Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Andrej Hendelja
Boundaries are nothing new. We set limits, draw lines in the sand, and say what is and isn’t possible for us. But breakthroughs don’t occur when we adhere to these limits, they happen when we push past them. Greatness demands the ability to leave our comfort zone and redefine what is possible.
The difference between a good life and a great one is the thirst for more than what is expected of you. It’s the difference between ordinary and exceptional.
4 Ways to Breakthrough Self-Imposed Limits:
1. Do Something You Haven’t Done Before
The most obvious way to break out of your comfort zone is to apply yourself at something you’ve never tried before. It’s easy to stick to what you know. We tend to keep working on the things we’re good at because it’s easier to get praise for it and we don’t have to work too hard. But most breakthroughs occur when somebody takes a step out of their “area,” and works on something that pushes the limits of their experience.
When you try something new, you may soon discover that you enjoy it or that you are fairly good at it. Most people already know this. The true benefit of trying something new is the expanded perspective it gives you. Most inspiration occurs when we are out of our element and forced to think about things in a new way.
2. Start Conversations With People You Don’t Know
We have a tendency to only speak with people who think the way that we do. Even if we don’t already know them, we at least seek the comfort of somebody who shares a similar worldview: a job, a political stance, a religion, or a race, for example. By communicating with people who come from a different walk of life, we start to see things in ways that we haven’t seen them before.
The more differing points of view we expose ourselves to, the more interesting and enjoyable we become as human beings. Conversations add spice to your life and make your life more enjoyable. The realization that other people think differently than you will expand your mind and open up new avenues in life. You may even create new and interesting solutions to the problems in your life.
3. Visit New Places
Sometimes the best way to breakthrough your limits is to physically surpass the geographical limits you have been confined to. Going to new places is a great way to discover who you really are and what your potential really is.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go on a vacation, although it is advisable to do as much traveling as you can. It can also be traveling to different parts of your home town. You may not realize how much of your own town you haven’t explored. Try visiting places that you’ve previously avoided or were unaware of. Odds are you’ll discover some pretty interesting places and learn a thing or two.
4. Increase Your Spontaneity
Some people are naturally spontaneous, and may actually do a better job of breaking their limits by deciding to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. But for the rest of us, this is a crucial skill that is important to cultivate.
How can you become more spontaneous? Make it a part of your schedule. As ironic as that may sound, it’s a strategy that works. Make an effort to do at least one new thing every day or each week. Most of us are creatures of habit, and all it takes is a regular shakeup to make us realize just how big the world is and how many possibilities are available to us.
How I Broke Through Limits in My Lifestyle:
I set out to breakthrough my sedentary lifestyle by engaging a social networking website that connects travelers and hosts. The first hosting experience motivated me on so many levels.
The two brothers I hosted were backpackers traveling through India, while on their way to Europe. (It’s been five months since they left home and it will be another five months until they return home – if they ever do.) Unlike my guests, I realized that I had settled myself in a long time ago. It unsettled me in a good way.
I got out of the house for five days straight, met dozens of people and tired myself out from talking. The result? I have a couple of places to stay in Canada if I ever visit, a great curry-zucchini recipe, a couple of words of Italian and French – and two friends to last a lifetime.
What is your favorite way to breakthrough the barriers of self-imposed limits?
Andrej is currently settled in Europe as a research journalist for a private high school. He’s passionate about his own personal and relationship development.