If you haven't finalized your New Year's resolutions yet, billionaire adventurer Richard Branson has a simple recommendation for you: get out there and try something new.
Branson, a noted thrillseeker who once crossed the Pacific Ocean in a hot air balloon, emphasized in a blog post Tuesday that "nothing good in my life has ever happened from the safety of my comfort zone."
"It's a New Year, a fresh slate, a chance to change it up," wrote Branson.
Here are Branson's four tips for getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new in 2019.
Whether it's learning a new skill, starting a business, or meeting new people, don't let fear keep you from from a potentially rewarding experience. Channel your fear into into collaborating and working with others.
Branson has said his willingness to try new things has helped him become a forward-thinking leader. As he explained in a blog post last year, "I've never really had the desire to fit in and that's served me well in business. Innovation doesn't come from being comfortable and doing what everyone else is doing."
"Anything feels a little odd the first few times you do it," wrote Branson. "But the more strangers you meet and talk to, the more comfortable you will start to feel." You might even find ways to laugh off how nervous you are — a trick Branson uses himself.
Get experimenting, wrote Branson. Explore in a way that won't require a huge investment of time or money. You might read a book you wouldn't normally check out from the library, try out a new recipe or take a walk someplace you haven't been before.
These first steps can help you work exploring into your routine and embrace the constant learning that's key to growth. As Branson wrote in a 2016 Linkedin post. "The way I see it, life is all about striving and growing."
As you try new things, consider keeping a journal or even a simple list. "When you try something new, write it down," wrote Branson.
When you take to your notepad, Branson said to ask yourself: what did you enjoy about that new experience? What did you hate? Reflect on your adventures and build on them, he suggested.
Branson is a big believer in taking notes and has attributed his success to his willingness to jot down ideas and goals.
"I can't tell you where I'd be if I hadn't had a pen on hand to write down my ideas (or more importantly, other people's) as soon as they came to me," he wrote in a blog post last year.
Though you might feel discouraged to try something unfamiliar, Branson said you must keep trying.
"Don't give up on something straight away – it's rare that people are good at something the first time they try it," wrote Branson.
He recalled struggling to learn how to surf with his son, Sam. Though it was physically exhausting to swim out to big waves only to fall over and over again, Branson said "the feeling of achievement is so worth feeling silly as you learn."
"If you can get through this stage of doubt and make it out the other side," wrote Branson, "I promise you, this is where the good stuff happens."
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