Try something new!

When I looked back at 2014, I wrote that one of the life lessons I’d learned was to let go of expectations and/or fears and insecurities. Getting out of your comfort zone as the instigator of personal growth! My first solo backpacking trip was the highlight of my year. It taught me so much and gave me a lot of strength. And in real life, my motto is: “Do one thing every day that scares you” (Eleanor Roosevelt). We’re all capable of much more than we think and by transcending your fears you can get to know a side of yourself that you didn’t know existed. (Do not confuse this with YOLO – I personally think that’s just an excuse to justify irresponsible behavior.) Getting out of your comfort zone and trying new experiences is about more than just a short-lived thrill or fun factor – it’s about breaking down your inner walls and discovering your own strength.

I try to incorporate this knowledge into my everyday life as much as possible. Two things I did recently to get over my own fears and try out new experiences were climbing and pole dancing.

Last year, I did a climbing course at De Klimmuur (Amsterdam CS) and got my K2 certificate. The first time I entered the huge climbing space, I never thought I’d be able to get up to the ceiling. I don’t have a fear of heights, but to have to blindly trust your climbing buddy and just DO IT (without overthinking it) proved to be quite a challenge. It felt like a victory, even though I didn’t continue my climbing after the first course; I felt as though climbing was only the means to an end for me and that I’d fulfilled my personal goal.

Anouk Klimmen

So… time for something different! A few weeks ago, I went to a pole dancing lesson at Sportief Paaldansen. And man, it was tough! For the first hour, we did a warming-up consisting entirely of ab exercises, planking, push-ups and other strength-building exercises. My goodness, I felt like a wreck even before we started the actual pole dancing! I felt quite surprised that hanging upside down on a pole made me feel quite scared and yes, entirely out of my comfort zone… And yet, this is exactly what happened at the end of the lesson. It felt a bit unnatural and it also was really tiring, but I hung in there long enough to capture the image below. Seven lessons to go and I’m very curious about what this experience will teach me (insights as well as the literal pole dancing 😉 ). Pole dancing isn’t just ‘sexy’, it’s a mental and physical journey of discovery!

Anouk paaldansen

So, pretty please, dear modern hippies: “Do one thing every day that scares you”! Not to please me, or other people, but to discover yourself!

What’s on your to-do list? What’s your favorite personal victory? Leave your comment below, because I’m curious to see what else I can try!

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