Doing something that we wouldn’t usually try is a great way to stretch our minds and bodies. A new thing can be as simple as eating at a new restaurant, or as complicated as learning to play the guitar. But whether you become the next rock star or just expand your taste buds, you will be richer for the experience.
Getting out of your comfort zone is not a test to see how perfect you are at new things. In fact, I hope that you fail at first. Because failure is good for you. Learning how to cope with the frustration and disappointment of failure helps you stick to your goals even in the face of setbacks and obstacles that block your progress.
Trying a new experience may be awkward, embarrassing and even painful at times. But with each new skill you acquire you will gain knowledge, skills and resiliency to guide you in life’s unpredictable waters.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Be adventurous. Try a new roller coaster, go skydiving, hike a mountain trail, visit the go-cart track, or have a paintball competition with 10 of your friends.
- Try a new food. Spinach, almonds, olive oil, and zucchini, these were all foods I hated as a child. I tried them as an adult and loved it. This also encourages me to try exotic new foods I’ve never had before and give my taste buds a jolt.
- Join a sports team. Tennis, basketball, soccer, and golf are great to pick up anytime. There’s also surfing, skateboarding, archery, running and weightlifting.
- Go someplace new. Visit a history museum, go to the planetarium, see the fish at the aquarium, listen to a classical symphony, or laugh at the circus.
- Learn a skill. Grow roses, take dance lessons, learn French or Spanish, draw cartoons, write a book, take a comedy class, play the bongos, or start a scrapbook.
- Electronic genius. Learn those skills you’ve been putting off. Make a family video, email a picture slide show to a friend, figure out the music, video and picture features on your cell phone, fix your lawnmower, and find the fun of a digital (erase your mistakes) camera.
- Be silly. Nothing releases your fear of embarrassment like having a little child-like fun. Blow some bubbles for your dog to chase, have a water gun fight, practice your magic tricks, go to the roller rink, read some comic books, or have a hula-hoop contest.
- Volunteer. Nobody expects volunteers to be pros. This is a great way to learn something new. Join a clown group, help the SPCA, visit the elderly at a nursing home, or join help your favorite charity with fundraising. Check out Volunteer Match for help getting started.
- Treat yourself. Get your first massage, have your toenails painted, buy fresh flowers for no reason, have a fashion makeover, see a football game, go to a concert or treat yourself to a great steak dinner.
- Travel. Swim with the dolphins, go cave exploring, ride a dinner train, take a glass-bottom boat ride, go beach combing for shells and driftwood, or go camping and sleep under the stars. Stay at the hotel with the biggest pool or rent a sports car for your trip.