1. Bending the rules, because we know better.
Your boss tells you to follow procedure, but you discover a faster method to finishing your task and getting yourself to happy hour that much sooner. Your teacher says to follow the steps in the textbook even though you think the publisher just wants to sell more books and your cheater-method of getting the answer seems to be flawless.
While I’m not suggesting you do anything illegal, sometimes breaking the rules can be healthy. Innovators come up with their ideas because they see the typical patterns are not fitting their desires, and they start to think outside the box. Take the leap and break a few rules if it means something better; you may be surprised by the outcome, and so might your superiors.
2. Having a shameless “me” day.
Ever take a day just for you? No cellphone glancing, no email checking and definitely no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You take the day to disconnect and ignore your job, your friends and your responsibilities, because you deserve a day for yourself. Sleep in, do creative things, take a long bath; anything you can do to focus on yourself and yourself only.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to take time for ourselves and clear our heads. You are the one living your life, so why shouldn’t you enjoy it? It’s not a crime to call in sick every once in a while if you’re feeling burnt out. It’s not a disgrace if you tell your friend that you’re not coming to the bar tonight because you need some R&R at home. It’s not the end of the world if you miss one day of class. The world doesn’t stop for anybody, and it will continue on, even if you take a break.
3. Wearing the outfit that’s stayed stashed away in the closet.
You found this super cute dress on the clearance rack at Macy’s, or these awesome shoes at the discount store down the road from your place. You know they would look great on you, but they’re not exactly your usual style and worse, they’re out of season. You kept it in your closet for days, weeks, months after buying it, and even though the return period is expired, you question whether or not you should try to exchange the clothing-item for something more up your alley.
Fashion risks are wise ones to take because they help you express your individuality. In one week alone, I’ve gone from girly dresses to skater clothes to a leather jacket and combat boots, but years ago, I was just a jeans and a t-shirt kind of girl. I’m taking chances on my style, and I’m finding more and more that people compliment me more when my outfits are varied up frequently. Wear that new outfit loud and proud, and possibly even inspire others to follow suit.
4. Blowing extra money on guilty pleasures.
Have a thing for the tabloids sitting in the checkout lane? Craving a trip to Disney World at the end of the month? Spending our extra money on things we enjoy may seem frivolous at times, especially when that savings account has such an alluring interest rate tacked onto it. Sometimes though, it’s okay to have a little fun with the money we work so hard for, and there’s no shame in that, even if it’s on things we could have totally gone without purchasing. Budget correctly, put a small amount away with each check, but remember to add to your budget a little bit of room for “fun money,” and go nuts.
5. Telling them how we really feel.
We all have that one person who we let walk away without telling them how we really feel. Maybe they hurt us in a past relationship and we never got to tell them how much of an ass they were. Maybe they helped you through a tough time and you never got the chance to truly convey how much that meant to you. Sometimes the words just come out, and other times they are trapped in our vocal chords and never escape.
But telling that person what you really think will be a liberating and rewarding experience for you. No longer will the secret be trapped, and you’ll get to walk away knowing that at least you told the truth, even if months or years later. Speak up now or forever hold your peace doesn’t apply here — the new rule is to speak. Just speak, and you’ll be glad you did.
“Creative risk taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high. Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.”
– Gary Ryan Blair