On trying new things

You'll never know if you'll never try. Once you do, you'll realise that there's no reason to fear at all.

This November, I’m challenging myself to write every day. You can read them all under the “Shorts” category, where each post should be around 500–1k words. Think of them as “less polished” than my usual longer blog posts. This is Day 28.

It's always a good idea to have a routine. You don't put much thought into the daily actions you take, because you're used to them and they help you get through the day. They bring comfort and keep you safe. However, when was the last time you tried something new in your routine? And how did that make you feel? I've been meaning to take up skateboarding for the longest time. I've tried rollerblading and waveboarding in the past (many years ago), but not skateboarding. My excuse was that I'm afraid of what other people might think of me because I'm getting too "old" for skateboarding (Note: you're never too old for anything). I did promise myself last month that I would start skateboarding before the end of this year. The turning point came last week when I started to have existential thoughts and felt "stuck". That usually meant I needed to change up in my routine. Adding something new to your routine doesn't always mean dropping something else. If you cannot cope with too many things, re-prioritise. If you can, do it and try something new for a change of pace! Now I have a cruiser board, and also went to my first surfskating class today. I recalled feeling anxious before the class. I think that's why it's difficult to try something new — the fear of the unknown. I wasn't certain whether I'd like it, what people would think of me, or if I'd hurt myself trying. I'm happy to report that it was the most enjoyable I've had trying something new outdoors. I think of myself as an indoor person, but it seems like it's even now after today. I had a great time, I think I made new friends, and I didn't hurt myself. (save for my now bruised ankles which I've heard it's common for newcomers)
The more you try new things, the more you realise that fear is truly the mind-killer. You'll realise that you're mostly overthinking the worst-case scenarios which are almost never true. We tend to exaggerate situations to protect ourselves from doing them. But we should slowly try to recognise that trying new things is no threat at all. Face your fears, and set yourself free. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. You'll need some courage, but once you overcome them, you'll find yourself trying more and more things. You might even discover that life can be more exciting and that you get to know yourself better. If we don't try new things, we won't be able to recognise what we like and what we don't. Once you do, it'll eventually help shape us to be who we want to become. You could try finding your "passion" through trying all sorts of things too but try to keep your expectations in check. So, think about it — what is it that you've been meaning to try but haven't yet? You don't have to go all-in trying something crazy like bungee jumping just yet (but if you really want to, then go ahead. It's wild). As with most things, you can start small. It doesn't have to be entirely new; it can always be something old but done in a new way too. Bring a friend if it gets too scary! Most importantly, remember that it's okay to fail. Keep trying. I'm rooting for you.