How to be more spontaneous


Spontaneity: the ability to act on an impulse or desire. This uninhibited, free and easy behavior doesn’t come easily to everyone. You may have a friend who seems to be so unrestricted in their mindset, and you’d love to share their view on the world. Nevertheless, you struggle to act spontaneously because of your concern over the consequences, fear of stepping into the unknown, or simple hesitance to act in a way that’s not planned or considered.

However, a life of spontaneity can be fruitful and exciting! Overplanning kills magic; if you’ve ever planned a party to the finest detail, only to find the fun truly kicked in when an unexpected guest arrived, then you’ll know this first hand. So how can you embrace impulses when they come, and learn to be more spontaneous?

Step out of your comfort zone

Spontaneity feels irrational to those who are uncomfortable with discomfort. Sure, it can feel unnerving to challenge yourself and step forward without having truly thought-through the results of your actions. However, on the flip side of this discomfort is the thrill of adrenaline!

Look for opportunities to step out of your comfort zone; be it trying a new class at the gym, speaking to a cute stranger in a bar, or trying a bizarre flavor of frozen yogurt. You don’t have to make big changes immediately, but becoming more familiar with the unknown will lead you towards a more spontaneous mindset.

Surround yourself with spontaneous people

It’s much easier to embody spontaneity when others around you are doing so too. Allow your friends who are more instinctual in nature to lead by example. Certainly, you’ll find it easier to go with the flow basking in the confidence your spontaneous friend’s display.

This will be especially useful if you’re more of an introverted personality, who tends to internalize big decisions rather than opting for a “problem shared is a problem halved” way of thinking. You may be an introvert if you find spending time alone allows you to restore energy, or prefer to hang out with known friends at a party, rather than looking to meet new people. It’s commonly misunderstood that being introvert simply means being shy.

Cut out procrastination

Procrastination affects every single one of us, and there’s always some task we’re putting off for another day. So how do you stop procrastinating? Decide, single-mindedly, that you’ll do that thing you’ve been talking about doing for ages. As once you’re unburdened by existing responsibilities or unanswered callings, you’ll be able to spot opportunities for spontaneity.

Say ‘Yes’ more often

A cliche? Yes. The best way to train your spontaneity? Yes.

Saying ‘Yes’ to opportunities that arise will lead you, undoubtedly, down unplanned and unexpected paths. Try having a ‘Say Yes’ night, where you and a group of friends all promise to respond positively and openly to decisions. Trust that the outcome will be favorable.

However, you don’t have to live your entire life as a ‘Say Yes’ night. Instead, simply realizing that once you open up to the world around you, and step forward in a way that seizes possibility, you’ll be able to bring this behavior into your everyday life too.

… but know that ‘No’ is a good answer too

Indeed, being spontaneous doesn’t mean doing things you truly don’t want to. On some occasions, you will be spontaneous when you say ‘No.’ Imagine the scene: it’s Friday night, and you’ve got plans to meet friends for dinner. However, you’ve had a killer week, and you want nothing more than to go home, open a bottle of wine and catch up on a box set.

In this instance, you’d be spontaneous to listen to your inner desire: to say ‘No’ to your friends and reorganize the plans. Don’t be disappointed though if your friends end up having more fun on their night out. You did what you wanted, and that is spontaneity at its crux!

Allow yourself to make mistakes

As we’ve just seen, sometimes living a spontaneous life leads to a couple of regrets and a few mistakes. For the vast majority, these will be tiny hiccups, such as missing out on a fun, crazy night with friends, and won’t bring catastrophic consequences.

Nevertheless, upon entering a new, spontaneous phase of your life, you must appreciate the possible risks and believe that you’ll come out on top winning regardless. If you do suffer a few hurdles along the way, forgive yourself, don’t get hung up on them, and don’t let it affect your spontaneity on the whole.

Worry less about money

Finance is one of the leading barriers to spontaneity. You’re asked to go, last minute, on the weekend out of town, but it’s the week before payday. There’s a massive sale on flights to the Caribbean, but you’ve already maxed out your credit card. You get a sudden urge to redecorate your apartment, but you can’t justify the cost this time of year.

Don’t let money inhibit you: try to minimize its role in your life. View money as an enabler, rather than a blockade. There are ways to work around financial restrictions; Bonsai Finance offers no credit check loans, with no paperwork or waiting around to be approved.

Start small

If you truly want to establish a long-lasting, spontaneous mindset, you’d be wise to start small and work your way up to bigger challenges.

This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t drop everything and move to Paris if that’s what you feel you sincerely want. However, beginning with pushing yourself out your comfort zone in incremental ways, such as trying a new froyo flavor, will make you more comfortable with change and impromptu decision-making, in a way that’s sustainable and builds faith in your risk assessment in the long run.

Start small today by cutting procrastination (get that job done!) and saying ‘Yes’ to one thing that makes you a little uncomfortable. Simply dip your toe in the water of spontaneity, and you’ll find yourself jetting off on unplanned vacations and being the driving force of wild nights out before you know it!

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