Give it a go: becoming more open to new experiences

Let's give it a go: becoming more open to new experiences. Image of couple kayaking together on a lake and smiling having fun

Have you ever tried a colouring book for adults before?  I hadn’t, until one moment a few years ago, when shopping with my Sister-in-Law, she announced how she loved it and found colouring very therapeutic and calming.  I was sceptical, my eyebrows raised slightly but then thought – why the heck not, I’ll give it a go and bought it.  Colouring is now something I really enjoy and use to de-stress.  

The same can be said recently when my Aunty requested I take her to bingo.  I had never been before or felt the desire too – the thought of a bingo hall had previously made me cringe – but I love my Aunty, wanted to make her happy and as a wannabe good niece, we went.  Well, you can call me Cilla, because surprise, surprise, I had a lot of fun.  So much so, that when the Bloggers Inspired team & I were invited to Players Bingo in Camden recently, I jumped at the chance – I even won some money on that visit!

Let's give it a go: becoming more open to new experiences. Image of Abeer Says blog and Alex Grace, Living.Pretty.Happy at Player's Bingo Camden holding up their winnings
Abeer & I, celebrating our bingo win!

You can read all about our Players Bingo experience here

Quite light examples I grant you, but this sort of thing has happened (at various levels) a lot to me throughout my life so far.  Opportunities put in front of me which I’m initially sceptical of, but actually, turn out to be positive experiences when I’ve just opened my mind optimistically and given them a go.   

Why should we be open to new experiences?

I can’t say this is the case for every experience.  I’ve definitely had my fair share where I’ve thought, never again.  Please do not get me started on rollercoasters or zip wires!  

But even in the experiences where it didn’t go so well, I’ve at least come to know myself a little better from it. 

This isn’t an advocation of saying yes to everything.  I want to be really clear about this. I’m all for owning your ‘no’ and using it when something is potentially detrimental to you – I’ll talk more about this in a moment. 

The point I’m reaching for here is, it’s important to our overall well-being to be open to new experiences. 

Don’t allow pessimistic thoughts or close-mindedness to overtake you.  Instead allow yourself, if it feels right, to just take a deep breath and give it a go.  You never know where it will lead or how much happier it might make you. 

Let's give it a go: becoming more open to new experiences. But even in the experiences that didn't go so well, I've at least come to know myself a little better. #positivequote #positivity #selfawareness
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Ways to be more open to new experiences

Challenge your no

Why are you saying no?  Is it something you could push through?  If your no is fear-based, where’s the evidence what you’re scared of will actually happen (and even if it did – how bad would it actually be?) 

Be kind to yourself

Think of how you would speak to a loved one who was apprehensive, but willing to give something a try.  Extend this care to yourself, speak with a loving, positive internal voice.

RELATED: Are you kind to yourself? The importance of kindness.

Expect it to go well

Think of how you’ll feel if you have a great experience.  Use optimism to counter-measure any nerves.

Worry less about what others will think

When I started meditating and practising mindfulness I worried about how others would judge me.  Truth is you’ll never be able to control what other’s think of you.  So rather than suppress yourself, you might as well live as you want.  I for a fact know, if I had let the judgement of others stop me meditating, my mental well-being would have suffered. 

Use this phrase: I’ll handle it

Susan Jeffers author of one of my favourite books, Feel the fear & do it anyway,  advocates use of this short but powerful sentence.  She states it helps you to “develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.”   Developing this underlying confidence will lead you to naturally start becoming more open to new experiences.

Let's give it a go: becoming open to new experiences. Flat lay image of different coloured and patterned notebooks one with the words be unstoppable and the other with light tomorrow with today

I just want to counterbalance this post with a short note about times when you’re absolutely right to say no.

Sometimes we can find it just as hard to say no to something as we can to say yes.  You probably already know these yourself, but just to be clear…

Times when it’s right to say no*:

  • When you don’t feel safe
  • If it’s something you’ll strongly resent doing
  • If it puts your mental or physical well-being at risk
  • When a romantic or sexual advance makes you feel uncomfortable
  • When you just don’t have the capacity   

And if in doubt, seek out a trusted friend or family member for a second opinion! 

*Source credit: Some of these suggestions are taken from Chloe Brotheridge’s book, Brave New Girl, which is a highly recommended read.


Further recommended reading: Catastrophe to calmness: A technique to calm your worrying thoughts

How to be more open to new experiences.  Ways to be more willing to try something new.  Building your confidence.  #selfdevelopment #optimism #wellbeing #newexperiences
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Do you find yourself open to new experiences?  Or do you find yourself more inclined to say no – even though you might actually want to say yes?  Is there anything new you’ve tried recently that you’ve been pleasantly surprised about? And even if something didn’t go so well – what have you learned about yourself in the process?    I’d love you to join the conversation by leaving a comment below.  

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13 thoughts on “Give it a go: becoming more open to new experiences

  1. I am desperate to try ziplining but I’m pretty nervous about it too! Great post. I started using adult colouring books a few years ago and I thoroughly enjoy it.

    1. Let me know if you try it! Would love to know how you found it. The colouring books are great aren’t they?! So good for zoning out and getting creative. Thanks Charlotte! x

    1. Thank you! They definitely can be and if they don’t work out they offer us a lot in learning about yourselves too πŸ™‚

  2. This is such a great post πŸ™‚
    I really like that you also included when it’s okay to say no, because I think it’s so hard to strike the right balance sometimes. I am going on holiday in a few weeks and I haven’t been on a new, big holiday for years – I am looking forward to using some of these tips to help me try new things! Especially just expecting it to go well – simple, but effective πŸ™‚

    Thanks!

    Sammy | Self-Care Sloth

    1. Thanks Sammy – yes it definitely can be difficult to get the balance right. Wishing you the best time on your holiday and getting to experience lots of new and wonderful things! X

  3. I tried sky cycling and it was all kinds of thrilling and scary and full of adrenaline. And it was super fun, I’m willing to try it again! πŸ˜€ I love your advice on challenging our “no”. Because recently, we’ve been told to learn how to say no. Which I fully support but there are definitely times when challenging our no is important, especially when it’s a no that’s rooted from baseless fear (i.e, fear of moving forward and fear of failure among others)

    Awesome post as usual, Alex!

    Kate | https://allthetrinkets.com

    1. Wow sky cycling! I just had to look that up – how brave are you?! That’s amazing! I’m pleased the challenging of our no resonated with you. Thanks so much for your kind words Kate – Can’t wait to hear what you try next! x

  4. I definitely need to adopt thing more into my life. I feel like I’ve censored myself so much and missed out on a lot just cause I was scared of taking the leap or risk. I want to try and change that though

    1. Trying anything new can be scary – but sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and give it a go. Even if we fall flat on our faces, we’re capable of getting back up. Would you feel happier coming from a position of ‘at least I tried’ than the position of never having tried at all? Start small and build your confidence. I think you’re braver than you think and remember – you’ll handle it! x

  5. This is me this year! Trying new experiences and bingo is fun. Caring less about what other people think is a good reminder for everyone and one of the things I love about getting older. Great post!

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