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10 Ways to “Get Unstuck” and Face Your Fears

By September 13, 2016March 18th, 2020Well-being
Get unstuck and face your fears!

A red headed female outside playing with two hula hoops. Sky, clouds and trees in the background.

Ready to get unstuck?

Have you ever felt like you’re living in the film Groundhog Day, with one day just running on repeat? At some point, we’ve all felt like we’re getting nowhere. It’s usually a sign that we are feeling stuck, living our life in our comfort zone where we do the same things, the same way, every day.

So the next question is, are you ready to try something new and exciting? Our #FearlessFirsts sweepstakes is designed to help you do just that — give you the opportunity to put yourself out there and try something different, adventurous, even scary. But even if you don’t win our sweepstakes, you can still win by bringing some excitement into your life.

Start doing #FearlessFirsts on your own. Think of it as a game: Start with small challenges or experiences, and every day dip your toe a little deeper and push yourself a little further out of your comfort zone. As you gain confidence, you can take some bigger leaps toward meaningful goals and face some of your biggest fears.

Here are ten simple ways to get unstuck and try something new:

  1. Make a list of things you’ve NEVER done. Some of these things should be very easy to do, and it’s okay if they are silly. My first list included buying a lottery ticket, eating dessert all day (I don’t recommend that one), and planting my first herb garden. Plan out your bucket list for things to do today, this week, this month, this year, things to do before you’re 30, 50, and so on.
  2. Find some #FearlessFirsts partners. A new journey is always easier when you have cheerleaders there for support. It’s even better if you can find someone who will do some of your #FearlessFirsts with you. You’ll bond with whomever you share these first-time experiences with because you’ll take risks large and small together and share those memories.
  3. Document your #FearlessFirsts. Write about all the things you want to do and have done in a journal. Make a scrapbook to visually check off items on your bucket list. Blog or post pictures or video on social media (Pro tip: Be sure to enter our sweepstake using #FearlessFirsts by October 2 to win prizes for adventures). Just make sure you document your journey somewhere so you can go back and see what you bravely dared to do. As you face bigger challenges, you’ll have it as a reminder that you have taken risks before, and you can do it again.
  4. Let go of perfection and fear of failure.When you do something for the first time, it rarely goes perfectly. And honestly, perfection is fairly boring. Give yourself permission to try new things without needing to be perfect. That’s the only way we learn and grow.
  5. Play. As adults we forget to play, which makes us less productive and less creative. Make sure you try some things you haven’t done since you were a kid. Lie on the grass and look at the clouds. Blow bubbles. Hula hoop. Color. Play a sport or game you haven’t played since high school (just don’t hurt yourself).Throw a game night for friends. Host a Pokemon Go play date with friends. Don’t be afraid to be silly and playful. If you haven’t done it in more than ten years, it counts as one of your #FearlessFirsts.
  6. Explore. You may think that exploring is akin to taking some exotic vacation, but you don’t have to get on a plane to explore. Play tourist in your hometown. Go to museums or tourist attractions you’ve never tried. Go up the tallest building you can to see the view. Take back roads instead of main roads. Turn left instead of right. Just get out there and see something you’ve never seen before or take a look from a different view.
  7. Take a class; any class. The best way to get unstuck is to take control of your life and find what matters most to you. Your brain gets bored with the same information every day, so give it something new to learn. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s new and exciting to you. Take an art class, dance, sing, join a running group, or take up photography. Learn to skate or fence. Go back to school. Take a class online. Try a new app. Learn how to play a new game. Wrap your brain around anything new and a little challenging. Better yet — sign up for a yoga class or attend a cooking demo at our Independence Live location.
  8. Say yes. If someone invites you to do something you’ve never done before, say yes. Don’t think about it. Say yes. Sometimes, we say no because it’s outside of our comfort zone. But that’s exactly why you need to say yes, especially if it is on your bucket list. Don’t live with regrets. You’d be surprised where yes will take you. Yes gets you into more social situations and that’s where more interesting things happen.
  9. Face your big fears. Facing your fears is sometimes the hardest but most rewarding first time experiences. Add them to your list. It could be a fear of going to the movies by yourself. Maybe you never learned to swim. Perhaps you’re afraid to fly and it’s keeping you from traveling. Maybe you are afraid to dance or give a toast. Get your #FearlessFirsts partner to help you make a plan to face this important leap. The courage you get from tackling this one will be courage you can transfer to other parts of your life.
  10. Do a karmic give back. When we are really stuck, one of the best things we can do is do something for someone else. Maybe it means volunteering in a homeless shelter or at Habitat for Humanity. Maybe it means helping in a community garden. You can just give someone you don’t know well a hug, or pay for a stranger’s cup of coffee or bridge toll. Studies show all these little #FearlessFirsts karmic give backs will immediately boomerang right back to you with a gift of feel-good endorphins.

So now you have a plan to get unstuck. Start trying one new thing a day. Mark things off your list. If you’re not sure what to do, be open to the first new opportunity to try something new that comes your way. Let us know anything new you try: Share it with the hashtag #FearlessFirsts and be sure to enter our #FearlessFirsts sweepstakes! With four amazing experiences up for grabs — helping the winner overcome their fear of water, heights, public speaking, or a personal fear — there’s a chance we have a package that could help you!

Lu Ann Cahn, Guest Blogger

Lu Ann Cahn is the author of the inspirational memoir I Dare Me, an entertaining look back on a year that changed everything for her. The book grew out of a blog called Year of Firsts, which chronicled this veteran journalist, mother and survivor’s daily adventures as she pushed herself to try something new for every single day – an effort to get her life “unstuck,” as her daughter put it. She went on this year long adventure while working her full time “day job” as an 8-time Emmy award-winning journalist with NBC10 News in Philadelphia. Cahn’s journey eventually led to a major career change. In December 2014, she left her 40 year career in broadcast news to dare audiences across the country and to help launch the next generation of communicators at Temple University. Cahn is now the Director of Career Services for Temple’s School of Media and Communication.