I left the education system back in 2003, but even in the 11 years between then and Rhys starting school in 2014 I still felt caught in the rhythm of the school year.
September has always felt like a new year to me. A time for fresh starts. A time to try something new.
If you feel the same way, then you might be thinking about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying a new hobby. If you’re really like me though, you might also be feeling really nervous about it.
Trying something new can be really intimidating, but there is so much to potentially be gained by starting a new hobby or trying out a new activity.
So here are some things you can try to help you feel brave enough to give something new a try.
For me personally, I feel much better about going in to a new situation if I’m as prepared as I possibly can be for it.
So if, for example, you’ve decided that this year you are going to start going to a fitness class at the gym, think about what you can do before you go to feel as prepared as possible.
Do some research into what the class will be like, maybe see if there are any youtube videos that might show you one or two of the exercises that might be in the class. Do a trial run of your route to the gym, so you know exactly where you’re going and how long it’ll take to get there. Make sure you know where you’re going to park, and if you have to pay for parking make sure you have change ready.
You could even have a chat with the staff at the gym and ask for a quick tour, so you know on the day where the changing rooms are, how the lockers work, and which room the class will be in.
Chances are you’ll feel much braver if you know where you’re going and what you’ll be doing.
Focus on the benefits
If the nerves are still kicking in, then stop and think about why you actually want to pick up a new hobby.
Sticking with the fitness class theme, remind yourself of what you will get from going. Focus on how you will feel fitter and stronger if you do it.
Or say you have decided to go along to a book group; instead of focusing on the things about it that are scary, focus on the fact that it will encourage you to read more. You’ll discover books you might not otherwise have come across. And you might make some really great new friends there as you discuss what you’ve all been reading.
Be gentle with yourself
Whatever hobby you might have chosen, keep in mind that you are a beginner. Don’t feel disheartened if you don’t pick it up straight away, or if you’re not as good as other people in the class that you’ve signed up for. Remember that other people in that spin class have most likely been going every week for months, if not years. Don’t compare yourself to them!
Take your time and just allow yourself to be a beginner.
If you don’t ‘get’ something straight away, be kind to yourself. Don’t fall into the ‘I’m rubbish, what’s the point’ trap and end up quitting straight away. Give yourself a break, keep trying, do some more research, or talk to someone else who does the thing you’re trying to do.
They’ll either reassure you that everyone struggles to start with, or give you some really useful pointers to get you on your way to feeling great about your new hobby.
There you have it, some practical ways to feel brave enough to try a new hobby. Hopefully you’re feeling bolder now and it’s given you a little push to try something new.
So tell me, what new hobby are you planning on trying out next?