When was the last time you tried something new?

When was the last time you did something new?

Think back. How did it go? What happened?

I did something new the other week – going along to an outdoor exercise class in a place I’d never been to before.

The first time I went, I took a map. Before I set off, I studied the map. I double-checked I had everything I needed, and I set off in plenty of time. As I arrived, I noticed I felt a bit nervous. But I walked across the park to a couple of people who were already there, said hi, and started chatting. The class was fun.

The second time I went, I took the map with me again (yes, I still use old-school paper maps sometimes). But I didn’t need to look at it – I remembered where I was going.

The third time I went, I was almost there when I realised that I didn’t have the map with me. It wasn’t so new any more!

I walked over to the group of people who now recognised me, feeling confident, knowing I would enjoy the class.

Every time you do something new, it takes a leap, and it takes courage. You’re stepping out of your comfort zone. You’re inviting in the unknown. You’re asking yourself to stretch.

What if it goes wrong? What if you don’t like it? What if you’re out of your depth?

But the answer isn’t to avoid doing anything new in case it goes wrong. It’s the reverse: to step out there and try that new thing.

Confidence is built by taking action. When you try something new, and achieve it, you start to feel more confident.

This stands you in good stead for the next time you try something new – you can remember back to that experience, and know that you can handle new things.  

Going along to the exercise class reminded me of just how quickly you move from something being new, to it being familiar. It doesn’t take long.

So don’t sit and wait for confidence to somehow “arrive” before you attempt that thing you are slightly daunted by. It doesn’t happen that way round. Confidence comes from taking action.  

Remember, even the most confident people will have a moment of hesitation before they do something new for the first time. That’s just being human!

The difference is, they don’t let that put them off.

looking at map

Questions to think about

  • What would you love to try?
  • What might be fun to do?
  • What have you been putting off giving a go?

Try something new and see how you feel. Expect to feel nervous. Expect a bit of hesitation. Then do the same thing again. How do you feel now?

Frances Booth is a confidence coach and the author of personal development books including The Distraction Trap. Find out about ways to work with her at

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