“Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.” – Bo Bennett

Sometimes even the smallest shift in thinking can create new and exciting possibilities. Here are a few ways to open the doors to new experiences.

1. Realize you’re not the only one with fears – The number one thing that affects people’s lives and decisions is fear. We’re afraid of failure, afraid of rejection, afraid of change. But there is no growth or experience in fear! In keeping things the same, you only hurt yourself and shield yourself from new, enriching experiences.

2. No one is watching you – When trying new things or getting out of our comfort zone, we tend to think all eyes are on us. It can be pretty intimidating and makes us quite self-conscious. Over time, you’ll grow to crush your fear and do your new activity or hobby with confidence. But keep in mind as you practice that you’re not being watched the way you think you are.

3. You can’t grow if you don’t try – You can’t expect a plant to grow if you never put the seed in the soil. You’ll have to actually plant a seed in your life, as well, if you want to expand your mind and your world. Nothing is holding you back except yourself. Finances, personal background, education, your upbringing, socioeconomic status, job—nothing can hold you back if you really don’t want it to.

4. Try the thing you’ve always wanted to – What’s stopping you from taking salsa dance lessons, learning guitar, seeing the Grand Canyon, or training for a marathon? It may be something you have to work toward, save up for, or make some small sacrifices for, but opening your mind to new things means trying new things. Make it happen; don’t make excuses!

5. Visualize who you want to be – It’s hard to be happy or successful if you can’t clearly see what it is you’re aiming for. What does the ideal you have that the current you doesn’t have? Is it a certain attitude? A different level of confidence? A particular skill set or trait that you can develop? Study someone that has what you want and see what they’re doing differently.

6. Don’t restrict yourself – Do you find yourself thinking that you can’t do something or that you’re not capable of some things? You pre-define in your head what it is you’re “able” to do and not do. You’re putting limits on your own opportunities! Open the door for yourself and your world by not limiting what you can do, create, experience, feel, or learn.

7. Stop negative self-talk – You will quickly halt your own progress and growth in life if you’re always talking negatively, especially about yourself. Phrases and statements like, “I can’t do that”, “I’m not good at that”, or “I’ll never have that” will only hinder you. You won’t be cultivating the mindset you need in order to grow as a person.

8. Build positive habits – Instead of trying to catch each time you say something bad about yourself, focus on creating the positive habit instead. Tell yourself that you CAN do it, that you CAN get the position. You can do your best, and you can succeed. Start by telling yourself the right things so that you will get the right results.

9. The power is yours – If you wait to reach a certain income level before you even look into starting a new hobby, you’re hurting yourself. If you use the way you were raised as an excuse to hold on to certain beliefs, while resisting education, you’re hurting yourself. It’s only up to you to make a change, make a decision. Some things are harder than others, but once you make a serious decision to make a change or open up your world in any way, you can change anything.

10. Have empathy – A big way to expand your possibilities is to reach out to other humans. Show them mercy and compassion, even if it’s just mentally acknowledging their intentions and what they’re going through. People get in bad moods, like we all do, or they tend not to realize the effect they’re having on others. Realizing this and having a bit of empathy for the people you come in contact with will open your mind in a variety of ways and allow you to see the world differently.

About Alex Blackwell

Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender, which includes 10 free Peace and Balance tools.
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