I used to think of myself as quite a brave person, someone who would give anything a go. Then I got older and, whilst some might say wiser, I have started to think it’s really more cowardly. I found myself saying things like “I know my boundaries” or “I know what I like and I won’t like that” – you get the picture. Over the last few years especially I have found it more and more difficult to try new things. It’s something I have wanted to change and (pats self on back) have finally started to.
I mentioned the other week that I had started trampoline classes and that was a big one for me. The classes had been going for about six weeks when I joined and everyone seemed to know each other and the coaches well. I would watch whilst my daughter took her class and think about how much fun it looked. Then feel scared. I would worry…
What if I wasn’t good enough?
What if I hurt myself (it’s more dangerous than you think)?
What if (as happened to me the one time I tried to learn to belly dance) everyone already knows each other and don’t welcome me with open arms?
It turns out all my fears were just that, fears. I can jump as well as the next woman (though don’t ask me to do swivel hips, they are hard!) and, so far, other than the aches and pains you get from using muscles you don’t normally use, I haven’t broken anything. As for the other jumpers, they are brilliant. They are kind, funny and supportive and I haven’t laughed so much with a group of strangers in a long time.
I was a bit of a turning point for me, a confidence boost to try other things. Next up, I went to a meeting of the women’s forum for the labour party. The first thing I had done despite being a member for years and being passionate about politics. A month later, I am treasurer of the forum and have been knocking on doors for the local labour party candidate for the council. I’ve spoken to people about the issues that concern them and felt like I’ve been making a difference. And I’ve supported a brilliant woman to (hopefully) win next week. It’s something I never thought I could have done in a million years but I have loved it.
I’m not sure what’s next – something work related I think as I need to start thinking about how I kick off my freelance life in the new year – but I do know I won’t be quite as worried as I would have been just six short weeks ago. So that’s what I’m lovin’ about life this week. What about you – are you brave and able to try new things or do you stick to the safe and narrow? What big risks have you taken?