This is not a motivational article that pumps you up to do great things. This is written just to show you the mere benefits of consciously challenging oneself. Of course we take up challenging tasks in our day-to-day lives, it comes naturally as we are working and ‘growing’ constantly. I am talking about the planned, defined, out-of-comfort zone scenarios that we create for ourselves. For example, taking up that job that does not compliment your strengths, rather demands you develop your weaknesses; planning a trip alone to a random place or leaving your paid job to fulfill your dream of becoming an artist.
I took up one such challenge of going on a trip alone for a week to the mountains. As the person that I am, before leaving I researched all about the place, the safety measures, experiences of other travellers but in all this, I forgot to really sit and introspect (research) about myself. Now, when I reached my destination, on day one, I visited the places I had planned for the day, ate at the restaurants I’d read about and returned to my room before dark. Around midnight I decided to sleep but I couldn’t switch off from my alert zone. Around half past midnight, I realised I won’t be able to sleep at all. The silence that existed in the room was piercing, one such I have never heard before. The kind of silence that I experienced there, brings negative emotions in you, it engulfs you in it. The three nights i spent there, I didn’t sleep for a minute.
In this trip, i saw beautiful places and made great friends but the highlight of my trip was learning something about myself. I always had trouble sleeping alone in a room. It’s not that I’m scared of ghosts, I just feel really insecure in sleeping alone. But when I returned from the trip, I can sleep anywhere, peacefully. This trip solved a problem I had, I never realised I needed to work on.
Therefore I suggest, take up challenges! You never know what you learn about yourself! Taking up challenges have many benefits:
1) You will get out of your comfort zone.
We, as humans, are conditioned to seek out comfort. Therefore it is difficult to let go of things; but letting go of things mean taking up new things, which will always lead to growth. What is the point in living the same routine life day after day? On my trip, I was thrown completely out of my comfort zone. I had to meet and talk to people, which is not my dominant nature. This made me realise I am the way I am by choice and if needed, I can adapt.
2) You will become more creative
When you take up challenges, you are basically figuring out solutions to different problems. This will force you to think out of the box, broaden your perspectives on things. You will also become more confident with
your decisions and views on things. When you travel alone, you have to figure out everything on your own, from simple directions to dealing with language barriers. This allows you to approach problems in various different ways.
3) You will increase your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
When is something challenging to you? When you can’t do something naturally, easily, it becomes a challenge. Continuously taking up challenging tasks mean you work on your weaknesses and increase the list of strengths you posses. I was never good with handling money or saving. Travelling alone requires me to save up for these trips and manage money during trips. I’m not great at it but I’m better than what I was!
4) You will never be bored.
Regardless to say, when you take up challenges, you start working on yourself. Challenges remove the mundane nature that life easily falls into. A person who takes up challenges will never complain of a boring
routine life. My journeys are what I look forward to and they also account for great conversation starters with people meet!
For me, going solo travelling is the way of challenging myself. How are you going to continuously challenge yourself?