Open-mindedness: trying new things

Recently we had a motivational speaker visit our school and he told me how he asks young children How many of you know how to color?  They go wild telling him how they know how to color.  Then he asks them How many of you know how to dance?  Again the same reaction.  But when speaking to a group of executives at a large conference he asked the same question and the question received a very timid response, many of them waiting to see if someone else was going to put their hand up.

As many of us get older we become very concerned about what others think and if we are going to fit in.  In fact it many times stops us from trying new things or looking at new ways of doing something.  What do you think goes through someones mind when they are thinking about trying something new, whether it is an idea, getting to know someone new or a new food?  Well I am not sure if this is everything, but I am sure they are wondering if they are going to like it, is it going to be easy, am I going to be good at it, are others going to laugh at me or it looks a bit scary.

Someone once said, ” Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things.  The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions:  could have, might have, and should have.”  I would be surprised if I ever met anyone who told me that they have never spoken those words.  But wouldn’t it be a shame if we got to the end of our life and we said I should have tried to be an artist?  I should have learned to play an instrument.  I wish I had earned my black belt.

Most of the time the stories we make up in our head are worse than the reality.  Once we get ourselves involved then we enjoy it much more than we even imagined.  You will never know if you are going to like something until you try it and we must remember that even our favorite food or thing to do was once new to us.  So here is the question for all of us.  What is the answer when a person is fearful or nervous about trying something that they are not used too?  As a friend or a leader how can we help?  How about you as an individual, what could you try this month that would challenge one of your fears?

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