Perspectives On Design Thinking

12 Ways to Step into Your Vulnerable Zone

What is ‘vulnerability’? Is it good being in a state of vulnerability or does one’s comfort zone provide a greater opportunity for growth and development? If vulnerability is good, how does one get into it?

Many of us are reluctant to make ourselves vulnerable. We are happy in our comfort zones, it’s enjoyable in there. Our comfort zone is familiar. We know the kind of life that exists there. Sometimes, we’re not even that comfortable in our comfort zone. But we still stay there. We worry that things outside our comfort zone will be worse. We worry about the unknown. Vulnerability is one of the value adding forces that are important for the Design Mindset.

Neale Donald Walsch once said: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Simply put, only when you stop letting fears and anxiety hold you back, will you start to make those major breakthroughs in life. If you want to do more in life, challenge yourself and move into your area of vulnerability. For a person who wants to cautiously step into the vulnerable zone, here are a few simple ways …

1. Eat something different
Instead of choosing the same dishes you always order, try something you have never tried before.

2. Smile at more people
Instead of just going along with your day in your normal social way try smiling more. Smile at the security guard, the person at the reception desk, the people closest to you and smile at yourself in a mirror. See what happens.

3. Cook something new
Whenever possible try to cook a new recipe. It’s a tasty experiment and it may also make you a better cook.

4. Mix up your music
Load a few new numbers onto your music system. Try a new genre, you may discover a new favourite.

5. Read something new
Pick a book that your friends wouldn’t guess that you would read. This will help you expand your horizons, learn new skills and find out unexpected things about the world.

6. Do all your shopping for the week
Instead of doing grocery shopping when you feel like it or need to, buy everything in one shot. This will give you time to explore something new.

7. Sit in a new place
If you have a favorite place where you have lunch, then try another spot. It can give you a new perspective at work, and you may meet new people. If you have lunch indoors, then find a nice spot outside.

8. Watch something odd
If you usually watch thrillers then try a romantic comedy. If you most often get stuck with documentaries try an animated movie from Japan (I recommend anything by Akira Kurosawa).

9. Take a day to be offline
It’s a wonderful change of pace and feels like I’m on a small, healthy and extra relaxing vacation. Plus, it makes it more fun to get back to work on Monday.

10. Take a news blackout
Instead of reading the paper or watching the news as usual try to go without that for a day. See how it affects you and how much you miss the news.

11. Take a different route
Choose a new route to work, to your gym or home. See something new even when you are in transport mode.Walk or take the bicycle to work instead of taking the car or riding the bus as usual.

12. Stay in
If you usually spend the weekends out, then call up a few friends and invite them home for a movie instead.

In a nutshell:

1. Eat something different
2. Smile at more people
3. Cook something new
4. Mix up your music
5. Read something new
6. Do all your shopping for the week
7. Sit in a new place
8. Watch something odd
9. Take a day to be offline
10. Take a news blackout
11. Take a different route
12. Stay in

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