Discovering Self-Growth When You Explore New Things
Do you consider yourself adventurous? When was the last time you tried something new? It’s been a while, hasn’t it. I challenge you to try something new!
Think back on the stories you tell or on the ones you hear from your friends. Are they about a time when you were young and active? Do you find that the same stories are being retold over and over again?
If so, that’s saying something. We relive the times in our lives that bring us joy or show us in the light in which we want to be seen.
When you’re young, life is full of new experiences. And, outside of a common time of exploration and discovery in your twenties, you soon settle down into a daily routine.
It could be working toward professional achievement, or raising a family, or just surviving. Adult life is pretty routine.
There’s something to be said about routine. It’s familiar. Comfortable. Predictable. Structure is a key component in learning as it allows you to follow something step-by-step to get the hang of it. Having routines provides structure and we can all use some of that in our lives.
While there is comfort in that order, monotony can also set in. It’s time to shake things up and invite new experience into your life.
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Why Try Something New?
New and unfamiliar can be uncomfortable. But, there’s something to be said about pushing ourselves to embrace our discomfort.
What’s on the other side of that? Adventure? Exploration? You won’t really know until you venture that way.
We encourage our kids to, “get out there and try,” while we spectate from the sidelines. Take a queue from your kids. Sure, they may hesitate before jumping, but they try.
They learn and draw courage from each other. Their curiosity is stronger than their fear. Perhaps it’s because, seeing someone embracing life and immersing themselves pulls you in.
By the very nature of our biology, we are born with a need to learn.
Consider yourself a blank canvas at birth. Through the process of trying, our knowledge, memories and experiences become the colors we paint on our canvas. We hunger for more knowledge throughout our young lives. We want to know more.
This diminishes as we get settled into the routine of adulthood. Not only do we stop trying new things, we stop believing that we can do new things.
Once this negative self-doubt sets in, it begins to manifest and feed upon itself. Once you say that to yourself enough, it becomes a part of your natural thought and subsequently your inaction.
But it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s spring! A time of growth and renewal. People are just outside your door, embracing life! Join them!
What are the Benefits of Trying New Things?
If gaining a new skill or enjoying a new experience isn’t enough, there’s more to consider. When you explore new things, it’s actually good for your mental health and well-being.
In fact, Advice4Life notes the following benefits to trying new things:
- Improvement in Brain Function/ Formation of New Neuropathways
- New Experiences
- Encourages Self-Growth
- Make a Social Impact
- Inspires Creative Thinking
- Increased Positivity
Additionally, it takes courage to try something new. People are burdened by the anxiety and fear that holds us back from pursuing new endeavors. To move from thinking to doing requires strength and courage.
In facing these, self-imposed hurdles, you are facing down your negative self-talk. By silencing these limiting beliefs you gain confidence and self-assurance.
In his Tedx Talk, “The Surprising Benefit of Trying Something New,” Henk Van der Klok notes that “when you try something new, you are not alone… you inspire people.” He also touches on the concept of limiting beliefs, saying that, “even if you can’t do something today, that doesn’t mean that you can’t become someone who can.”
It’s normal to feel anxious and uncertain. I talk about the thoughts we have that hold us back in life in How Can Fear Control a Person as well.
If there’s something you want to do but believe that you can’t, examine why you feel that way. Is it fear of the unknown? Did you have a bad experience in the past? Don’t want to look silly?
Through understanding those thoughts, you can find a way through them to achieving the things you want in life.
Start with your mindset. Change your way of thinking and get out of your own way. You can do it with time and practice.
- Increased Confidence
- More Fun and Variety
- Shake-up Your Routine
- Enhanced Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving
Further, Health Navigator New Zealand adds the social benefits of meeting new people and becoming more involved in your community.
What are Fun New Things to Try?
Where do you start? Do you watch any shows or videos and wish you could do that thing? Or, maybe you used to do something as a kid that you’d like to pick up again (ex. playing piano).
There are really no wrong answers here. Start with your interests or even better, your curiosity. It can be a solo venture or a social one. For parents that don’t get out very often, you can socialize while learning your new skill.
I started this blog. Writing was something I admired from the outside and wanted to do, but just didn’t push myself to do it… until now. And, you know what? I love it! It’s fueling so much of my creative energy and it feels great!
Make it a family event and opt for one of the suggestions shared in Kids Summer Activities. Learning something as a family is a great bonding experience. Or, maybe use it as a way for you and your partner to grow and spend some quality time together.
Looking for an opportunity to show trust and encourage self-confidence? Let your kids teach you something. I’m sure they would love the chance to be in charge.
Do you have any distant travel plans in the future? Learn the language and study the culture. Learn a new skill and work toward a new experience (ex. get certified as a scuba diver for a tropical dive trip).
It’s a big, wide world out there with so many things you can learn. Live a life full of education and exploration, passing that love of learning on to your children.
What do you spend money on? Consider that your new skill can serve a dual purpose. Learn something that can eliminate the need to outsource basic fixes to someone else.
- General Automotive Maintenance (Oil Change, Tune-Up, Replace Lights, etc.)
- Light Tailoring
- Basic Plumbing
Enhance your social life with a new interest or activity.
- Take a Cooking class
- Start a Non-Profit
- New Language
- Join a Running or Cycling Club
Tap into your curiosity and explore something outside of your comfort zone.
- Belly Dancing
- Pole Dancing
- Aerial/ Silk Scarf
- Circus Skills
- Ballroom Dancing
It might seem like something you can’t do, but you’ll never know until you try.
- Martial Arts
- Race Cars
- Start a Business
- Run a Marathon
- Perform at an Open Mic Night
Feed your creative spirit and well-being.
- Write a Book
- Play an Instrument
- Singing Lessons
Exercise your mind.
- Learn to Code
- Build a Computer
- Build a Robot
- Graphic Design
- Get a Degree
Discover inner peace and relaxation.
- Tantric Healing
- Tibetan Singing Bowls
To Recap, Why Try Something New?
Life is for the living. You are only gifted with one. And, you are free to decide how your life is lived.
But, I also challenge you to look within. Determine if the life you’re living is bringing you joy and challenging you in a positive way. If you ever feel like you’re sitting on the sidelines of life and watching others participate, then perhaps it’s time to make a change and get in the mix.
Lean into the discomfort you may be feeling in your mind and just try.
Start small. Not all changes need to be big ones. Try a new look. Do something old in a new way. Maybe introducing new restaurants into your rotation or using new seasoning your chicken will give you a boost.
Wouldn’t you rather reflect fondly of the memories and experiences you had instead of wondering what you could have done?
Do the thing that scares you! Learn the thing that will improve your life or career. Try the thing that excites you! Satisfy your curiosity once and for all.
Set an example for your kids today and become a legend to your grandkids tomorrow!
Are you convinced? What are you waiting for? Go on! Get out there and try something new!
Have you learned anything new recently? How did you push yourself to try? Tell me all about it in the comments below.