Challenge Yourself

Thinking outside the box is a little like drawing outside the lines. Those lines may be holding you back from learning new things, exploring the unknown or moving ahead with your dreams for success.

Much of thinking outside the box has to do with your comfort zone.

You probably do the same things each week like stopping at Starbuck’s for a latte, going to the same church to worship, shopping at the same store for food or taking the same route to work.

Learning to think outside the box requires challenging yourself to try new ways of doing things. Break out of your routine and learn something new – it doesn’t have to be something you’re particularly interested in – but learning it will make you see things in a different light.

One way to challenge yourself is to study something you never thought about before. You don’t have to take a course if you don’t want to, but online help and books are readily available to help you learn new skills – those you never thought you’d be able to learn.

Try drawing or coloring a picture. It doesn’t have to be a work of art, but it will encourage you to step out of the box and try new things. It’s a visual and right-brained way of breaking out of that left-brain mentality.

Ask a child to help you with a problem. You may be surprised that the result is often helpful and you realize a new way of thinking. Children aren’t familiar with most complex problems and are creative in a way that we’ve forgotten about.

Read a book in a genre you’re unfamiliar with. For example, if you’re used to reading science fiction, try a biography or history book. Be sure to read not only the story, but the way authors in a certain genre handle problems and express themselves.

When you step outside the box to do your thinking and problem solving, you’re thinking about problems in an unconventional way. It’s easy, in business, to get stuck in the box. Business is structured and solutions to problems are thought to be fixed.

But a bit of creativity and thinking outside the proverbial box can put your business or company on the path to success – simply because you’re not doing things the way others have done them in the past – and it’s intriguing.

As soon as you climb out of that box, you’re in another universe where all things – including success - are possible beyond your wildest dreams. Going beyond the obvious may take some effort and planning, but when you escape the obvious and go for the unconventional, it can pay off in ways you never dreamed of.

Thinking outside the box lets you use an unusual approach to problem solving.

It helps you leave your typical way of thinking and get a new perspective. When thinking outside the box, you’re leaving the obvious and going beyond what you know.

That, alone, can open a whole new world to you.