The Scariest Thing About Trying Something New

Ever felt a rush of anxiety when starting a new quarter? How about entering a new relationship? Even when deciding what to order for dinner? The last one might only be me.

When tackling new challenges, you operate on the assumption that it’s going to be, well, challenging. If you’ve ever started a new job, there’s bound to be a part of you that wonders if you’re going to fit in or be successful. The same thing goes for new relationships; more often than not, our minds swim with self-deprecating and negative thoughts. Am I prepared for the commitment? What if something goes wrong? I can’t do this.

Why do we feel this way? Why can’t we just expect something to be perfect right from the start? Well, for starters, it might be unrealistic. Almost nothing we do is perfect in the beginning – nor should it be. Otherwise, we would never learn from our mistakes.

However, when things get hard, it’s easy to believe (in your mind) that you’ve already failed. When faced with multiple setbacks, it might be easier to run away just because something is too difficult, unfamiliar, or outside of our comfort zone.

So, how do we find the perfect balance? Here are a few tips that might put your mind on the right track.

1. Always keep an open mind

Whether we realize it or not, the mindset we have when trying something new is undeniably powerful. If you believe that you’re going to fail before you’ve even put all your effort into it, then you’re most likely going to give up.

Instead, you should tell yourself that you are more capable than you realize. If a task seems daunting, treat it as an opportunity to learn more, not to fail. In fact, you should avoid the binary mindset of success and failure all together – it usually falls in between the two anyway! The key to keeping an open mind is not to jump to any conclusions. Speaking of jumping to conclusions…

2. You can’t predict the future

The worst thing about trying something new is the uncertainty. There’s almost no way to tell if something is going to turn out the way you think. However, there is one thing that you can be sure of at any present moment: your own abilities and feelings.

Telling yourself that the future is unpredictable may seem like a mistake, but it certainly prevents you from being preoccupied with unrealistic futures.

3. Consider the benefits

Always remember that if you don’t try something new, you’ll never know if you will enjoy it. Entire careers and relationships are created by stepping into unfamiliarity and discovering a new passion. And even if something seems scary at the time, trying new things forces you to grow in unique ways. Growth requires us to take a leap of faith first, whether we are adopting a new way of thinking or acting.

Trying something new will always inspire thoughts of self-doubt or negativity. It’s natural for these feelings to occur, but the most important thing is to not let the fear of failure or uncertainty dictate your actions. Instead, aim for progress instead of perfection in your new endeavors. Now, go out and order that new menu item you’ve been wanting to try (still only me, huh?).