Today we continue with a look at ways to boost confidence with directive #6. (HAT TIP: I found this list on the Twitter feed Health & Wellness.)

Try something new, even if it scares you

While I appreciate the sentiment of the writer behind the Health & Wellness Twitter handle, I think we can leave the qualifier after the comma off the sentence entirely, and just go with “Try something new.” As I looked deeper into this topic, what I kept running into was encouragement to not let new things scare you at all. In actuality, doing things that scare you is good for you. Not everything scary will kill you, despite what you will see in every horror movie. Rather, doing new things has some great benefits. To wit:

You will be more interesting. M*A*S*H was, and is, my favorite TV show, despite it being 36 years since the final episode and that 6 of the 11 people that played major roles have died since then. In one episode, Hawkeye and Trapper were proceeding through the muddy bureaucracy to get an incubator for the hospital. After striking out with a colonel running an illegal side hustle with supplies, they decided to go the next step up to his commanding officer, a general. The colonel said of his CO, “He’s true blue, honest as the day is long, and about as interesting as a 5-pound bag of fertilizer.” Wow, that’s one boring dude!

Do not let that be said of you. The more things you try, the more things you know about, and the more dynamic you’ll become.

You won’t live with regret. “Do It Scared” creator Ruth Soukup constantly says, “the worst pain is not the pain of failure, but the pain of regret.” What a great kick in the stomach it is to see people succeeding at something you were offered, but turned down because you were afraid of it, for whatever reason. I can think of a couple of occasions where I made a decision I later regretted, not necessarily out of fear, but because I had assumptions of the future that were conjecture rather than fact. Regret is considerably more troubling than fear of the unknown. You don’t want to live with that “lost teddy bear” look.

You might actually like it. Whether it’s trying a new food, a new work tool, or even a new career, there is so much more available in the world than the things you are already familiar with. I always assumed I didn’t like olives until I tried the Mediterranean diet for a little while. I found out I actually like black olives. Keep the martinis to yourself; I do hate green olives. But I enjoy the black ones. I also had no inkling I could make a living at writing until a co-worker read my response to an article on the company intranet and told me she hoped I planned to do some real, substantial writing, because it was clear I had an aptitude for it.

We could go on for hours, but the message is clear. There ae clear benefits, and few drawbacks, to trying new things. What new things can you try today, this week or this month that you have avoided?

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