3 Challenges for 2017

3 Challenges for 2017

For me, 2016 was full of unexpected challenges; however, now when I think about it, it definitely was for the best. I would like to encourage everyone to spice up their life without waiting until faced with encounters. I consider myself an open-minded person, yet it turned out that there are tons of aspects in life that I was missing out on. They say there is no limit to perfection; well at the end of this year I would like to state that there is no limit to open-mindedness. Below are three challenges I had to face that made me a better, more patient and curious person, that you should try in 2017.

1. Travel to a country where you could see the world unknown to you

When I was 10 years old, I used to tell my mother that I would go to India when I grew up and would volunteer to help out the less fortunate. My mother, being Russian and having a rather close-minded mentality, about had a heart attack every time she heard my speech.


Time passed, and this year (now I’m 28-years-old and make my own decisions on where to travel), I happened to travel to Pakistan. Even though it was not India, I thought there quite a few similarities between those countries. After my trip, I read a book in which the main city described was Bombay, and it was described in so much detail that I built an image in my head, which I then compared to the city Lahore in Pakistan. This trip opened my mind to a completely new world, people and culture. Though I did not got there as a volunteer this time, now I am even more sure that I will keep making a positive influence on people, regardless of the country.

2. Don’t wear makeup for a week

Girls like to be pretty; I guess this is just a consequence from an evolutionary process. Makeup, extensions, perfect nails – we all know that the list can go on and on. However, I have one example in my life that goes against all that, and despite all my love for perfection, I would like to propose a challenge.


My mother, who is now 58 years old, has used makeup approximately 10 times in her entire life. When I was a kid, I was upset that I had nothing to snatch so I could secretly use it; on the other side now, I just truly admire her and her confidence. She has been using face care products all her life, and that was the furthest she ever went.

Let me get to my point, though. Unfortunately, I do not have my mother’s confidence, or the skin perfection either, so I am addicted to all the beauty products out there. Recently, I had to do a health related test, and five days prior to the test I could not use any kind of face care products or makeup. I cannot describe how strange life felt without those extra layers on my face. I felt more naked than I would have felt if I was actually naked. But I realized something: Instead of investing big amounts of money on makeup, we should invest in face care products, to help perfect our skin (I do understand there are some days when we need to cover some things up). I want to encourage all the girls out there have a makeup free week; be strong and get through that week – I have a strong feeling that it will make a positive influence on the way you feel about yourself.


3. Be a better person

One might think this is so easy, or that it does not even have to be mentioned. Well for me, this is a desperate scream out to the world! Yes, for some people it is a challenge to be a truly good person, as sad as it might sound. It makes me extremely upset that I see people being rude to waiters (for no apparent reason), throwing trash out on the street, being impatient with elders and children, being extremely self-centered, wasting natural resources without thinking about consequences, etc. (This list will get very long if I continue).

There is a quote from the novel Don Juan by Tirso de Molina: “For us, nothing is as cheap, and for others, nothing is as expensive as politeness.” This is extremely accurate, yet nowadays very few people use this logic. We are so evolved that we believe the world revolves around us and no one else deserves a good word, compliment, or any other kind gesture for that matter. With everything that is happening in the world these days, there is no better time to act, and to act nicely.


Featured photo credit: Farida Karimova via

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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.


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.


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:


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.


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

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