Trying New Things

When it comes to trying new things, where do you see yourself?  Do you get excited about the opportunity to experience something new, or does the mere thought of stepping outside your comfort zone make you feel uneasy and keep you on the sidelines?  If you are person who prefers the comfort and security of the familiar, you are not alone. Being in our comfort zone is a natural state that most people move towards. Creating a comfort zone is healthy in our day to day lives, but leaving it every now and then can be the perfect time to grow and transition.  When you push yourself to the next level, regardless of stress, anxiety or the outcome, you expand your comfort zone and simply feel great.

Studies show that pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is good for us.  It allows us to overcome fears, gain self-confidence, find new interests and develop skills.  Taking healthy risks helps us feel empowered, and keeps us motivated and inspired.  These benefits help us discover things about ourselves we never even knew.  We create new experiences and live life to the fullest.  I guess the saying is true…you never know until you try.

So why do we hold back from taking chances and creating new experiences?  Probably because when we step outside of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to the possibility of stress and anxiety.  Will we fail, or get hurt, or embarrass ourselves?   Any new adventure or activity involves some level of uncertainty, but don’t let it stop you. Being slightly uncomfortable can push us to achieve goals we never thought possible.  Instead of taking a huge leap, just take a small step.  Each step you take will lead to greater confidence and open you up to continue on to reaching your personal best.  These steps are the motivators to keep working toward goals and building experiences and memories.

There is no better place to experience healthy risk taking than summer camp.  Kids at camp are truly inspirational when it comes to stepping outside of their comfort zone, taking healthy risks and living life to the fullest. The camp environment gives kids a world of opportunity to develop trust and confidence in their capabilities, and challenge themselves to try new things.  The support and guidance from trained staff, and encouragement from true friends, helps campers push past their fears and take healthy steps toward reaching their goals.  Camp exposes kids to countless activities and challenges that allow them to develop new skills, discover new interests, and achieve goals they never thought possible.   Challenges that seem impossible in other settings happen every day at camp.  The camaraderie of campers inspires them to put themselves out there and try.  And these steps taken at camp are contagious.  The camp environment has less distractions and allows kids to focus on achieving their personal best.  Campers who begin camp convinced they will never be able to take on the zip line (or waterskiing, or a group performance, or anything that created anxiety or discomfort), leave camp with a very different outlook.  Victories of personal growth keep campers motivated to keep trying new adventures and pushing themselves to accomplish great things.

Think of the last time you were given the opportunity to try something new, something that was outside your comfort zone?   Maybe you were invited to a party where you didn’t know many of the guests, or asked to give a toast at a family celebration, or welcomed to join friends for a day of white water rafting?  What did you do?  Did you avoid what made you feel uncomfortable, or did you take a step toward trying something new?  Hopefully you took a chance, learned something new about yourself and gained the confidence to keep trying and heading toward your goals.   It’s not always easy to push through feelings of anxiety and self-doubt, but with time you will be proud of the chances you take.  There is no better confidence builder than overcoming a fear and learning what you are capable of doing.  Just ask any Iroquois Springs camper and they will tell you how amazing they feel when they step outside of their comfort zone and try something new.