I took a personality test recently, one result that came as a surprise was that I was RELATIVELY open to new experiences. Honestly I considered I was VERY open to new experiences, then after a little bit of though I realised as much as I am open to trying new things there is still that slight apprehension. Whether it’s a meeting, a course or going to a new place there’s a bunch of questions and things that run through my mind that start triggering alarm bells:
How will I get there?
How will I know what bus stop to get off at?
Will I be able to understand what’s going on?
And probably one of the biggest ones… Will I meet someone there I will get along with so I don’t have to be one my own the whole time?
Sometimes these questions can become like barriers, and if there are too many barriers the experience becomes a write off. But all barriers can be taken down and let me tell you its a lot greener on the otherside.
When I was younger I instantly would have been put off doing anything if atleast one of those questions I was unable to answer. I was confident when with friends, but that was because they were like my safety blanket. I found it difficult to do anything if I had to do it on my own, being quite and painfully reserved. Independence was scary. When I was about to leave college something clicked in my head, I was sick of not being able to do something without having friends around me. I needed to learn how to become independent.
So I started doing things to build up my confidence to be more independent, like sitting in coffee shops on my own, travelling to places outside of Birmingham on my own, volunteering, working in a supermarket talking to customers all day, visiting art galleries, go on skills development courses on my own, the list starts to become endless. Each little challenge I defeated my confidence grew and grew and by the end of Uni I was hungry for new experiences and opportunities to learn more and meet new people. I started to become a lot more independent.
Over time I have learnt some little tricks to help take down barriers for reasons not to get involved whether its because its in a place you don’t know, you are worried about being alone. Getting over my inability to be independence has defiantly helped me to achieve what I have and be the person who I am today.
New experiences whether it’s a programme, going to uni, starting a new job whatever it may be these help you to move forward in life, to grow as a person. They will get you to places you want to be at and places you want to go to. So as cheesy as it sounds, take that step out of that comfort zone, take down the barriers for trying something new and go do it!