Note: This post is written by Nicah Caramba
They’re inviting you to a group outing again.
“Uh…” You’re about to break a sweat from nervousness trying to come up with an excuse.
“My parents are coming over this weekend. I’ll go next time.”
But you never do.
You scroll through your Facebook and Instagram feed while you don’t realize your eyes are turning green with envy.
Oh man, everybody looks so happy.
You regret your decision, but not really.
You wouldn’t know what to do or say with all those people anyway.
But you know you’re missing out.
This isn’t the first time this has happened.
But you’re so sick of it.
It isn’t easy breaking away from something you’re used to.
As multiple opportunities for a better life reveal themselves, you know you have to take them.
You have to decide that right now, you will start breaking free from your shell and make the most out of the one life we are blessed to have.
Here are three ways to do so:
1. Stop Saying No
Unless you already had plans for that day, don’t hesitate to join the social activities your group is inviting you to!
Even if it’s something you have never done before (as long as it’s not deadly or illegal), do it for the experience.
You never know who you might meet, what might happen, and what new memories you could create.
The last time I traveled abroad (a few weeks ago), we went to Universal Studios Japan and there was a ride called Hollywood Dream.
I looked up and the riders were screaming as they approached the drop.
It was a rollercoaster.
There wouldn’t be any problem…if I wasn’t terrified of rollercoasters.
I’ve ridden roller coasters before that were faster and taller than Hollywood Dream, so I didn’t understand why I was terrified whenever I see one.
Fear of lack of control? Maybe.
But that day, I promised myself I wouldn’t ride it.
My younger sisters rode it first, and they said it’s the best they’ve ever ridden.
Not enough to convince me, I said.
So they dragged me.
They dragged me about three meters until I finally said that I would go.
And I’m glad they did.
Hollywood Dream might not be the most intense ride, but it had the right pattern of loops and sharp turns that I enjoyed.
Did you know that you could choose your own music too?
There were speakers on the headrest of each chair, and I chose the song “On Our Way” by The Royal Concept.
I will never perceive that song the same way again.
The Hollywood Dream Rollercoaster in Universal Studios Japan is my favorite ride as of today.
After that short ride, it made me rethink my life choices.
How many times did I pass up experiences like this because of fear that I created in my head?
Most of our fears are irrational and have no logical basis.
We need to stop saying no, and learn to say yes more often.
We might not know the twists, loops and turns, but we never come out the same.
Say yes right now.
It could make all the difference.
2. Put Yourself Out There
You don’t have to go out every day, but you need to break off your routine of hiding yourself from the world, where everything is happening.
Also, this doesn’t only mean literally going outside, but putting yourself in the spotlight and letting people know what you offer.
Want to tell your boss you have a brilliant idea for the new project launch?
Go for it.
Want to speak at a conference about your advocacy in life?
Go for it.
You heard about a newly established hiking club not so far from your area. Interested?
Just go for it!
While it might be similar to stop saying no, putting yourself out there comes from your own decisions.
Nobody has to ask you.
You plan it for yourself.
If you do this, the more in control you will feel in your life.
You will feel better for taking responsibility for whatever happens.
It’s time to hear the cracks of your shell breaking.
Practice putting yourself out there.
You have more than enough resources to find out what you can do.
3. Cherish the Connections You Make
So you’ve stopped saying no, started making decisions for yourself and put yourself out there. It’s most likely that you’ve created new friendships and cultivated the existing ones.
At the end of the day, what matters the most are our relationships.
To make the most out of life, we also have to value the people around us.
The impact of human connection is more powerful than we think.
So start keeping the healthy relationships that are born from your adventures.
The more you surround yourself with people who lift you up and have similar goals, the more you are going to succeed in life.
When you are at the same phase in life or going through the same circumstances with the closest people around you, it gives you the confidence to share about your own challenges and breakthroughs.
And the more you’re going to break out of your shell.
These three ways might sound easy, but don’t take them lightly.
You will not transform if you do these only a few times.
They have to be done repeatedly.
Challenge yourself to do at least one of these a day.
Attend a co-worker’s farewell party.
Volunteer at a shelter.
Strike up a conversation with the barista you see regularly at the Starbucks you go to.
You never know what life might have in store for you.
It is through action that we can truly understand the essence of making the most out of life.
– About the Writer –
Nicah Caramba is an entrepreneur who is passionate about public speaking, travel and Japanese food. Aside from chasing the next adventure, she is constantly looking for ways to help people communicate their ideas better through her blog todayimchanging.com