Sometimes social media is good, and sometimes it’s bad.
Social media lets us keep up with family and friends, and allows you to share experiences (which is good!).
What’s bad is the case where you’re sitting in the office, and you quickly check Facebook. Your friend just posted an album of the skydiving adventure they went on over the weekend. Maybe there’s a chance skydiving isn’t your thing, but if you’re anything like me, a little part of you starts to get jealous. So to ease your jealousy, you log off Facebook.
Later that day, you’re killing time waiting for a bus and open up Instagram. What’s that you see? Probably some awesome pictures of another friend doing something awesome like surfing or rock climbing. You “like” their photo because it’s cool and you’re happy for them, but the jealous part of you wishes that the picture gets fewer likes than your latest post, or that picture was of you instead. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I’ve been that jealous “liker” more times than I’d like to admit!
But what if I told you that person skydiving, surfing, rock climbing, etc. in the photo could easily be you?
Follow these three steps to inspire yourself to attain any and all adventure goals you have!
Step One: Name the activity you want to learn and let go of fear
I find that as we get older, the harder it is for us to motivate to try new things. When you’re little, you are constantly being introduced to and signed up for new activities. Once you reach adulthood, you have less time for such programs, and they’re generally harder to find. It also seems that confidence, or lack thereof, gets in the way as we get older, and the fear of embarrassment keeps us from trying new things. A final problem is patience. Now that I’m older, I want to be good at whatever I’m doing the very first time I do it. I seem to have forgotten that the skills I learned as a child took a great amount of time, practice, and patience.
In order to try new things we need to let go of the fear of failure and embarrassment, and we need to have patience. If you are beginner among experts, it’s easy to get intimidated, think you will be judged, or fear you are getting in the way. I can almost guarantee that most of those experts will be much more likely to want to help you, than make fun of you.
Humans generally like to help others — it makes us feel good. Also, people with skills generally like when other people notice their skills. If they see a beginner, they’re going to want to help. Of course there will always be that one person who gets mad at any new person for “getting in the way” or whatever the complaint is, but you need to be willing to block that one negative person and be receptive to the many positive people willing to help you learn.
Step two: Reach out! No one knows what you want until you tell them
Last Saturday I was planning a small hike with my friend Maggie for Sunday morning. However, she had to push it to the afternoon, because she just promised she would go surfing with her dad. I’ve always wanted to surf, so I asked her if it would be possible for me to go with them in the future. She then asked if I wanted to join her that Sunday morning at the beach. The next day I woke up, drove to her house, and went surfing!
Utilize social media to find an adventure buddy
After going surfing that Sunday, I was dead-set on going again. Maggie wouldn’t be able to take me again for the next month, so I used Facebook to find my next adventure buddy.
I made a status stating:
“Who wants to start surfing with me? I want to get a used board, but I need a buddy to learn with me! WHO’S IN?”.
The good thing about statuses is you can always delete them. If making a status makes you uncomfortable, try private-messaging your friends that you think might be interested in trying a new activity with you. If you get responses, work from there!
It’s much easier to take on a new activity in the company of either an experienced person willing to teach you, or another beginner willing to learn with you.
Because I love the outdoors so much, I tend to surround myself with friends and acquaintances who like the outdoors as well. As a result, I have a lot of resources when it comes to wanting to try new adventures. In terms of surfing, I was lucky to have a friend who was able to teach me. Even if you don’t have a friend who is good at the adventure you want to try, find a friend who is willing to learn with you, or sign up for a class with you. Having a friend on the same beginner status will help with any insecurity on being new to the activity. Having someone with you will also make it harder for you to give up too soon!
Step three: Make it happen!
Ever find yourself running into a former acquaintance and sharing “We need to get coffee sometime soon!”? When it comes to adventuring, you need to make a vow to yourself that you won’t make a false “coffee date” with your adventure plans.
Understand that everything is temporary. Even if the activity you decide to try ends up being as boring as watching paint dry, it’s only temporary. If your excuse is “I probably won’t like it”, or “what if I don’t have fun?”, you have no excuse! You can always leave whenever you want, and you will not be stuck doing that activity forever.
I’m sure many people have been in this scenario: You come home from work or school on a Friday, immediately get into sweats, and put on your favorite TV show. Earlier that day you made plans with your friend to meet at a bar downtown. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but now all you want is to stay on your couch till bedtime. When the time comes, you start to get dressed during commercial breaks, regretting making plans for that night. However, as soon as you get to the bar and see your friend, you forget all about not wanting to go, and have a great time.
Just like in that scenario, the adventure you choose will be fun once you actually get there. You will laugh at how silly you were for putting it off so long and almost canceling your plans!
You have nothing to lose from trying a new adventure and everything to gain! Happy adventuring!