How Learning Something New Can Save You

How Learning Something New Can Save YouI’m 8 months into my comeback and it seems like I tack something new I want to learn onto my list every month.

This year has become a renaissance…in so many disparate directions.

At the moment, I’m starting guitar lessons, studying options trading, and learning the art of bartending.

Music, money and mixology. How strange am I?

We won’t pull on that loose thread, but there is good reason for cracking open a book, attending a workshop, or apprenticing in a totally new (and maybe odd) industry.

Learning something new is uncomfortable.

You’re a fish out of your cozy round water bowl. It feels foreign, difficult, and embarrassing.

Like when I tried a new yoga class last week and it turned out I had the pleasure of being there for headstand day (insert big eyed emoticon).

When you challenge yourself and persist, you inevitably witness your own hidden potential, opportunities, and resiliency.

I honestly would have bolted out of that yoga studio with a lame feminine problems excuse if I hadn’t been there to connect with the instructor around a private event after class, but fate left me there surrounded by intimidating yogis standing on their heads.

So, I did too.

For a few seconds at a time at least.

And I went through the entire learning experience.

First, the panic set in.

I wanted to run back to the sweet haven of my vinyasa comfort zone, or perhaps hide in child’s pose for the duration of this unexpected torture.

Then, the inevitable. And I literally fell on my face a few times.

I felt awkward and embarrassed and utterly ridiculous. My brain immediately turned on me and went on and on about how I will never teach yoga because I can’t even do a headstand. And I basically suck at everything in life and should give up on all of it…

And then I was standing on my head.

I had learned something new. Both how to get into a headstand, and that I could.

And everything shifted, because that negative self looked like a real ass once my feet were firmly in the air.

My grin might have been upside down, but it was ear to ear. And I rooted back into that sense of resiliency; that mostly unwavering belief that I can do anything, cultivated over many, many attempts at something new.

You can’t truly know what you’re capable of unless you try everything.

Not sure where to start?

Groupon is actually one of my favorite resources for this. Check out “things to do” in your city.

Take a flight lesson or a sushi class or a fencing workshop on the cheap.

Browse Amazon’s book categories for a topic you’ve always been interested in and then commit to reading chapter 1 as soon as that package hits your front door.

Ask a friend in a different industry to teach you. This is how I am learning to craft cocktails.

Be curious. Be bold. Explore something outside your comfort zone.

Learn something new, as often as possible, and you may just learn how limitless you really are. And that’s the difference between you at rock bottom and you as a rockstar.

  1. You’d be great at boxing! It’s been 3 days (because I’ve been in a comments blackhole while my site moved to a new host) – have you found a place where you can start?

  2. I’ve been in a personal development funk lately — I definitely think trying something new would be cool.

    I’ve had a hankering to learn how to box…like really box. Needed a nudge for a while now.

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