This post first appeared on Independence Insights where I am writing as a guest blogger for their #FearlessFirsts sweepstakes.
I started my year of firsts — my personal challenge to do something new every single day for a year in order to face my fears and start living a more full life — by making a list. Now it’s time for you to make one, too.
Think of it like creating a bucket list of fears you want to face in the days, weeks, or even years ahead. I think putting something down on paper is important and helps you commit to a new journey. Making your #FearlessFirsts bucket list will help get ideas out of your head and into the real world. It’s a first step and a reminder of all the things you’ve yet to do, all the things you’ve yet to try, and all the life you’ve yet to live.
The #FearlessFirsts sweepstakes is all about pushing yourself to try new things and overcome fears that may be holding you back. Entering could give you a chance at winning a full package of activities that could help you overcome a big fear — for example, our Fear of Heights package will take you above the city in a helicopter and into the trees on a zip-line course. And creating your bucket list can help you discover all the things you want to conquer next. So, let’s get started with your #FearlessFirsts bucket list.
Step 1: Brainstorm
Start thinking of everything you’ve never done and write it down, no matter how silly or crazy it might seem. This is not a list of the biggest things you’ve never done; this is a list that includes the smallest things you’ve never done. My list included buying a lottery ticket, eating dessert all day, and learning the alphabet backwards.
Step 2: Think Like a Kid
Add things you always wanted to do as a child, but never had the opportunity to do. If you always wanted to ride a skateboard — now’s your chance! Jump rope, get some friends together for double-dutch, roller-skate, or climb a tree.
Step 3: Ask Friends to Share Their Hobbies and Activities
I learned so much about my friends when they invited me to knit, do a contemporary dance class, sing in a community choir, and go to the opera with them. The invitations you receive will expose you to something new as well as help you bond in a different way with the friends who are sharing an experience they love. Trying something new is a great way to get unstuck and face your fears.
Step 4: Think of Things That Are Simple Attitude Adjustments
Give sincere compliments all day. Let someone in front of you in line. Give out free hugs. Smile all day, just because. These are easy #FearlessFirsts to incorporate in your everyday life.
Step 5: Face Your Big Fears
Think of the things that scare you, or make you nervous. For me, it was going to the movie theater by myself for the first time. After that, I sang in public. I even purposely looked for a stranger to strike up a conversation about life. I went out in public without makeup. (I have to admit, I do it all the time now!) List your big fears and look for ways to break them down into smaller steps you can add to your list. When you’re ready to tackle the smaller steps, use these helpful tips to start the process!
Step 6: Be Open to the #FearlessFirsts the Day Presents
Some days during my year of firsts, I would just wing it. While looking for new things to do that day, I found that by breaking my routine — choosing to go in the other direction, walk instead of drive, or try something new on the menu — I was taking on new and exciting challenges. All of these simple things count.
I believe every time you do something for the first time it counts as one of your #FearlessFirsts because you have taken some element of risk. No matter how small, you are being fearless as you turn in new directions and walk a different path.
If you need some help facing a fear, be sure to enter our #FearlessFirsts sweepstakes! With four amazing experiences up for grabs — each designed to help the winner overcome a fear of water, heights, public speaking, or a personal fear — there’s a chance we have a package that could help you! Enter today!