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Why Spending Time Alone Helps Unlock Your Potential

Why Spending Time Alone Helps Unlock Your Potential

We live in a social world. It’s a rare occasion in which we find ourselves to truly be alone anymore. Even when none of our friends or family members are physically near us, they’re only a text message or Skype call away. While being so connected does have its benefits, we’ve all but forgotten the importance of alone time. Sometimes it’s necessary to shut the world out and live on your own terms.

When you’re alone:

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1.You get creative and productive

When you’re alone, you don’t rely on other people to entertain you or otherwise enhance your life. It’s all up to you. Not only do you not rely on others, but you also don’t hold yourself back when working on a project, and will be more likely to try new ways of accomplishing a task that you might not have tried had you been working in a group. Speaking of that…

2.You work harder

Remember in school when you were assigned to work in groups? I bet you also remember when three of the five members of your group would let the other two do all the work, right? This group mentality that “someone else will do it” doesn’t exist when you’re alone. If you don’t do the work, no one else will. And, of course, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to, you’re going to be the only one taking the blame. Not only that, but when you’re totally alone, you’re completely free from distractions and can actually focus on getting work done in the first place.

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3.You branch out more

This sounds a bit counterintuitive, but hear me out. When you go places with friends, you more than likely stick with them at all times. Since you have people around to interact with, you’re more than likely not interested in meeting anyone new. But if you’re alone when you’re out and about, you might find yourself striking up conversations with anyone who piques your interest. You never know when a new connection you make could end up changing your life in some way.

4.You clear your mind

We all need time to recharge – and if you say you don’t, you’re only kidding yourself. We’re constantly inundated with busyness, whether work- or “leisure”-related, so when we actually get time to ourselves, it’s important to use it wisely. Like I said earlier, even when we’re alone, we’re still a phone call away from our loved ones. But sometimes it’s necessary to shut off our phones and just live completely in the moment for once.

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5.You get to do what you want to do

I mentioned this a bit earlier, but when you’re alone, you’re completely responsible for your own entertainment and enjoyment. You aren’t relying on other people to make plans or make things happen. Not only that, but you’re also free to do what you really want to do with your life. Everyone gets to a point where they’re tired of doing what their friends are doing. And we all have guilty pleasures that our friends would find corny or cheesy. When we finally get time to ourselves, we can actually enjoy these pastimes and hobbies without criticism from the peanut gallery.

6.You learn about yourself

When you’re alone, you can truly be yourself. You might be surprised to realize that, all this time, you’ve never actually taken the time to get to know yourself. Like I said, when you’re alone, you can explore new interests without caring what others may think. You may find yourself trying out new activities that you never would have given a second thought if you were with other people, only to discover a new passion.

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Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely; it means being free to discover who you really are.

Featured photo credit: Ann Haritonenko via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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