Embrace your potential

Doing something for the first time can be scary, until you embrace the benefits

Many people lead quite a routine life. Often, there’s a fear of doing something for the first time.

We tend to take the same journey to work each day, read the same newspaper, face the same challenges at work, eat at the same restaurants for lunch, follow the same schedule at the weekend, watch the same sports channels on TV. Same same.

Take a look at the room of denial in the House of Change.

How about you, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

This is a great question to ask yourself. When I ask this question in workshops it provokes puzzled expressions, wry laughter, and some soul searching.  Many people can’t think of anything. Their lives are so routine they haven’t done anything new for years. Because of this, they’ve become fearful of trying new things.

For those few who have recently done something new the follow up question is: “so, when you were doing something for the first time, how did it feel?”.

Typically the responses are very positive. If we can overcome the fear, it’s natural for us to enjoy doing new things: it’s stimulating, satisfying and fun.

Some inspiration, to get you started

Here are some examples of what you could try for the first time, I’ve categorized them into home, neighborhood and work. Take a look:

At home:

In your neighborhood:

  • Volunteer at a community center
  • Walk down a road you’ve never been down
  • Eat in a restaurant you’ve never visited before
  • Speak to someone you’ve never spoken with

At work:

Of course, these are just examples. Decide how much challenge you’d like and do something for the first time!

And if you need a little more inspiration, take a look at these quotes about doing something for the first time.

Quotes about doing something for the first time

I’ve always wanted to try new things because it’s exciting and it keeps you active and alive.

Robert Redford

Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?

Michelle Obama

The fact that I try new things in itself is a victory.

Lynn Collins

Be brave enough to try something new; you might just succeed.

Stacey Kehoe

The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things.

Carol S. Dweck

The first time you do a thing is always exciting.

Agatha Christie

Success in America comes in over a million flavors… all you have you have to do is try one.

Johnnie Dent Jr.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.

Theodore Levitt

Life is trying things to see if they work.

Ray Bradbury

There’s no time like the first. It’s always there.

Shelagh Delaney

I think the first time you try anything in a public way, you feel really exposed.

Amy Grant

You never get another first time. I just remember being excited and that feeling of “Wow my dream is really coming true”.

Brooke Valentine

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Eleanor Roosevelt

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.

Ernest Hemingway

As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.

Oprah Winfrey

You can never know what you are fully made of until you start to do the things that fear you the most.

Edmond Mbiaka

Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.

Rabindranath Tagore

The first time anything happens to you – your first love, your first success – the second one is never the same.

Lauren Bacall

I realized something on the ride. I realized if I wait until I’m not scared to try new things, then I’ll never get to try them at all.

Marie Sexton, Between Sinners and Saints

Try new things and discover yourself every single day.

Bhavya Choudhary

Without experimentation, a willingness to as and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.

Anthony Bourdain

You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.

Nate Berkus

Try doing something for the first time each day

Every day is an opportunity to try doing something for the first time. There are two benefits:

The immediate ‘buzz’ of the new activity (especially if you’re sharing it with someone else).

And there is also a more profound benefit too.

You’ll become more confident, more creative, and better able to accept change as part of your life. As you do more new things, you’ll find that change becomes less scary and easier to embrace. You can begin to learn, unlearn and relearn skills that give you a greater chance of success in life.

Give it a go, you’ll see the benefits. Maybe even try the 30 day challenge!

Written by colinwbates
I'm at my best when helping people to learn, grow and be happier. This might be facilitating a training program, coaching a colleague, or sharing advice with my kids. I'm also an introvert by nature, and love to read, reflect and write. Hence this blog! You can also find me on LinkedIn.