Research tells us that there are major health benefits associated with trying something new. While some people actively seek out new experiences, the prospect of trying something new can be daunting for many and may come with great resistance. However, beyond the fear of failure and self-doubt are a range of health benefits that can enhance social, emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, including boosting motivation, enhancing self-confidence, and feeling more connected to those around you.
Here’s why we encourage and empower our students to try something new.
Conquers our fear of failure
Taking the first step is often the most challenging part of trying something new. According to Psychology Today Australia, it is not necessarily the new task itself we feel intimidated by, but our own self-deprecating fears of not being good enough, particularly when faced with a new task we have not yet learned or become skilled at. This thinking is particularly common in women and can deter us from stepping outside our comfort zone. Despite these self-imposed limitations, trying something new presents the fundamental opportunity for us to face our fears of failure head-on, conquer self-doubt, and gain a broader understanding of ourselves and the world around us through new experiences. Taking responsible risks and stepping out of your comfort zone is a large part of Toorak College’s ethos and we challenge all students to dare to try something new!
A Forbes Article discusses that when new experiences occur, motivation increases with the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter within the brain. The way in which our brain responds to new stimuli also indicates that the novelty of trying something new improves mental acuity because we are intrigued and focussed on discovering, analysing and understanding new things when they are first introduced to us. Thus, despite the initial trepidation of trying something new, the new interest and gratification we gain from beginning to learn a skill, meeting new people, or joining co-curricular activities, sparks in us a desire to do it again. We, therefore, feel motivated and inspired in other areas of our life to take risks, and empower ourselves to embark on new challenges, and harness new experiences.
Promotes social wellbeing
A new activity that involves working in a team environment, such as volunteering, joining a dance group, choir, or team sport, can help you feel more socially engaged and connected. Working with others to achieve a common goal can boost one's sense of belonging and confidence to communicate and form friendships with others, as well as build social skills and teamwork. Being involved with others can also provide an uplifting support network which can encourage you to take on new opportunities and celebrate new achievements, ultimately enhancing social connectedness.
Awareness of our own abilities and self-efficacy can be rapidly expanded through new experiences and increase self-belief. New experiences challenge us to reassure ourselves that, ‘I can do this,’ in which we learn that we are, in fact, capable of learning new tasks and being good at them. There is a common realisation among students that follows the initial fear of trying something new that, ‘it wasn’t that bad.’ It is through this realisation that we look forward to part-taking in the new activity more enthused and self-assured than before. Discovering new passions and feeling competent at newfound hobbies feels rewarding and exciting and encourages us to believe in ourselves more and bound into future opportunities with confidence.
The repetition of daily life calls for the need to engage in creative outlets, exercise, and other activities that promote a healthy life balance. Learning something new requires you to narrow your focus on the task which can act as a distraction from personal dealings. This can also be an effective technique to reduce inner tension, express thoughts and feelings, and relax. Taking time to go for a walk on a local path you’ve never been, cooking a new delicious meal, or starting a new book are all examples of how a new task can provide a healthier life balance.
Whether it be learning a new skill, meeting new people, joining a club, or venturing somewhere you have never been before; we encourage everyone to give something new a go! With the breadth of opportunity at Toorak within the classroom and beyond to strive towards new possibilities, what are you waiting for?
Discover what makes Toorak College unique by attending our small group tours and prospective parent information evenings. Enrolments now open!