I never tried many new things. This whole blog thing is new to me. I would talk myself out of doing things because I was fearful of the outcome. The uncertainty was crippling. “What if this happened….what if it doesn’t?” I would run through 10 scenarios in my head and come up with reasons as to why or why not to try something.
…but the truth is, life is full of uncertainty and what if’s.
We just have to accept that. Accept that we only control a few tiny (in the grand scheme of things) things in our lives.
Think about not trying for a second. Think about how you will feel. Think about the missed opportunities. Think about what will happen if you don’t try.
What happens if you never go over and talk to that person? Think about what happens if you don’t continue doing what you like?
Even if the outcome isn’t what you want. The cost of not trying is greater than doing nothing. You still tried. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? If you’re asking someone out, they say no? Who cares, they’re loss. You practiced. You learned. You gained confidence. You showed yourself that you can do it.
“Just try it. You might like it!” – every parent
In improv, we get to try something new with every decision we make. Most improvisers will make a new choice instead of using something they previously created. This feeling of trying something new is very addictive for improvisers (at least for me!). It’s scary and exhilarating at the same time and the bolder the choice, the more exciting it is for the players.
Making decisions like this leads to unexplored territory for everyone in the scene. Sometimes, it’s magical. Sometimes, it’s terrible. Making decisions like this takes practice.
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” – Eloise Ristad
We might find ourselves in a scene environment (bus stop, school, police station) where we’ve been before, but the actors can choose to have a different emotion, point of view, or mannerisms and add new life into an otherwise normal setting.
What would happen if either actor never did anything new? Image watching this and thinking how boring and predictable the scene would be.
“Trying sounds Great…but how do I do it?”
Glad you asked.
Step 1. Accept uncertainty and be comfortable with it.
I’m telling you now: It’s OK to not know when starting something new. It’s OK to not have any idea how things are going to work out. Nothing is certain.
“We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty.” – Nate Silver
Step 2. Remove your preconceived idea that failure is bad.
I struggled with this. There are no negative outcomes. Whatever happens, you can always learn something.Accept the fact that not getting your desired outcome is part of learning. Imagine for a moment that you never fail. How would this make you feel? Would you be more likely to attempt new things? Would you be more likely to start speaking to a total stranger? Yes, you may not achieve your desired outcome the first time. Do not expect anything when trying. Just merely do.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Step 3. Do the thing.
Action. Plain and simple. Just start. Your actions define who you are.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso
Step 4. Repeat
Without practice and repetition, trying doesn’t exist. (That’s basically the definition…right?) This is where change happens. Don’t expect to change by doing something once.
“You are what you do repeatedly.” Tony Robbins
Go and try. You might fail, but you also might succeed and you won’t know until you try.
What is holding you back from trying?