General Question

rss's avatar

How to become more spontaneous?

Asked by rss (962points) October 8th, 2008

Or, how to get out of my comfort zone? In general, I’m not afraid to try new things, and I do, but usually still within my general realm of knowledge. But for some new things I’ll have that voice in my head that says “go for it” but it’s hard to take that step. Any ideas for how take the plunge?

This is not in reference to anything particular at the moment, just a general thing I’ve noticed in the past few years.

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17 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

Asking a question about being spontaneous would kind of defeat the whole point of being spontaneous…

dalepetrie's avatar

just do it.

Mtl_zack's avatar

i have the same problem. i honestly dont know what to do.

simone54's avatar

If you have thought that might be interesting, just do it.

MacBean's avatar

“Can you tell me where the self-help section is?”
“No, that would defeat the purpose.”

augustlan's avatar

Not spontaneous but…commit to yourself that you will do one new thing a month/season. Make plans to do so, with someone else. If you practice, you may lose some of your anxiety over the idea, and become more spontaneous as a result.

Spargett's avatar

Think about the hundreds of people do die unexpectedly every day. Ask them if there were things they wish they wish they would have done.

Time is running out.

kullervo's avatar

Try think of any of your friends or acquaintances that are Spontaneous. Try hanging out with them – it soon rubs off. You see the seemingly wild, random, spontaneous stuff they do and you learn from it – it’s ok to take risk and put yourself in potentially embarassing situations etc.

Also don’t take yourself too seriously – learn to make mistakes or look silly and laugh it off.

aidje's avatar

I saw this book once that had an easy five-step plan to becoming spontaneous.

basp's avatar

when it comes to being spontaneous, either you are or you are not.

Besides, spontanaity is way over rated

Harp's avatar

Lack of spontaneity almost always comes down to excessive self-concern. Fear of placing ourselves in a vulnerable position, losing face, risking loss, causes us to weigh every action or stick to “tried and true” habitual paths.

The key to getting out of that trap is learning to forget the self. There are a few very old meditation techniques that are aimed at doing just that. all involve focusing the attention on the present moment to the point of complete absorption in the moment. The most common use breath as a point of focus, paying the closest possible attention to the experience of breathing, and forgetting all about the “breather”.

Doing this for awhile each day gradually gets you used to letting go of your self-concern in any situation. But it does take time.

gailcalled's avatar

The line between being spontaneous and being an exhibitionist is thin. “To thine own self be true” works best. Thine own self will evolve and change over time. You are still very young.

rss's avatar

thanks guys!

@gail: I’m not looking to be an exhibitionist by any means – more along the lines of “yes I will forget about my [not super important but planned things] and go to the zoo today.” or “yes, I will go salsa dancing despite my lack of ability.”

I think augustlan and harp are right that it’s linked to self-concern… maybe I just need to truly embarrass myself a few times to get over it.

Nimis's avatar

Gail: There’s no immediate correlation for me between being spontaneous and being an exhibitionist.
Care to elaborate how they relate for you?

gailcalled's avatar

I am and have always been a shrinking violet. So I don’‘t count. I analyze, worry, and carry the super-conservative gene from my father.

And perhaps I was being too glib. Right now, I am not even sure what spontaneous behavior means. However, yes to zoo, no to flailing around on the dance floor for me.

Last night, after assuring myself that I wouldn’t, I let myself be talked into going to Kol Nidre Services on the eve of Yom Kippur. I did it for my friend and can hardly call that spontaneous, can it? A change of plans perhaps?

Nimis's avatar

Change of plans is a good start. =)

dannyswindowsill's avatar

Americans are too afraid, too careful (if you are American.) If you keep your door unlocked, chances are, your house won’t be robbed, Thieves don’t go checking every door on the street. Keep in that in mind as you live your life. Courage!

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