You Have Permission to Try Something New

At first it was my brother. And it was his wife. Then it was my dad. They all had joined a new gym that had just opened in town. At family gatherings, talk would soon turn to their workouts and hard they were and who their favorite instructors were. After a while, I decided to give it a try. Afterall, if my dad, in his early 70’s could do, I figured I could too. I went to a free class before I signed up and I liked it right away. I understood why they talked about it so much. 

But, after several weeks, I started getting frustrated. I wasn’t understanding all the coaching terms they used, I was tired and sore almost all of the time. I was hungry a lot and began to feel like I couldn’t keep up and why was I even trying. 

Then it occurred to me. I could quit. I could stop my membership. Nobody was making me go. And I was an adult. And could make my own decisions! 

Then it also occurred to me that maybe it was because this was something new. It could also be that my perfectionist self didn’t that that I was “doing it right,” and so I was getting frustrated when I had to be corrected because I was doing something wrong on the weight floor. It also occurred to me that since I’m a highly sensitive person, that I don’t like transitions, even positive ones. And changing gyms and workout routines after 20 years of doing pretty much the same thing was difficult.

So, I took a deep breath, told myself to wait two more weeks and if I still didn’t like it, I could stop my membership. You know what happened after giving it two more weeks? I stayed, I liked it. I got stronger, I could run longer distances, the instructors didn’t give me so many corrections and I started feeling better because I was doing a workout that was mentally and physically tough. And that’s just what I needed.

When things get hard, even positive things, I think we tend to give up too quickly. I took up watercolor painting over the past couple of years and I decided when I started this new hobby that I was going to stick with it, realizing that I might not be very good at it. But if it helps me be creative and relax, then it’s worth doing. Fast forward to today, and I’m not great at it but I’ve made a few cards for people, and it serves its purpose of being a creative outlet for me. 

So this week, give yourself permission to try something new and stick with it for a while. Your future self will thank you! Here are a few ideas of new things to try: 

  1. Take a class 

There are a lot of low cost/free options online which makes it affordable and convenient

  1. Do a training

Again, there are many options online. I’ve found several ones for drawing and watercolors for as little as $5.

  1. Take a trip by yourself

  2. Learn a new hobby

  3. Volunteer

  4. Try anything outside of your comfort zone to see if you like it

  5. Read an autobiography-or really any genre of literature you don’t normally read

  6. Read or reread a classic

  7. Watch a documentary

  8. Try a new restaurant with cuisine that you don’t normally eat

  9. Take a day trip to a new place

  10. Take a new exercise class

  11. Try a new recipe or cooking skill you’ve never done before

  12. Ask someone out to coffee that you want to get to know better

  13. Join a club about something you might be interested in knowing more about

Giving yourself permission to try something new feels a little like the advice that you can do or be anything you want. Really, I just want you to give yourself a chance to take the next step in trying something new that you’ve been too scared to do before. Whether or not you like it is not the point. The point is to get you outside of your comfort zone and embrace the lessons you learn while you’re there. 

I love working with highly sensitive people. If you think you might need counseling or coaching, and especially If you’re highly sensitive, please feel free to contact me at 317.496.0456 or email I’d be happy to hear what is happening and help you find the right fit for counseling or life coaching. If you are looking for help with burn out, depression, anxiety, trauma or behavioral concerns, you can read more about how I can help at my website peacefamilycounseling

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