“The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.”
— Susan Jeffers, motivational speaker, coach
Are you a creature of habit? With the demanding pace of life, it can be easy to fall into a daily routine that doesn’t have much space for the unknown. If you’re a parent, this probably rings especially true for you. Having a schedule helps us navigate the many “must-do’s” on our lists, from feeding and caring for ourselves and our families, to work, school, errands, exercise, and fun activities. Yet, often we end up doing the same old things day-after-day, even when it comes to our free time.
Getting out of a rut and trying something new has many benefits which have been widely reported, including in the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. The best part? Age doesn’t matter. Whether you’re 8 or 85, getting out of your comfort zone is good for you. Here are a few reasons why.
5 Benefits of Trying New Things
- Build confidence
Confidence and positive self esteem come from courageous acts. We cannot think ourselves into who we want to be and how we want to feel. We have to take action. One way of defining courage is action in spite of fear. Each time you try something that scares you, you emerge stronger with a greater belief in yourself and your capabilities. Like climbing a ladder, each new action, however small, prepares you to take on the next challenge. Even if you “fail” you still learn from the experience and gain confidence from showing up and trying.
- Meet new people
Putting yourself in new places and situations means encountering new faces. They may be your instructor or guide, your classmates, fellow travelers, or teammates. These are people that you would likely never cross paths with if you stayed within your normal routine. It’s exciting. You never know who you might be missing out on by saying “no” to something new. A cherished friend? Your future spouse? A business partner or mentor? The possibilities are endless.
- Learn about yourself
As the saying goes, “Don’t knock it until you try it.” Trying new things gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself and what you like and dislike. Our interests and preferences as individuals and the things that we are passionate about are a key facet of who we are. The more we know about ourselves and what makes us happy, the easier it is to be true to ourselves and live a fulfilling life. If you try something and don’t like it, don’t be discouraged. Keep trying! It’s all good data for the ongoing research and development project that is life. Eventually, you’re bound to hit on something that brings you joy.
- Become a more interesting person
Simply put, interesting people do interesting things. If you feel bored with life, do different. When you try something new, it gives you a fresh perspective to share and a story to tell. The more things you try, the more points of potential connection you have with others. You never know what will be the spark of a great conversation.
- Learn to laugh at yourself
Many people don’t try new things because they are afraid of messing up and looking stupid. As children, we are more likely to try new things like playing an instrument, trying a new sport, or taking an art class. As we grow older, it can be harder to get back in the saddle and be a “beginner”. It can feel awkward or silly. We may think, “I’m too old for this”, or “I should know how to do this already!” Cultivating the ability to laugh at ourselves and not take life too seriously is an undervalued talent.
New things to try
Need some inspiration for trying new things? Here’s a list to give you some ideas.
- Try a new food
Grab a spoon and dig in! Try a food you’ve never had before. Discover new restaurants in your area. If you’re really feeling gutsy, try something from this list of the 50 weirdest foods from around the world. Wasp crackers or fried spiders, anyone? Yum! Even if you don’t like it, you’ll have a funny story to tell.
- Take a class
Look up community classes or workshops in your area. Local art studios, colleges, small business development centers, and other organizations offer an education in a variety of subjects. You just might discover a new hobby, or meet a new friend. Enrolling in a class for a fee, along with the ‘group factor’ helps hold you accountable to keep showing up.
- Take a trip to somewhere you’ve never been
What places are on your bucket list? Taking a trip to somewhere new and unfamiliar can be exciting and lead to all kinds of interesting experiences. Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to go far, you can still get away. Look up historical sites, parks, or other attractions in your area and visit them like a tourist. You might be surprised at what you find.
- Try a new sport or activity
Trying a new sport or activity gets you moving and is good for your health. Team sports like soccer, paddling, or Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu provide you with a new social circle of active friends. Hiking or runners clubs that meet weekly or monthly are another great option. If you like a thrill, try an adventure activity or extreme tour that you’ll remember for years to come.
Try something new at The Umauma Experience
If you’re visiting the Big Island of Hawaii and looking to do something different and exciting, The Umauma Experience has plenty of activities to choose from. Many of our guests who book our tours are first timers who are a little nervous to take that first step. From ziplining and rappelling over waterfalls to ATV trail rides, our variety of family-friendly activities offer something new for people of all ages with no experience necessary.