A few weeks ago, I taught a class that included a variety of self-care practices designed to help participants manage their stress and find more peace and wellbeing. As I followed up with participants, I learned that they were all mainly using one of the techniques we had covered.
And it occurred to me, they were all using the one we did together as part of the training.
You see, I walked them through this particular breathing exercise. The other techniques? I just talked about those - we didn’t actually try them.
The first time
The first time we try something new is always the most awkward, the most uncomfortable, the most difficult. Because it is unknown. And the human brain does not prefer the unknown.
Once you try something for the first time - it’s must less of a big deal. You know what to expect. You’ve been there before. It’s usually easier the second time around and even easier the third time, and so on and so on.
So, the fact that we all did it together made it easier for them to do it again and again on their own.
It’s sort of like driving to a new place. The first time you drive there, you don’t know where you’re going (thank goodness for GPS); you don’t have familiar landmarks to follow; you aren’t aware of the hidden turns and potential speed bumps. But the next time you go, it will be more familiar and eventually, if you go there enough, you’ll no longer even need the GPS.
It happens to all of us
And believe me, this still happens to me too - I find myself thinking about trying something new, stalling, thinking about it again, stalling…
In fact - at this moment (October 1, 2019), I am stalling on doing my first live Instagram Story. I just recently did my first photo story (after stalling for a while :), worked my way up to an actually multi-part story, and now, for the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about doing a live story.
I know I can do it. I know I’ll be fine if I do it wrong. And I know I’ll learn a whole lot from giving it a shot. But, I’m holding back because it’s so new. And new is a little bit scary.
(And now that I've shared this with you, I'm committing to doing it TODAY to get that first time out of the way!)
Get the first time out of the way!
If you want to try something that you’ve never tried before - it’s OK if it’s scary. You are normal if you are stalling. But - once you get through it the first time, it won’t be nearly as awkward to do it again. And the sooner you do it, the sooner you can let go of the unknown, the awkward, and the uncomfortable 🙂
So much opportunity lies on the other side of trying something new for the first time. And it’s only the first time once.
PS - if you want to check out the breathing exercise and do it together the first time, you can check it out HERE!