By reading the above title, you’ve automatically committed yourself to doing all 30 challenges with me.

I just made that decision for you, so you don’t have to.

It makes things a lot easier.

You will only benefit from doing these 30 challenges. They are all designed to get you out of your comfort zone, to get you to be more social. You will learn to take initiative. You will start DOING things, instead of thinking about them. You will learn to deal with all-around awkwardness. You will learn how to get things done, how to negotiate, how to manipulate. You will start to see the beauty in small talk and you will appreciate every little interaction with other people. You will overcome approach anxiety and the bitch butterflies (as Simple Pickup calls it) and more irrational fears you didn’t know you had. You will become a better person.

 

Stop resisting, start living. Right now.Β It’s gonna be hard, but it’s gonna be worth it πŸ™‚

 

Hey Thomas, I’m an introverted geek who doesn’t know how to talk to people!

Guess what, me too! And I’m trying to do something about it. Publicly. And I invite you to join. Just read the blog post accompanying each new challenge, watch me fail in the video and then go out and do it yourself. You don’t have to videotape it. You just have to do it. If you say you did it, I believe you. There are no hard time constraints, you just have to keep up with me (about one challenge per week). It’s really that easy πŸ™‚

 

Challenge #1: Hugging People Without Asking For Their Permission First

Each challenge will be harder than the previous one. This is a relatively easy challenge. What you have to do is basically:

  1. Open your arms
  2. Approach Person
  3. Smile

You will get rejected. That’s part of it. But there will be a few people who will give you a really warm hug πŸ™‚

 

Rules Of The Challenge

  • You cannot say a word before the actual hug. The urge to blurt out a measly “hug?” will be almost too big to resist. I know I almost always said something before the actual hug. It just gets too awkward otherwise. But awkward is good.
  • This challenge is not only about overcoming fear. It’s also about getting things done, so you need to actually hug at least one person. Keep going until you do.
  • EASY VERSION: If you think this challenge is too hard, you can skip the “without saying a word” part. I know for some people this will be hard enough already. Just get someone to hug you by asking nicely and don’t forget to smile πŸ™‚ You can also start with this and then build up to the actual challenge.

 

Me Doing The Challenge

 

As I said before, I didn’t do too well. It’s pretty hard… But there’s a reason I’m doing this series of challenges… Because I’m not good at these kinds of things πŸ™‚

 

Lessons Learned

  • People from Belgium are closed minded. They don’t like crazy stuff and they are extremely hesitant to talk to new people. People with foreign roots (like the black guy and girl) were extremely friendly!
  • If I’d have to do this challenge again, I would be more direct. I would not say anything and immediately go for the hug. This would have resulted in a better video with more fun reactions (either mad/agressive or more spontaneous hugs).
  • It’s sooo much easier to do crazy stuff when there are no spectators. In fact, the ideal situation is you, a cameraman who you know well and are comfortable to do these things around and the person you’re approaching. More people means more “judges” (at least in your head). Start in a relatively quiet part of town and work your way up to busy places if you want.
  • Prepping yourself with motivational videos and caffeine works. It’s really important to be in the right “mood”.
  • If you lack a sense of urgency, set a goal for yourself. Tell yourself you will finish the challenge today.
  • Filming yourself is absolutely terrifying. What the fuck? Is that ugly, ugly sound MY VOICE?? It’s an excellent way to get more comfortable in your skin. You can also correct bad social habits or bad body language this way.
  • Your friends are scared and will not participate, even when bribed with Sangria. Do it anyway.

 

Stay tuned for challenge #2. Also, please subscribe on Youtube and share the video on Facebook or Twitter, or whatever shitty social network’s the new hype these days.

Good luck my friends πŸ™‚