Do you remember when you were young? If you’re anything like me it was probably a while ago. Do you remember how easy things were? Do you remember feeling confident and having no fear of failure?
Isn’t it crazy how it all changes now that you’re an adult!
Learning a new skill as an adult suddenly becomes a far scarier feat:
‘What if people see me fail?’
‘What if people judge me?’
‘What if I make a fool out of myself?’
My answer to this is, of course: “But darling, what if you fly?” (Erin Hanson)
The risk and reward of trying new things as an adult seems to be on another level. Far fewer adults take up new hobbies, not only from the fear of failure, but also the lack of time and the constant prioritising of other things (friends, family, pets).
What would happen, if you decided to put yourself first? Do you think you would finally take up a new pastime? If so, what would it be?
Although since my mid-twenties I’ve been very active, I too discovered what it was like to try a new venture. I was introduced to climbing and bouldering by my boyfriend, who had been doing it for some time. My first session had me absolutely terrified. I gained some early confidence however, and continued to progress right up until I had a big fall.
After the fall, I lost a lot of confidence and almost felt like I had to start again – although in fact I was starting from a higher base point. After regaining my confidence, I even managed to compete in a very low-level competition, which was a serious test!
As an accomplished mixed martial artist, I felt severely exposed by trying something as seemingly simple as climbing (it’s obviously not simple, that’s just how the experts make it look) but after sticking with it, I realise how far I’ve come, and how much I’ve learnt.
Next time you think about trying something new, remember that everyone was a beginner once. Everyone starts somewhere.
There is no shame in trying something, not enjoying it, and deciding your time could be better spent elsewhere. Equally, the hobby you choose could become your passion, creating opportunity and changing your life in a way you never knew possible.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (Laozi)