Are You Capable of Surprising Yourself?

· December 15, 2018

Over the years, life can become increasingly monotonous and boring. The same work schedule every week, the same activities in our free time, similar ways of spending the weekends… Little by little, monotony makes its way into our lives. Once established, it rarely goes away.

Adding excitement, fun, and surprise to your everyday life offers great benefits for our mental and emotional health. But surprising yourself isn’t an easy task. How can you do it? Keep reading to find out!

Surprising yourself: A mix of unconsciousness and passivity

Some people often feel overwhelmed by their feelings. Their lack of perspective generates moodiness, depression, or pessimism. At the other extreme, we can find individuals who are aware of their emotions but accept them passively. They always maintain an attitude of resignation and indolence.

In the middle of both poles live people who are capable of surprising themselves. These people base their lives on the acceptance, awareness, and domination of their feelings. Their emotional life is richer and they feel more autonomous and sure of themselves.

Surprising yourself means trying new things.

Getting out of your comfort zone: The best way to surprise yourself

Surprises rarely happen in your comfort zone. We all have a natural tendency toward what we know. Therefore, in the face of the unknown, we prefer a place where we feel comfortable and protected. Since we don’t feel at risk there, we don’t want to leave it.

However, we need to break that barrier of comfort and see what lies beyond to be able to grow. Each step you take outside your comfort zone will give you a new perspective. However small it may be, it will provide you with something different, attractive, or enriching.

Test your limits to surprise yourself

When it comes to surprising yourself, you don’t need to do anything that may put your health or physical or psychological well-being at risk. You simply have to test the limits of your mind. Why? Because your brain prefers to be conservative and maintain its automatisms and heuristics. It’s not trained to eliminate pre-established barriers.

For this reason, before making a daring decision, your mind will always give you more reasons to choose the least risky and easiest option. But in doing so, it sabotages your desire to improve. For example, if you dream of becoming a singer, the first thing you’ll do is try to get this dream out of your head. Your brain will come up with all kinds of excuses like: “You’re already too old”, “It’s very difficult to “make it” in the singing world”, “You’re not really prepared”, and “You would disappoint yourself”, among others.

This happens because we’re programmed to protect ourselves from danger and to stay alert for aversive stimuli. Therefore, training your conscious mind to stay positive is one of the most difficult tasks. However, the benefits more than make up for the effort.

Go back to your past… and get over it

Ask yourself what you’ve always wanted. What do you regret? What have you failed to achieve? Most importantly, look for reasons why you didn’t achieve your past dreams. What kept you from achieving them?

If the answer is prejudice, then it’s very likely that you’ll find a way to surprise yourself with effort. Remember that the brain always opts for the decision that requires less effort. However, your willpower can fight against conformity.

Do something ridiculously unexpected

Get on the dance floor or grab the karaoke mic. Read a book in a single day. Do a new activity, such as going camping or diving. Try an exotic food. Put on extravagant clothes. There are so many ways to switch things up.

Leave aside thoughts such as “What will they think of me!” or “I would never do that”. If you want something to change, you must do something different. Try to do activities that amuse you, motivate you, and boost your spirit. It’s possible that the best is yet to come.

If you feel embarrassed or worry too much about what people will say, remember that the problem is staying in your comfort zone. This paralyzes your efforts and will never allow you to surprise yourself.

Surprising yourself requires you to step out of your comfort zone.

Recover part of your childhood

Children have an enviable capacity of being surprised by almost anything. Everything catches their attention. But their innocence and desire to explore diminishes as they grow. However, it’s always possible to invoke the child inside you and rediscover yourself. 

In fact, when we were small and were given a choice between many toys, we usually chose the one we really loved. Our choice wasn’t subjected to external influences or interests of any kind. Therefore, if you want to be surprised, set aside your prejudice, ties, obsessions, and taboos. Think like a kid again!

Dare to think outside the box. Allow yourself to surprise yourself. Let your imagination fly and visualize yourself in any other place in the world. Create the life you want and not the one imposed on you. Let the geometry of your consciousness crumble for a moment. Be creative and innovative. Everything that hasn’t been invented yet is likely to be in the future. Surprising yourself isn’t easy, but it’s necessary!