How To Put Yourself Out There & Be Courageous

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Stepping up to the plate and putting yourself out there in new and exciting ways can make a huge impact on your life and long-term happiness, and so it's important to stay open to new opportunities and adventures. By thinking of the ways to put yourself out there both with work and social commitments, as well as with personal goals and success, you'll be better able to feel in control of your life's journey and progression.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on stepping outside their comfort zones and experimenting with new goals, behaviors and experiences. Sometimes it is fun to shake things up and do something unexpected and thrilling, and it can help you gain insight into who you truly are and pull back hidden layers that you haven't quite noticed (or totally owned!) before. Openness to experience and curiosity are tremendous qualities to have, as they can clear the way for wonderful opportunities, friendships, career accomplishments, personal growth and memorable experiences. By thinking of these eleven ways to put yourself out there in directions that you haven't thought of before, you'll be able to better understand yourself and successfully conquer your true potential for greatness.

1. Try A New Activity

Diving into a new hobby or unexpected activity can bring excitement and personal growth. "Maybe you have always thought of yourself as lacking talent in sports, music or art. Take an art class, chose an instrument and sign up for some lessons, join a rec league sports team," says Chicago-based licensed marriage and family counselor Erika Fay, LMFT, over email with Bustle. "Trying something new will automatically put you in situations in which you have not been," she adds.

2. Go Out Alone & Independently

"Practice doing something on your own. Go to a movie, take yourself out to dinner or go to an event that you would normally go with friends," suggests Fay. "When you are solo, your experience will be different than when you are in a group. This can open you up to different possibilities for interaction with others," she continues. Be open to making new friends with strangers and seeing where your day goes.

3. Try Something That Terrifies You

I love advising my clients to break with the norm and push themselves to the limit with an activity (a safe one, of course!) that instills fear and suspense. Think of zip lines, roller coasters and hiking up mountains for more physical adventure, or consider asking out someone you've been eyeing for a while or chatting up a stranger at a local coffee shop. Scared of public speaking? Sign up to do a workshop or volunteer. Being on stage? Try karaoke with friends.

4. Make Friends With Strangers

Studies show that talking to strangers can boost our happiness and wellbeing, and it's definitely courageous to approach people to whom you have never interacted with before. When out in public, head to a nearby table of people and start making conversation. Ask for advice on where to go in the area for some fun, and ask if they'd be interested in joining. You never know where it might lead!

5. Organize A Social Event

Whether you want to take charge at work and organize a social happy hour or corporate bonding activity, or you desire to plan a surprise birthday party for a friend, the act of bringing people together and having a tight social network can be incredibly beneficial for our long-term health and happiness. Be a leader and do something exciting and memorable.

6. Be Vulnerable

While crying might not always be the best move for a situation, expressing your feelings and being vulnerable can allow us to build unexpected friendships and intimate relationships that can bring us lots of joy and support over time. Allowing yourself to step outside your comfort zone and let your guard down will create a sense of trust that can be cherished forever, if you let it.

7. Give Someone A Compliment

Doing an act of kindness without real reasoning is definitely an unexpected way to put yourself out there and try and connect with others. Plus, research shows that giving someone a compliment makes us happier, as it makes us feel more connected to the world around us. So, tell someone you like their shoes or you appreciate his or her efforts on a work project and found it to be inspiring and successful. Whatever it is, give freely and share in a wide, beaming smile.

8. Do Something A Little Embarrassing

It's okay, and even healthy and fun-loving, to put yourself in silly and often embarrassing situations around people whom you trust and care about. If you know your singing voice isn't quite ready for American Idol (meaning, it's actually horrible), then suggest a karaoke night to act silly and poke fun. Sometimes it's exciting to be uncomfortable in a safe environment and just let loose.

9. Stand Up & Speak Your Mind

If you're used to listening to what others have to say, do something bold and courageous and stand up and give your opinion. While it's important to remain respectful, be steadfast in your thoughts and actions and own them. Understand that people will benefit from what you have to say, and make sure to hold your own in a conversation with others. This will boost confidence and make you feel more in control.

10. Be Active On Social Media

While comparing yourself to others or promoting yourself inappropriately might not be the best idea, simply being active and sharing your personality on social media can be an exciting and great way to make new connections and be open to opportunities. Speak your opinions, showcase your personality, and create memories of happy moments that you can then look back on to boost your spirits and mood. Engage people and spark conversation, rather than just talk about yourself for maximum impact.

11. Take An Improv Class

Signing up for an improvisation or comedy class can be fun and educational. Not only does it provide pleasure, laughter and a new network of energetic, extroverted faces, but it also teaches you to think on your feet, a skill that carries well over into the areas of work and problem solving. Coming up with things to say, how best to influence others and how to speak freely and fearlessly can all help you feel more confident and intelligent at work, allowing you to add more valuable and act as a team leader.

No matter what life brings, it's important to try and put yourself out there as much as possible in order to experience all that life has to offer and to establish new projects, relationships, hobbies and passions that can positively influence your health and wellbeing long-term. Be open to adventures, and make the most of your time!

Images: Pixabay (12)