Everyone is talking these days about personal development. About self-help books. About growing and evolving. About how you can get better and improve yourself. You’ve got the point.
I think that all these books, seminars, conferences, etc. will talk at one point about the „comfort zone”. We all know how cozy, warm and safe it is. We tend allow ourselves to grow so attached to it that we hardly push its boundaries or leave out of it. Even though we like it so much and we dwell into its comfort, we say that we want to get out of it.
Sometimes we talk about the things outside of the comfort zone, or about the magic that happens outside of it; we share facebook posts and quotes about it, but we don’t go out of it very often.
It’s hard to go out of your comfort zone, and usually it’s kinda scary!
I decided to give you an idea on this topic: how to get out of your comfort zone. This is going to be a fun and crazy method, but I am sure that it will bring many things into your life, and most likely your comfort zone will get bigger, after you’ve stepped outside of it.
So here’s what to do: have a “yes day”. For those of you who didn’t watch the movie “Yes Man”, I highly recommend it. Besides the humor in it, it might have some life and spiritual lessons in it, if you’re willing to see them.
A “Yes day” is a day when you’ll say yes to all opportunities and requests that come to you.
Yes, ALL OF THEM!
You know that colleague that you don’t really like? If he’s asking you for a favor, say yes. A crazy friend asks you to go for a swim, even though there are only 17C outside? Say yes! Did your partner ask you to go shopping, even though you don’t like it? SAY YES!!!
This exercise should have some “rules”, obviously, but not too many. Think about your principles and values – those should be your “rules”. Meaning that to those things that might break them you will say “no”. If you are a loyal partner, for example, and want to be like that for the rest of your life, you won’t cheat on him/her even though you might be asked to do that on your “yes day”. You don’t have to eat meat if you’re a vegan, just because it’s your “yes day”. You won’t kill someone or rob a bank just because it’s your “yes day”. You’ve got the idea…
And you should also say “no” to really illegal requests as well. Dduuhh!!
It’s not too hard to make these “rules”. Just keep it simple and then decide on a specific day of the week when to do it and just go for it.
Create reminders and notifications on your phone and computer!
You’ll think you’ll remember, but you won’t. I speak from experience. Our mind and behavior is not used to say yes to everything. You’ll easily slip out of it and forget about your “yes day”.
There’s no problem if you said no to something during your yes day. If you noticed that, it means you’re aware and you’re not doing too bad. Next time you get a request, say yes.
Keep in mind that the things that you say yes to don’t have to happen during your yes day – you’re just saying yes to opportunities that came to you during that day. For example if someone asks you to go watch a movie the next day or two days from your yes day, you will go, because you were asked during your yes day.
So, how does this exercise sound? Scary, right?
When I first did it, I was quite tensed the day before and the first half of my “yes day” I didn’t want to get out of the bed nor the house. Hahah! My mind was thinking of all the things I might be asked. I was thinking “what will I do if I will be asked, but I don’t want to do it?”. “what if…? “what if…?”
I was really scared! It’s like going into unknown. Hahah!
But it’s so awesome. After a few yes’s I relaxed and went on with it. I even slipped out of it and said a no once. I realized a few minutes after, when it was too late to change my answer, but that made me more aware and focused on saying yes.
You might ask yourself, as I did, “But what if I really don’t want to/feel like doing that? How can I do or say yes to something that I don’t enjoy?”.
Your question is fair, but that’s the beauty of a “yes day”. You will get out of your comfort zone. You will do things that you don’t usually do, and you will see how it feels. It will broaden your awareness and comfort zone, ‘cos you’ll step out of it.
I can recommend you 3 ways to make your “yes day” and your experiences easier and more enjoyable. Of course you can use this on any activity, but they will come even more handy during a “yes day”.
Firstly, you should accept the situation. No matter what you’ve said yes to, just accept it as it is. Think about the activity you’ve agreed upon as something that can’t be changed, just like as a physical law that simply exists. Think about gravity and how it pulls you to the earth and you can’t change it, the same way the activity you’ve accepted can’t be changed. It will make you more relaxed and more at peace with it.
After you’ve accepted the situation just as it is, you should enjoy it. Do the thing you’re doing with enjoyment. If it’s something you’re doing with another person ask the person what is it about the thing you’re doing that he/she enjoys about it. Try to look at the things through a different perspective. Isn’t this what’s the whole day about?
Instead of focusing on the things you dislike about it(as we routinely do from our comfort zone), bring your attention e on the parts that are enjoyable, and you’ll see that there are many of them.
Lastly, you should do it with enthusiasm. Be enthusiastic about what you’re about to do, or what you’ve said yes to. It will change your whole state of mind and you’ll feel it within your body. Immerse yourself fully into the activity you’ve said yes to and you’ll have bigger chances to enjoy it.
Now go and pick a day of the week that you’ll want to have it as a “yes day”. Create your reminders and alarms for that day, make your rules(but not too many), and bring something new into your life.
Keep it for yourself; don’t tell others which is your yes day. This is an exercise for you, not for others. You won’t do it in order to prove others anything, or as a challenge for yourself and the others. If it’s a challenge, than it’s a challenge for yourself. It’s your limits that you’re going to push.
Set you “yes day” for a whole month or so.
Come here after the first week and tell me how it was and how different your day was from a regular day.