How To Do Something You’ve Never Done Before

Have you ever felt the urge to try something that you’ve never done before?

Maybe you’ve never skateboarded a meter in your life, but you want to try it so bad. Or maybe you’ve never held a guitar or any instrument before, never written a line of poetry either, but an itch starts to grow, an itch to write songs because there are things you’ve seen God do that you want to proclaim. Or maybe coding is starting to sound really appealing, but you don’t have a background in HTML or even computer science. Or maybe you want to garden and grow stuff but you don’t know the first thing about green things.

It’s not something you want to make a living off of, but it’s something you desire to do, something you want to try, if only for a little while.

Does it feel hard? Does it feel like you’re too old to start something like that, like if you wanted to get into storytelling, you should have done it when you were seven, and since you’re thirty-seven or seventy-seven, you’ve missed the window of opportunity?

Does it feel like you’re foolish for wanting to break out of your current skill set? Are you worried that people would wrinkle their noses at you and ask, “Why do you want to do that? You’ve never done anything like that before.”

So instead of feeling excited, you feel almost guilty for wanting more, for wanting to do something different, something new.

This, my friend, is for you.

how to do something youve never done before

So how do you do something that you’ve never done before?

How do you write songs when you’ve never played with poetry a day in your life?

How do you start writing stories when your creativity has looked vastly different all your life?

How do you start painting when you know nothing about color theory or what the different brushes are for?

How do you start a daily comic when your drawing skills haven’t been cultivated since kindergarten?

How do you do anything you’ve never done before?

Just start doing it.

Start by just doing it, even if you feel like you’ve got no idea what you’re doing, because honestly, even if you keep this up for ten more years, you’ll probably still feel like you’ve got no idea what you’re doing (feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing is the plane of existence that I live on, friends).

So start by actually starting. Do it right now or put it on the calendar for some time in the next week that you will start and do whatever it is for at least twenty minutes. Even if you don’t know where to start, you can still start (trust me, I know).

When you’re able to, read blog posts about it, watch YouTube tutorials about it, talk to people you know have experience in it, maybe take a class, and keep starting.

Keep starting.

In the beginning, put it in your to-do list one to three times a week for twenty minute increments as a starting point.

That consistency, that repeated stomping fear in the throat, and simply doing it strengthens your muscles (these are metaphorical muscles, unless the thing you’re starting is some sort of workout insanity; then it will actually strengthen your literal muscles).

Don’t overthink it.

Just don’t. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it. You can tell people if you want. You don’t have to, though.

One day, this thing that you’re starting today may be a big deal, something hugely integral in your life. But for now, for today, it’s a seed, a spark, an inkling. Let it be a little thing. Don’t overthink it.

Don’t expect too much of yourself.

This sounds bad, but it isn’t. Have realistic expectations. Don’t put the expectation on yourself that you have to be great at it right out of the gate.

Build a dam against perfectionism starting right now.

Don’t feel like you have to share it.

I am a huge believer in sharing our gifts. But I also think there’s special beauty and freedom, especially in the beginning of something, for it to be private, shared with God only or maybe a select few.

If you want to share it, share it! But if this little adventure only ever stays between you and God, that’s okay too. It doesn’t have to tangibly affect something or someone; there are many seemingly intangible and unquantifiable “results” that it brings out in you that are more than enough to make it worthwhile.

Also, privacy, especially in the beginning, frees you up to have a lot more fun without other people’s expectations (along with your own) breathing down your neck.

Have fun.

Seriously. Have. some. fun.

Have some fun! Unharness yourself from expectation and enjoy creating or skateboarding or doing whatever it is you’re doing.

It is okay to do things just for the fun of it. I’ll say it again: it is okay to do things just for the fun of it. The fun of it can glorify God.

Practice and persevere before giving up.

Don’t do something once and decide you’re awful at it. Practice. Keep starting for six months before you give up.

I say six months because it is enough time for your skills to sharpen drastically, but it’s also enough time for you to cycle through the various imposter syndromes, hating it, loving it, honeymooning with it, etc.

By the end of those six months, if you hate it or even are just meh, feel free to throw in the towel. Don’t ever think that just because you start something you have to do it for the rest of your life. Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t.

Seek God.

Honestly, do this the entire time, but I put it near the end because I don’t want you to get the impression that seeking God for this is going to involve praying and fasting and a moment of clarity and weeping when you think you’ve got the green light from him. I put it at the end because I don’t want you to overthink this (think about it, but don’t overthink about it [have fun finding that balance {also, notice how overthinking is a theme}]).

Just keep talking to God about it. He knows the interest in this thing has been stirring in you (it could be that he’s been the one stirring it up) but tell him anyway. Confess to him why you’re scared to start and all the things you’re overthinking about it (because you’re probably overthinking about it).

Then, submit it to him. Submit your desires to God.

Then, test it. AKA: start!

Again, at this point, this new thing isn’t a big deal, so don’t overthink it. Just start and see what God does.

Just because you started and stopped something now doesn’t mean you’ll never start it again.

If it “flops” now (aka: you’re not loving it, and it becomes clear that this isn’t the time for this adventure), just know that you don’t have to feel foolish or sheepish if six months or six years or six decades down the road you want to try again.

Honestly, when it’s the right time, the right season of life, when this new thing will accomplish the most good (remember, good doesn’t have to be tangible or concrete), then God will make sure you don’t drop it. Seriously, he won’t let you drop it until it’s the best for you and most glorifying for him for you to do so. Or maybe it’ll be best and most glorifying for you to never drop it. *shrug* I guess you’ll just have to find out.

There you have it.

Now you know how to do something you’ve never done before. While writing this post, I had mostly artsy/creative things in my head, but I think this advice goes for most things—running, mountain climbing, carpentry, steel fabrication, surfing, scrapbooking, etc.

What is something new you’ve wanted to try for a while but haven’t? Why not?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – Olive Tree (you know who you are), this post is for you, precious one. Go write that music.

p.p.s. – I feel like I said “honestly” and “just” way too much in this post, but I don’t even care because this post was definitely a we’re-sitting-across-from-each-other-at-a-coffee-shop-and-I’m-going-to-encourage-you-to-try-the-thing type of post (aka: remarkably informal, lacking only gifs).

One thought on “How To Do Something You’ve Never Done Before

  1. Great post! I’m starting going to the gym three times a week next month for about 30-45 minutes and I’ve never been to a gym before so I’m a little daunted, but I want to get more fit. This was really encouraging!

    Like

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