Starting a new school, job or hobby can be scary and a mixture of excitement, nervousness and anticipation. It’s a fear of the unknown, which is normal and for some of us, sometimes this fear can stop us from doing things. But there are other times when we have to face the unknown and things that are new and unfamiliar to us (think 2020 and beyond!). I think that the more we face those challenges, the more resilient we can become and then we are accustomed to try new stuff and adapt, which is great for personal growth and confidence.

For me, I have always been a thinker, an over thinker in fact, so that in itself has often been more of an obstacle to overcome than the thing I am about to do. But if you are an over thinker, how can you approach this and prevent the anticipation from preventing you from actually enjoying new things?

Here’s a few things that I have tried in the past;

Lower expectations

When I placed importance on something, that just increased the fear and anxiety surrounding a new event. That didn’t mean I was less prepared but if I placed less emphasis on an event and just went along with very few expectations, I was much more relaxed and able to enjoy the moment somewhat and the days leading up to it. I would tell myself things like, “lets just try it out and see”. This strategy also worked well during job interviews too as I placed emphasis on me viewing the workplace as a good fit, alongside an interview of myself.

Be prepared

There’s nothing quite like being unprepared on your first day anywhere. It can add to an already heightened nervous system. Being prepared can include simple things like laying out your clothes and packing your lunch and bag the night before, so they are ready for the morning. Checking the best journey to take and allowing extra minutes for any unforeseen issues. You could get familiar with a new timetable, lunchtimes and classroom locations. Due to the lack of transition for some children this Year who are moving into new schools, maybe you could trial the bus journey or walk to school. Essentially you are trying a few things out before the first day, so it isn’t as overwhelming.

Recognise that new things are scary

I feel like there’s nothing like a bit of acknowledgement to help take the pressure off. I think my daughter assumes I have never been fearful or failed at things, but that’s not the case. I find that sharing my experiences and a few simplified strategies with her can really help her normalise how she is feeling and her responses. I always turn to mindfulness when I get overwhelmed as this helps ground me, there’s some great books on this such as Just Breathe By Mallika Chopra which can be found here (affiliate). Sometimes she will listen, other times not, but that’s for another blog.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is of a general nature and is a reflection of my own personal experiences and thoughts. This should not be considered as individual advice.