Psychology for Living

Gwen Randall-Young
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Having the courage to try new things

If were growing we are always going to be out of our comfort zone.~ John Maxwell



Does fear stop you from trying new things? Do you hesitate to apply for a new job, take a course, or meet new people because you feel insecure about how you will do? This is a fear of the unknown, because if we had a guarantee that things would turn out well, we likely would be more willing to go ahead with a new experience.

It is natural for humans to have some caution about new experiences. This is what has helped the species to survive. It is good to check things out a bit before just jumping in.

However , if the fear stops us from doing new things, then our growth stops. We begin to stagnate, becoming stuck in old familiar ways of being and doing things.

This occurs in some because they are shy, have low self-esteem or become anxious. It also can happen as people begin to age. We do see though, that seniors who remain active and are open to new learning and experiences stay younger.

If there are things you would like to do, but you cannot seem to take the leap, there are some things you can do. If it is a class or event you would like to attend, see if you can find a friend to join you. If it is a new job you are thinking about, see if you can find someone who will mentor you. Get advice on revising your resume, and how to shine in an interview.

Whatever it is you would like to try, it also helps to spend lots of time visualizing yourself in the new situation and enjoying it! If we are fearful, we tend to unconsciously visualize negative images of ourselves in the situation, and so scare ourselves out of even trying. Instead, create a movie in your mind where you are the star and are handling the new experience with confidence and success. Do this often enough, and you just might get excited about trying some of those things you have always wanted to do.



Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit www.gwen.

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