Inspire Yourself: Try Something New!

 In I Wish I'd Known

“Let’s go knife-making!”

My husband and I have a friend group we enjoy meeting several times a year. We usually get together for a meal and have a great time eating, sharing jokes and telling stories.

Last month, I suggested we ramp up the fun. Let’s get out and do things, I said. Not the tried-and-true like going to a play or walking around an art fair. New things!

The whole crowd was immediately on board. Our collective wheels started turning.

Our list of “things to try” included curling, indoor skydiving, knife-making (yes, it’s a thing!) and pasta-making. These activities would be novel experiences for at least some of us.

Just thinking about breaking out of our predictable “meet-to-eat” pattern raised the energy around the table. (Ultimately, sky-diving didn’t make the top five due to some fear of heights.)

The whole conversation reminded me that trying new things is an often-overlooked source of inspiration.

Being a Grown-Up Doesn’t Have to be Boring

Remember how much fun it was to be a kid? It was exciting to try new things! Sure, it was a little scary to pick up the clarinet or a baseball bat for the first time. Yet still, we dove right in.

Childhood is filled with novelty — and often, a sense of adventure and fun!

But somewhere along the line our sense of “play” changed. We got more serious. More self-conscious. More locked into our comfort zones.

And maybe a little bored.

It’s so easy to fall into — and get stuck in — daily routines. We’re adults. We have responsibilities and commitments!

Related: Being Busy Doesn’t Make You Better

Where can we find the inspiration to approach things with renewed enthusiasm?

In dipping our toes into new waters … and having fun with it. Just like we did as kids!

And remember, trying something new doesn’t mean you have to become a pro or  obsessed with it. Just enjoy! No goals. No expectations. No pressure.

Reap the Benefits of Trying Something New

The human brain is complicated. And sometimes contradictory.

For example, research in cognitive neuroscience shows the human brain craves both stability and novelty.

Stability makes us feel safe.

Novelty wakes our brains up! It inspires us!

By releasing dopamine (the “feel-good” brain chemical), novelty gives us a little charge. It also aids learning and improves memory.

So, what keeps us from trying new things more often?

Common culprits include:

  • Fear What if I get hurt? … What if I look silly? … What if I disappoint others?
  • Limiting beliefsI could never … I tried that already — and failed!
  • Self-imposed restrictionsI can’t afford the time … I’m too tired after work.
  • InertiaI’m comfortable. Why shake things up now?

Sure, doing something for the first time can feel a little risky. But what if you were to focus on the potential upsides instead?

Think of all you stand to gain by trying something new. For example:

  • It could be fun!
  • You’d meet new people.
  • You might feel accomplished. Even if you’re not great at the new thing or didn’t like it — hey, you gave it a go!
  • The new activity might become a hobby or passion (or even a side hustle).
  • Maybe you’ll surprise yourself by discovering a hidden talent!

Power Challenge: Try Something New!

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a more cautious type, you don’t have to look far for opportunities to do something you’ve never done before.

Here are a few ways to open yourself up to new experiences:

Build on something you enjoy. For example, if you love to go on a daily run, how about taking it a step further and joining a running club — or signing up for your first 5K?

Grab a buddy. Some things are more fun — and less intimidating — when shared with a friend. Be creative in exploring whom you might invite to join you. By participating in a shared interest, an acquaintance could become a friend.

Go virtual! One of the biggest perks of the digital age is how it allows us to join groups, participate in webinars and take classes from the comfort of our own homes. We’re no longer limited by geography.

Resist the reflex to say no quickly. Let’s say your neighbor invites you to join the pickleball league she’s putting together. Stop yourself from instantly rattling off a list of excuses. Instead, say you’re going to think about it. Then DO actually think about it! Let the idea percolate.

Related: The Freedom of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Feed a curiosity. Always wondered what it’d be like to try Tai Kwon Do? There’s only one way to find out! Look for beginner classes at your community center or a local studio.

Keep it simple. You don’t have to go big or bold. Check out something just a little different from your norm. For instance, if you haven’t hopped on the podcast bandwagon yet, find one about a topic you’d love to learn more about, and give it a whirl!

Wake Up — and Be Inspired!

Novelty is one of many ways to infuse excitement, energy and inspiration into our lives. Best of all, it’s accessible to all of us, all the time.

I can’t wait to make my first knife. Or some fancy style of pasta. The very thought of doing something I’ve never done before gives me a little charge.

What’s something new you can try within the next few days or weeks?

Whatever you choose to do, be present. Soak in the exhilaration of embarking on even a small new adventure. And embrace the inspiration!

Looking for a motivational speaker for your next event? Carla energizes and inspires attendees to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Contact her today.

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