Children don’t really have a choice when it comes to trying new things, because, well, everything is new to them! They have so many firsts; first words, first steps, first day of school. By midlife, many of us settle into what we “do” and what we “don’t do”. Which is a shame. Our brains need new things to learn and to experience.
As we get older, why are we so resistant to trying new things? Is it a fear of failure, of looking foolish? Is it because we are just comfortable with things as they are? I’ve noticed that each time I try something new, I hear the same comments from a few older folks in my life. “I could never do that!” or “Oh, you can do anything!” Trust me when I say my skill set is pretty limited and I have no special talents. What I do have is a desire to try new things, and I have little fear of failure. What’s the worst that can happen, I say.
I’ve come to learn that there is a HUGE difference between “I can’t”, “I don’t want to” and “I am afraid to try.” “I can’t” really is, at times, a legitimate reason. There are some things that we literally CAN’T do. “I don’t want to” is perfectly fine as well. Really, by midlife I feel we’ve earned the right to say, “I don’t want to”. “I’m afraid to try” is the one that makes me sad. Which is why, over the next few weeks or months, I will share some of the new things I’ve attempted. I will share the failures as well as the successes. Maybe in the “comments”, a few of you will want to share your own attempts at learning a new trick or two.