If At First You Don’t Succeed…Try Something New
We are always most comfortable doing what we know. It’s easier to invest time into something you’re already familiar with and it’s safer to avoid taking the risk that comes with learning new things. For these reasons, we generally like to abide by our normal routines. We walk through familiar neighbourhoods, we talk to people within our regular circles and, of course, we don’t learn anything new.
While there is nothing wrong with sticking by a certain routine, it’s also unwise to be inflexible: by staying in your shell, you could be missing out on a world of opportunities. Think about the last time you really stepped out of your comfort zone to try something new. Whether you picked up a book you didn’t think you’d like, unexpectedly signed up for an audition or decided to wear different-coloured socks, no matter how insignificant or trivial that distinction may seem, even the tiniest bit of change is refreshing. It’s good.
Trying new things is especially important in light of the back-to-school season. Perhaps you’re all set for another year of the regular stuff, but why not try and incorporate something you aren’t as ready for into your schedule? Most high school, college or university programs have electives you can select alongside your regular courses. Maybe you’re required to take calculus, chemistry, biology and physics—but if you have a couple of spots free, sign up for classical literature or a foreign language. These elective courses may surprise you…and it may surprise you how well you do in them. Exposure to new material opens up even greater possibilities for your own research. You might even find yourself a new hobby.
Of course, there are other ways to try your hand at something new. Clubs and extra-curriculars are not only fun and productive, but they can help you connect with people who share your interests (or people like you, looking for something new to do). New courses, new pastimes and new peers – that sounds like a sweet deal. All you have to do is put yourself out there.
Yet most people are afraid to take even the slightest risk, worried that they won’t be good at what they do, or worse – that they’ll be made fun of for their efforts. In anything you do, there’s the possibility of failure, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try anything. Avoiding life is a waste of your time and talents, and believe it or not, people can be surprisingly supportive and understanding. So what if you mess up a little? If you want to commit to something, like any one of your current interests, it’s going to take a little work before you get comfortable with it.
Maybe you won’t be good at what you try (at least not off the bat). Maybe you won’t even like it. But at the very least, you can say you tried. Then it’s up to you to decide whether you want to stick by it or not.