Learning new skills, participating in new hobbies and spending time doing things outside your usual activities is how we grow. This is something I have pushed myself to do this year and in my life moving forward. For far too long, I did what I was comfortable with - rarely stepped outside my comfort zone.
The few times I did, great things happened. I wanted to try Crossfit for quite a while - what kept me from actually doing it? I have an ego, a big one. I don't want to fail at things, in fact, not failing isn't the biggest fear, it's really that I don't want to be average at any thing. If something is worth my time, I go all-in. I know I may not ever be "the best" at something, but I want to make sure I dedicate the time and effort to be the best that I can be at it. Stepping in to a Crossfit gym can be an intimidating experience. Putting yourself into any environment where you are the beginner and you are surrounded by those who are not, is tough for those of us with big egos.
Once you are able to stop taking yourself so seriously and once you can set your ego aside - you open yourself up to amazing growth. If you can learn that not everyone is watching YOU, that nobody cares that there is a new person in the gym or class you are starting out in - you flourish. Crossfit was step one for me and the growth I have seen in my life, how I carry myself, my attitude towards others and my physical abilities has been amazing. It also showed me how to manage my ego in other areas. Stop being so afraid to fail, that you never step out on the ledge and experience the joy it is to succeed.
The key is to not set aside your passion along with your ego. Just because you are a beginner, at anything, should not mean you accept your current skill level. You should still always strive to be the best version of yourself that day. Always be looking for ways to improve, never stop learning. An ego is healthy if managed the proper way. The person who retains their drive to be the best, while able to understand their current abilities - is the person who grows the most.
Think of the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone and put yourself in an uncomfortable place - I'll bet you view that experience as the beginning of something good in your life. So why not do that more often? Why not experience that growth EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?
After growing up on the high plains of Wyoming, I've spent the last 15 years living in the mountainless deep-south. It's been more than a decade since I've been on skis or a snowboard - do you think the fear of eating shit and sliding down the mountain on my ass in front of my snowboarding girlfriend is gonna stop me from getting back out on the slopes this winter? Only if my ego were so massive that I didn't want to experience awesome things in my life. I'll be out there on the beginner slopes, getting my snow-legs back along with a bunch of 10 year olds whizzing past me...and I'll be loving every minute of it.
Some other classes I plan on taking this year that will require the ego being placed on the backburner? Ballroom dancing and cooking. If you want to be a true renaissance man, you've got to be willing to put yourself out there and learn new things. That's wild/STRONG.
I challenge each and every one of you to start putting these kinds of activities on your calendar. Go learn something new, go embarrass yourself - and kick ass doing it.