Anyone who’s ever tried to get a toddler to try a novel food understands how big of a struggle trying something new can be. The conversation usually goes something like this:
You: Why don’t you try some carrots?
Toddler: I don’t like carrots.
You: Have you ever had carrots?
Toddler: No, but I know I don’t like them.
You: How do you know?
Toddler: I just know.
While, normally, we are all for trusting your intuition, we aren’t so sure that this “I just know,” should be taken as fact.
As it turns out, adults also have a hard time trying new things, as this study showed. Here, researchers used an actual event, a strike on London’s underground transportation, to illustrate how reluctant people are to try a new route home, even if it will save them money.
Basically, we are all creatures of habit, who like our comfort zones, thank you very much. However, as tempting as it may be to stay in our old routines, there are some very real benefits of branching out. According to The Mayo Clinic, trying new things can help in a slew of ways, including:
Increasing Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
Each time that we try something new, we are building upon our already developed skill set. This can help us get in touch with parts of ourselves that we didn’t even know were there. Maybe, we are closet Picassos, or unidentified musical prodigies, but, even if we aren’t sitting on any uncanny talents, trying new things can still help us feel great about ourselves. P.S. The jury is still out regarding whether it’s talent or hard work that makes someone truly great at something. Most likely, the answer lies somewhere in-between the two, but we still believe that there are wonderful benefits to simply practicing something, without focusing on becoming a master of it.
Boredom is, well, boring, and most people don’t enjoy being bored. Plus, there is evidence to suggest that boredom can lead to a host of negative behaviors, such as, drug and alcohol use, poor academic performance, poor interpersonal skills, increased risk-taking, and increased aggression.
Facing Your Fears
Franklin D. Roosevelt may have said that the only thing to fear is fear itself, but, most of us fear many things, especially new ones. Tackling a new activity is basically us telling fear that we won’t back down, while developing new skills. It takes courage to try something new, and courage builds upon itself.
Alright, so let’s say we’ve convinced you to take the leap into unknown territory. Where do you begin? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Try a new hobby – Adult coloring is one of our faves. Find some awesome coloring books here.
- Take up a new exercise – Underwater Cycling, anyone?
- Experiment with a food you’ve never had. We hear cricket tacos taste just like chicken.
- Travel solo – Thrillist recommends these 15 amazing places, but, if you are used to travelling with others, even going to Starbucks alone can unleash your inner adventurer.
- Complete any of these 52 ideas, one for each week of the year!
Looking for more ideas on how to try new things? Contact us! We’d love to help!