It’s the New Year which means it’s the perfect time to explore something new like a hobby. Trying something new can bring a flurry of emotions. You may find yourself experiencing excitement, curiosity, and sometimes even doubt. I often try new activities and hobbies and experience the same flurry of emotions. I’m always excited to try something new and listen to the expertise of the instructors, but putting myself out there can be a little nerve-wracking. It can be easy to let the nerves get to you, but it’s important to remember why you are there in the first place and that everyone has to start somewhere. Discouragement pops up every now and then when it comes to trying new things, that’s just the nature of it. The key is to not let it stop you from accomplishing what you set out to do.
How to Deal with Discouragement
When we usually think of hobbies, we think of the activities or skills we enjoy doing or something we are looking to learn and build upon. There are other times when trying a new hobby can lead to discouragement. Sometimes when trying something new, we don’t always get it right on the first try. Or we don’t feel as motivated or passionate as when we first started. Or we start overthinking about success. Whatever the case may be, discouragement can rear its ugly head but it doesn’t have to be for long. There are different ways to handle discouragement so that you can enjoy all of the fun hobbies that are out there to explore.
A good place to start when it comes to dealing with discouragement is knowing what it actually is. Oxford Languages defines discouragement as a loss of confidence or enthusiasm. When you really think about it, hobbies are all about confidence and enthusiasm. A hobby is meant to be something you do because you are interested in it. It’s something you grow to love and hobbies usually start with enthusiasm and confidence comes along the way. Sometimes you have to take a step back, take a deep breath and remember why you were interested in that pottery class or that video game in the first place.
Considering a hobby is something you do for yourself, it’s okay to take a break when you need to. It’s okay to explore other options because there are tons of new hobbies to try out there. You don’t have to stick to something you don’t want to. Sometimes we do fall out of love and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean we gave up or that we failed. That’s when the opportunity to find a new hobby to enjoy presents itself. Then there’s the other side. When discouragement starts to hit and our hobbies no longer feel as fun as they used to, revisit what sparked your interest. Maybe it was a video on Instagram or a documentary. Revisiting those sources of inspiration could be very beneficial and a great reminder. You could even find a mentor or fellow enthusiasts to speak with and share your different experiences.
One of the most important things to keep discouragement and hobbies separated is to not compare yourself to others. Everyone is different. We have different thought processes, learning styles, and journeys. Your reason for starting that art class may not be the same as your fellow classmates. Person A is starting to dance with no prior knowledge but she is in a class with person B who has 10 years of dance experience but has never tried ballet. Comparing your story to someone else’s will get you caught up every time.
Never be Afraid of Trying
If you don’t take anything from this conversation of ours, remember this: don’t let the fear of not getting something right the first time keep you from trying. Areas of improvement can be explored, opportunities to learn will be presented and fun is to be had. One of the greatest parts of trying a new hobby or having a hobby, in general, is the learning aspect of it. When you don’t succeed in the way you want to, acknowledge your frustration and just try again. Remember that an opportunity to grow and explore a different angle you haven’t thought of before is right around the corner.
What are your hobbies? Are you trying anything new for 2023? Share in the comments!