These profound words came out of my son’s mouth the other day.
“At first I was nervous, but then I pretty much liked it.”
He was talking about an easter egg hunt that he and his Dad happened upon at the library. It was a big production put on by a local church and there were many people there.
He said, “Mommy, we found an easter egg hunt. At first I was nervous but then I pretty much liked it. I ended up having so much fun!”
It was something he encountered that he hadn’t been expecting. With all the people and commotion it sounded like the sort of thing that could be intimidating to a child if they hadn’t known they would walk into that type of situation.
I was proud of him for seeing something that made him nervous, recognizing that it could be fun to participate, and going ahead to try it, even though he was nervous. Then of course he ended up liking it and having fun.
It struck me – his words of “at first I was nervous, but then I pretty much liked it” –
I could say those words about nearly everything in life. Especially any time we try something new or take a step into the unknown.
I thought about his words again more recently. I drove to a conference the other day for work. I hadn’t been to that side of town in a while, it was rush hour traffic and I’d never been to the building that was my destination. I was a little nervous about getting there and finding it. (Though GPS certainly helped me feel a bit better.) I found the building and the room without too much trouble and ended up really enjoying the conference. I had to step through the nervousness about finding it though, in order to actually attend the conference.
This happens in big and small situations in life. Some other examples that come to mind are the first time you use a new software, the first time you do a home project you’ve not done before, and the first time you travel to a country you’ve never been before.
There’s a pattern in trying new things. It’s hard the first time. You don’t know what to expect and I think it is human nature to want to know what to expect. We want to know how it all works before diving in and trying something out.
The first time you do something, it feels scary. The second time you do it, you may be tentative but feel a little more confident. By the third or fourth time you may say to yourself –
“I’ve got this! How was this intimidating before?”
You had to walk through the nervousness, and the fear to get to that place though. You had to feel it and keep moving forward, even though it may have felt uncomfortable.
This happens pretty much anytime we need to put ourselves ‘out there’ or anytime we try something new. The cool thing is, this happens to pretty much everyone, so we are not alone in these feelings. It is a part of human nature. In order to grow in life, we need to keep putting ourselves in that spot of trying something new even if we are nervous.
Most of the time, taking the risk, big or small, leads to the ‘I pretty much liked it’ part.
We can motivate ourselves to take that first step toward the unknown by thinking of all the other times we acted through the fear and it turned out alright, or even turned out wonderfully.
Think ahead to how you’ll feel after you do it once, twice or five times and what an accomplishment that can be!
Use that foresight as your motivator to take the first step, despite any fear or worry. I’m going to bet you’ll be glad you did.
What one new thing can you try this week?
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