Read this if you are afraid to try something new…

As humans we naturally don’t like looking stupid or feeling stupid – a little bit of ego can take over and unfortunately that can hinder people from learning new skills and trying new things. But not us!!! 

For the last few months I have been in full beginner mode, and my god is it humbling. I’ve taken on a new leadership role in work, went back to proper weight lifting after some time off and took up squash lessons and pole lessons. Becoming a beginner again is something we need to embrace but it’s certainly not easy. 

Here are some tips that help me: 

  1. You don’t need to be great to start, but you need to start to be great! You’re gonna make mistakes, but you learn from them and slowly start to perfect your skill with the constant mistakes. 
  2. It’s ok to look silly! I will confidently say that I am the least skilled in the pole class because because my upper body strength is almost non existent BUT each week I’m getting stronger and I’m putting in the work outside of class to build upper strength – so I know that one day it will come. Keep the idea of your potential in the back of your mind, it can help spur you on. 
  3. The feeling of noticing progress in the new skill you are learning is unmatched. Feeling proud of yourself is unmatched. 
  4. When you learn a new skill, your brain undergoes physical changes that help you learn and remember the new skill. When we learn a new skill our brain increases the number of neurons (which are nerve cells) and it’s the connection between the cells that grow and help us remember the new skill – you are literally growing your brain how cool! Practice and repetition then strengthens the neurons and helps the brain remember the skill. I’m gonna say this is the origin of practice makes perfect saying lol. So when you think you are shit at a new skill – remember you need to put in consistency to grow the new nerve cells in your brain and strengthen the connectors of the neurons. You aren’t bad at it, it just takes time and repetition! 
  5. Make a promise to yourself to stay consistent. There are days I don’t want to go to class but there’s never been a day that I regretted going. I always leave feeling proud, excited and elevated. Fight the voice in your head that is saying noooo let’s just stay at home and chill. Building the habit will take time but soon it will be such a solid part of your routine that it will feel weird not doing it. 

What is something you have been wanting to try for such a long time but have put off? Maybe learning a new language, a sport, a dance class? Get a coach, put in the time and effort and grow that brain. It’s never too late and as I always say, we don’t want to leave this earth with regrets of things we wanted to try or do but didn’t give it the time. 

Life is too short. Go go go go go go go!!! 

Lots of love, Catherine ‘not afraid to look stupid’ Rooney x 

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