When facing something you’d like to do but are hesitant about it, what do you want to hear? You want to hear words of encouragement, not sarcasm like, “You won’t know until you try.”
It might be sarcastic but it’s true. Unless you give something a go, you’ll never know what might have been.
Why do we hesitate from fear of the unknown? What is it that stops us from taking a brave step into something new?
A study by Dan W. Grupe and Jack B. Nitschke around uncertainty and anxiety argued that the brain is an “anticipation machine” and one of the most important things it does, is “make future”. It does this by using past experiences.
Knowing Why You Won’t Know Until You Try
Fear is what keeps us in the same place. Being in a place with what we know and what feels safe, makes us comfortable. Why wouldn’t you want to stay comfortable? It sounds like a good place to be.
The problem is that being too comfortable can lead to stagnation and that’s not good. It’s an easy place to be but you will never move forward in life.
We all need to continually move forward through life because things never stay the same. Difficult times or decisions will present themselves from time to time, and we’ll have to deal with them.
However much you attempt to keep things as they are, it just isn’t possible. By trying to avoid dealing with change, you may become to fear it. You could develop a fear of feeling fear itself.
You can overcome most fears you have but only by facing them head on. That’s also how to beat hesitating to try something.
Finding out if you’re able to do something by trying is one thing, but there’s more to it. The author Henry James said, “Until you try, you don’t know what you can’t do.”
Yes, there are some things you probably can’t do. It isn’t possible to be good at everything. Knowing what you’re not good at can be helpful. You’ll be able to focus on your abilities rather than becoming frustrated in areas where you struggle.
If You Want to Know Why Not Try?
Why oh why do we hold ourselves back so much? What is it that stops us doing what we want to do? There are a few blocks that can get in our way.
One of the most common reasons for failing to “have a go”, is the fear of failure. No one wants to fail because the perception is that it doesn’t look good.
The logic is, that if you don’t try you can’t fail. While this may be true, you’ve already failed because you haven’t tried. You’ll never know what might have been possible.
This can lead to feeling a lack of self-worth, which then affects other areas of your life.
Putting it off, or procrastination is another reason to avoid trying to do something. Making yourself busy so there’s no time to do the real task, can be very damaging.
Lack of confidence can also hold you back, but if you can push yourself just a little, you can build it up. Both procrastinating and fearing failure will increase a lack of confidence.
Do You Really Need Give it a Go?
Even though there’s something you’d like to do, why risk what you already have? This is your subconscious working in the background to protect you.
When you take control, your world will open up before your eyes. Your conscious mind should always be in charge.
If you’re not sure about something, ask yourself :
- Is this something I’d like to try?
- Is there any reason why I shouldn’t?
- Would I benefit from it?
- Would it be detrimental to me?
- What are the pros?
- What are the cons?
- Am I too concerned about what others might think?
- How might it affect those I care about?
- Am I worrying about it too much?
You can probably think of more questions to ask. The more the better, but don’t get too bogged down otherwise you’ll never make a decision.
Are You Ready to Find Out by Giving it a Try?
When you are clear in your mind whether you should proceed or not, you will have made the right decision. Never ask “what if”, stick to your chosen path. The alternative choices no longer exist once you’ve made a definite choice.
Look at your decision as opening up opportunity for you. You know your talents, you know where you want to go, so begin the journey.
If things don’t work out as expected, it’s fine, at least you’ve learned something important about yourself. Don’t compromise your abilities because this may be your only chance and you won’t know until you try. Go ahead and give it your best shot!