Neophobia – Fear of New Things
Many times, our fear of changing our fixed schedule or do something out of routine stops us from trying out new things and carving out new paths for us. While most of us would agree with the quote that says, “Change is the only constant in life”, we may not find it easy bringing out changes in our life, especially when they are needed. Fear of trying new things (Neophobia) comes from fear of failure, fear of being mocked, fear of messing up things and fear of the unknown. But, it is important to reinvent life every day so that nothing is stagnant and rotting.
Stuck in a rut? Want to change but scared?
Sometimes, all that you need in life is to change but you avoid taking an initiative or decision because of the fear of trying new things also known as “Neophobia”. Neophobia could be about trying out new food or going to a new place or meeting new people. Most of us have Neophobia in smaller or larger proportions.
Here is a list of why you should totally try new things:
- It widens your horizons: It’s a new experience, something you have never experienced before. Once you try something new, be it that new dish, that new idea or that new place, it adds one more experience to your kitty. Well, you have one more dish to talk about. If you like telling stories, then you have one more story to tell!
- It’s empowering: Going for something you haven’t tried before needs some courage. It needs you to take a decision and taking a decision in time makes you feel independent and confident. You are more equipped to make a choice next time rather than postpone decisions. You know getting to decide and exercising that power is empowering, right?
- Grow out of your comfort zone: “Life happens outside the comfort zone”, what better way to prove our point that this quote. When you push your limits, come out of your comfort zone and give it a try, you grow. Your mind will be more comfortable with taking some “worth-it” risks in the future as you realize it’s not that bad being out of the security zone.
- It doesn’t get boring: Though discipline and routine are as important to polish and perfect yourself but after some, it sets the stage for boredom and stagnancy. Breaking out of that routine chain is necessary because boredom, my friend, is not exactly what you are meant for. Take a change in schedule, do something out-of-routine, refresh yourself so that you can have the energy to start work with more enthusiasm the next day. Make small changes in your room, do something else today rather than what you would you usually do. Change your route, talk to someone new, visit a new place, cook something different or cook if you don’t cook. Try something different once in a while.
- Live with no regrets: If you don’t try, there is always a regret “what if?”. If you try, it only makes you wiser and more informed. Try it for the sake of removing those what-ifs from your life. There is only one life and it’s not worth those regrets, trust me. It’s better to fail than to live with regrets.
- Sometimes, it changes your life: You chose a path but it’s not working for you be it a choice in personal life or career-wise. To make necessary changes, you need to shed your previous life, make a decision and slip into a new world. It’s a tough choice, it requires brain-storming and mostly, it requires guts. Guts to go with your gut feeling, to go all out for what you have your eyes on and remove the unnecessary mess. Be what you want to be and if you aren’t that already, then you need a change.
Symptoms that you have Neophobia (Fear of trying new things):
Most of the time, you delay taking decisions that may cause changes in your life. If many things in your life are lying on the backburner waiting for your nod, then face the fact that you have Neophobia.
- You are bored with your daily life, there is monotony and life is taking a toll on you sapping your energy. You are one energy level down than the previous day. All this means you haven’t been making a new coffee for days together.
- You believe you need change. You want something but you don’t have it. In fact, you are sure. Every pore of your soul tells you what you want to be, what you want to do and if all you have been is to hold yourself back, then it’s time to face your fears. Things are not changing because you are not treading a new path.
You are born with some seeds and others you need to grow. There is nothing you cannot overcome if you believe you can. There are some good tips that surely go a long way in helping you get over your fears.
Tips to help you overcome your Neophobia:
- Write it down: Pick up a diary and note down all that’s wrong in your life and needs to be fixed up and renewed. Now, tick-mark all those things that have been lying low because of your carelessness. Write down the pros and cons of making those changes, weigh them and decide. Take some time to decide and then, start working towards those changes and write down the progress. Writing down is important, it makes you confident that you are taking conscious and calculated steps, the fear is lessened as it feels like a planned strategy. Moreover, you tend to remember clearly written things.
- Take help: Research helps. Researching the right places, talking to the right people. People who can help you make a decision. If it’s a big decision like changing careers or jobs, talk to the relevant people. Talk to people who have been there and done that. Also, talk to a bunch of people and not just one or two so that you have all angles of opinion and listen to your inner voice. What you want is always crucial and more crucial is going all out for that.
- Start with making small changes: When it’s a big change, it is not easy. Start by taking baby steps, steps that do not require much strain. Handling small changes well gives you the confidence to bring on some not-so-easy changes. As Paulo Coelho puts it, “when you are not sure, take the next small step.” Take a small step, crawl, limp, don’t rush but keep walking. The day you become sure, you can start running but let it be an honest effort all the time.
- Track your progress over a period of time: As I mentioned, writing down is the most important part. Track your progress. Note down the new things you successfully accomplished, write down the positive or negative effects of it on you. Keep a watch over the results, we are sure they will be positive. This will give you the confidence and confidence, my friend, is the key. Again, tracking your progress shows you a clear picture and you feel more in control.
We hope the above tips help you in embracing change more readily. We wish you luck. May you conquer all your fears and every fear conquered is a step towards a new and happy life. Face your fears, write it down and beat them into submission. All the best.
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