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My top tips for taking on new challenges

I wrote recently about making 2020 the year of trying new things and taking on new challenges. Here are my top tips for doing just that.

Image from Owen Billcliffe

1. Don’t be afraid. Fear stops people from doing so many things. Don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know, or try a new skill. They are probably just as nervous inside, and if you make the effort, people will often surprise you with a warm welcome. Anything feels a little odd the first few times you do it – but the more strangers you meet and talk to, the more comfortable you will start to feel (or like me, you’ll find ways to laugh it off!)

2. If you’re not sure what you fancy trying, start small (you can still dream big). There will be many options on your doorstep. Go to a library - check out a cookbook and try making a few recipes, or loan a book in a genre you would never normally read.

Richard Branson and Son Sam Branson
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3. Try volunteering – even a few hours of your time can really help someone else and you might learn something new in the process. Try a new sport or even go for a walk in a new location. Get back in contact with someone who has drifted away. We all lead busy lives and it’s easy for friendships to drift apart. Check in with someone who you haven’t spoken to for a while and suggest going somewhere you’ve never been to before.

4. Keep a journal. I’m a big believer of writing things down. When you try something new, write it down. What did you like about it/dislike about it? Did it spawn any other ideas? Build on these. Make lists of things you would like to try and tick them off as you go.

Richard Branson
Image from Kev Wolf

5. Persevere. Don’t give up on something straight away – it’s rare that people are good at something the first time they try it. When I tried to surf with Sam on his gap year, I fell over more times than I can count. It’s tough work swimming out to big waves and using a lot of energy to just fall over, time and time again. But eventually you stand up, and what a feeling! The feeling of achievement is so worth the feeling silly as you learn.

I hope these tips have inspired you to get out there and try something new –  I’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to in the comments.

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