When was the last time you tried something new? You know, trying new things, giving something a go for the very first time. A sport, a craft, a random activity that you’ve always wanted to try.
If you were to ask me the same question I could quite happily answer “a couple of Saturdays ago, when I tried flying a Boeing 737 around Las Vegas and Hong Kong thanks to a flight simulator experience”. And, generally speaking, any time you asked me I could give a pretty recent example. The reason? Because I love trying new things, and as a result have an ever expanding monster of a bucket list that I enjoy working my way through. And of course I mean monster in the cuddly sense of the term, not big and scary!
Flying a Boeing 737 in Las Vegas thanks to a cool flight simulator.
Admittedly, trying new things can be a bit daunting. Okay, sometimes it is hugely daunting! It’s fair to say that the world of the unfamiliar makes me nervous in a way that’s hard to describe. I am often full of anxiety even in my normal life and it will very naturally heighten when I’m stepping into the unknown. Leaving the safety of our comfort zone puts us in a vulnerable position, not necessarily in terms of safety, but certainly in terms of “will I be able to do this?”. But using my desire to try new things as often as possible is a way to ensure I make the most of my journey on this earth, to live my life to the fullest. It is also a way to control that anxiety I struggle with; new things provide something to plan for, something to learn, something to concentrate.
On top of being memorable and giving us a boost of positive emotions, there are also some real and very important benefits that can come from trying new things. Here are a few reasons why I think we should all be trying new things as often as possible:
Trying something new both takes self-confidence and leads to self-confidence. That is, putting yourself in a new situation requires you to make a conscious effort to exude confidence, and showing yourself you have what it takes leads to increased confidence. Trying new things is an excellent way to grow as a person, in terms of actually doing something new but also much more generally.
I’m told that confidence is the key to a happy life, so we should be trying more things in the hope of boosting ours as often as possible.
Confidence was a must when I did the Off Road Skills level one course in Wales. First I faked it, then it was real.
Do you really appreciate yourself for what you can do and are capable of? Do you even know what you are capable of? Trying something new, whatever it is, will help boost your self-esteem and help you appreciate what you are made of. And I would argue that is the case whether you are successful at the new thing or not; simply trying is a boost.
Caving at Cleawell Caves was one of those things that I “managed” rather than enjoyed. And was totally buzzing with pride afterwards. A self-esteem boost for sure!
You never know where trying something new may lead you. Your “try it once” may lead to a new skill that is useful in day-to-day life. Or it may become a new hobby. Or it may even become a new career! Trying new things can also open doors to new opportunities – one thing leads to another and before you know it you’ve made it to the top of a mountain, you’re teaching other people how to speak English, or you’re setting up a business guiding people to create something with their hands.
Not to mention all the transferable skills you can learn by trying new things, skills that influence the way you do things day to day. Such as making things quicker and easier at home or work, saving you time, energy and stress. How good does that sound? All from trying something new and putting your new skills into practice in things you already do. Pretty wonderful I reckon!
It is said that if you keep doing things the same way, you will never move on or up or anywhere. To find and feed your creativity, you have to purposefully step out of the norm and try new things. Trying something new can be the thing that gives you a spark, maybe even a new purpose. At the very least it will force you to take a break and wake up, open your eyes to other things.
And this is not to mention how much trying something new can demonstrate value in your everyday. Even if you’re not looking for a way to move forward, trying new things is an excellent way to discover worth and meaning in your life, family and friends, the things you own, your employment, the environment, and other things besides.
Our Zartusacan road trip was a great way to take a step away from the norm and try something very different. Oh how much I learnt!
A Bucket List
Having a bucket list and trying new things does not mean you have to do a skydive or walk the length of Great Britain this weekend. New things may indeed involve adrenaline sports and endurance challenges, but they may equally be learning a new language, travelling to see a particular view with your own eyes, or learning to make your own socks. A bucket list should be about trying things you’ve always wanted to try, or things you’ve only discovered existed a couple of weeks ago, rather than being the first or fastest or best.
I love having my list. I recently wrote about my ultimate bucket list dream – visiting both the North Pole and the South Pole, maybe by motorbike but really by any means possible. But my list isn’t all about the biggest adventures of my life, the vast majority of things on it are small one day experiences that can be done close to home and on a Sunday afternoon.
Tandem skydive, a very typical bucket list item.
I share my bucket list experiences here on my blog in an attempt to both keep track of the things I have been able to experience and motivate myself to try even more new things, as well as to inspire you to try new things yourself.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to trying something new, and whether it’s a big or small leap outside your comfort zone you’ll still reap the benefits. So join a group, go on a solo adventure, meet new people, learn a new skill, broaden your horizons, and give your soul a boost.
Learning to jet ski, one of my earliest bucket list ticks, before Splodz Blogz was born.
I would really love to know what is on your bucket list. Or your to try list. Or your yes list. Or your “before i’m 50” list or whatever you choose to call it. I’d also really love to hear of your experiences of how trying new things has helped you more widely with confidence, self-esteem, learning new-skills or moving forward. Let me know what you love about trying new things. Comment below.