The 12-Day Envelope Challenge.
What is The 12-Day Envelope Challenge?
The 12-day envelope challenge is a unique comfort zone challenge. Although it involves only 12 actual days, this challenge will span over a year.
How Does it Work?
- First, think about what you fear doing the most (any activities outside your comfort zone).
- Next, on 12 slips of paper, write down the activities you’ve chosen. They should cause you to confront your fear and push the boundaries of your comfort zone.
- Then, seal the slips in envelopes, one per each envelope, and give them a good shuffle.
- Title each envelope with the upcoming next 12 months e.g. August, September etc.
- Finally, set aside a day of the month to complete your challenge. (Each activity should take no longer than one day to complete).
What is The Goal?
The goal is to abandon any self-imposed limitations. In other words, to challenge your beliefs about what is ‘realistic’ or ‘impossible’ and to expand your comfort zone.
So, to gain the most benefit from the challenge:
- Do what you’re afraid of.
- Don’t pick the safe choice.
“Every time you’re making a choice, one choice is the safe/comfortable choice, and one choice is the risky/uncomfortable choice. The risky/uncomfortable choice is the one that will teach you the most and make you grow the most, so that’s the one you should choose.” — Karen X. Cheng.
The aim is to really stretch your comfort zone and do what you thought you never could.
Therefore choose activities that are genuinely difficult for you, activities you fear and those which go against your nature but which you know will improve your life.
Firstly, don’t embark on this challenge until you emotionally accept exactly what it involves. Most of all, you must commit to its completion.
Spontaneity is not required to decide to do this challenge but it is needed for when you open that first envelope.
So, regardless of your circumstances, frame of mind, energy levels and weather conditions etc, you MUST obey the tasks immediately and without question.
What Will You Gain?
Benefits beyond measure…intangible qualities for a new way of living. More specifically: iron discipline, fortitude, confidence.
Most importantly – a new-found sense that you can do literally anything you set your mind to.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy”. – Dale Carnegie.
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Try it With a Friend.
Some find the challenge more effective with the support of a friend whilst compiling the activities for the other.
Therefore discuss your fears with one another. For example, what’s holding you back in life and what do you want to achieve but are too afraid to try.
You may wish to discuss boundaries or limitations. But the whole point of this comfort challenge is to force you to grow as a person.
The 12-Day envelope challenge is not an excuse to emulate the hit TV show ‘Impractical Jokers’. So dismiss any silly or irrelevant challenges that don’t necessarily build character.
Keep your requests legal and within the realms of decency (public nudity is not an option).
And if your challenges can incorporate a charitable element or making a difference to someone else’s life, then all the better.
Trouble Generating Ideas?
Here’s some to get you started:
- Be the first to apologize to someone against whom you’ve held a grudge.
- Take a one-day vow of silence.
- Ask your boss for that raise you deserve.
- Fast for 24 hours.
- Volunteer for the day.
- Ask that potentially hot date for their phone number.
- Strike up a conversation with to at least 3 strangers.
- Arrange to speak in public (at work, place of worship, etc).
- Bury the hatchet with a sworn enemy.
- Say ‘Yes’ (or ‘No’) to every request.
Remember…you need to pick a challenge that will be incredibly difficult for YOU. For example, if you’re terrified of air travel, book a flying lesson.
“New mindset. It goes like this: Does this scare me? Then I have to do it. That’s how you conquer fear. It never goes away, you just learn how to ride that energy”. — Zach Davidson.
A Life Less Ordinary.
Many of you will not do this. ..preferring to stay in your comfort zone. And that’s absolutely fine.
But if you wish to add an element of fun and excitement to your life, expand your comfort zone, then I guarantee, your life will never be the same.
Once you complete your challenge you’ll feel a new sense of liberation and confidence.
But don’t stop there. Why not extend the challenge into next year?
Alternatively, you may wish to increase the frequency of your tasks. Who knows where this will take you, who you’ll meet and what you’ll accomplish. Indeed, new opportunities will seem to magically open before you.
Lastly, fancy a more physical challenge? Try the 20-Rep Squat Challenge.
I’d love to hear about *your* challenge!
What are you afraid of? Which activities have you chosen? Post your comments below…
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