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Open Your Mind to Trying New Things & Gain These 6 Benefits

There’s just something nice about a routine. It supports discipline and encourages reliability – two great character traits. Let’s face it, safe and familiar are comfortable. But opening our minds to new things, like food, classes, or even a new hairstyle – is sometimes more challenging. In response, many of us resist or even fear trying something new. It’s not that we necessarily have a fear of failure, but rather a fear of the unknown (studies suggest we actually fear an unknown outcome more than we do a known bad one). But if we avoid new experiences then we miss out on some of the best things that life has to offer. Good things come to those who try new things — those who take risks. And as parents, we need to lead by example and encourage our daughters to try new things on a regular basis.

Over the next few weeks, try a new activity with your daughter, like hiking up a steep hill. If you’re met with resistance, suggest to your daughter not to assume she is going fail. Ask her to instead assume she will achieve what she set out to do. And if for some reason the outcome is not what she hoped for, it will be okay and life won’t end. Share with her a moment that you failed or embarrassed yourself (including how it felt and the outcome). Did you pick yourself up and move forward? It helps our children feel more comfortable when they understand that everyone fails at something and looked silly in front of their friends – even the most successful people. When we can conquer fears and learn to become comfortable with unfamiliar things and settings, we grow.

There are many positive benefits to trying something new:

  1. Stimulates your brain and positively affects your mood.
  2. Requires courage, and needing to summon courage is itself a benefit.
  3. Opens up the possibility for you to enjoy something new and keeps you from becoming bored.
  4. Allows you to grow. We don’t grow from taking action we’ve always taken. Thrusting yourself into new situations gives you the chance and space to improve, forcing beneficial change.
  5. Doing something new is rarely regretted. The real challenge is just in trying, and that’s a win no matter the result. Even if we fail, we’re usually on such a high to even care about the failure.
  6. Increases confidence. Our decisions to try something new – even if it’s not something we liked or would do again, often provide us with a sense of accomplishment and pride. With each successful experience we build confidence, which motivates us to try something else!

The spirit to try new things is often synonymous with the spirit of self-improvement, and that’s what GAALS is all about!

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