hard look at our Familiarity Zone and recognise that actually it’s a wasteland, or a swamp, or a desert and it’s time to leave.
Only when we do that, can we begin to look around and see the amazing choices and opportunities that are available to us.
4. To encourage you to challenge yourself.
I’m no different to anyone else. I have my fears and hangups, my good days and my not so good days. But I see my purpose in life as being to help as many people as possible to get to know what they are really, truly capable of and to experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from doing so.
My hope is that, by seeing me challenging myself, you will feel inspired to challenge yourself to do something that you’ve previously thought “I could never do that!” about.
It doesn’t matter what it is – it could be jumping out of a plane or standing up to a bully or tackling your credit card debt full on or coming out about your sexuality or admitting that you’re finding something really difficult – everyone has their own fears to face and challenges to overcome. What I want to do is to encourage you to think differently about yourself.
So, the next time you find yourself thinking
“I could never do that” ask yourself
“Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?”
I’d LOVE to know whether you’ve been inspired to set yourself your own challenge – do comment here and let me know!