why is trying something new so scary?
stepping out of your comfort zone
Why is trying something new so scary and yet so exhilarating? And how does stepping into the unknown help us to learn more? I am nervous of trying new things; not only do I frequently lack physical courage, but sometimes I can find simple things unnerving: going to new places; social events with people I don’t know well, even hunting down new addresses in London. Yet, whenever I do try something new, I feel a sense of lightness, a sense of achievement but more than this, I feel like my awareness has sharpened. So why is it, that quite a simple challenge can make us feel sharper? Bo Forbes, explains this in the following way: “Where there is mastery, usually by definition we have less neuroplasticity, less new learning. We feel comfortable in those places, we’ve lost the opportunity to gain new neural plasticity.” In short, we learn more when we try something new.
try mixing it up
I wrote a blog post for Movement for Modern Life about how trying new yoga styles can feel challenging. In the post, though I explain how mixing things up keeps me present and awakens my beginner’s mind. Sometimes, we talk ourselves out of trying new things, even if we know, deep down, we will enjoy them. I love the soothing repetition of a familiar yoga practice or working with my favourite teachers. Yet, the new can offer exciting opportunities for exploration and for tapping into new ways of approaching our practice. One does not negate the other. I have found that trying different things helps me to expand my mind and gives me more tools to help me explore what is going on for me right now. You can read more about this exploration in my original post.