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My son and I live in Brisbane, Australia so snow and ice are not exactly common place as it’s pretty tropical.  We’re approaching winter though so I thought I’d explore some options and we actually have an ice skating rink in close proximity.  I think it’s important to note at the outset that I’ve probably been ice skating 5 times in my life so I’m no professional in this department.  But this was something my son was excited about and once I’d mentioned it, we were both very committed!

These are the 5 lessons I learned from our adventure together.

  1. Excitement and enthusiasm are contagious

I was so inspired to be in his energy of doing something for the first time.  It made me wonder when we decided to fear doing new things?  We all have this ability to bring excitement and wonder to everything new.  A question I like to ask myself when thinking about a new experience is, “I wonder what it would be like to experience that”.  And then open myself up to the experience.  Enthusiasm and excitement bring a whole new dimension to any adventure.

  1. When it’s new, you don’t know what to do

Getting onto the rink was a completely new picture, neither of us really knew what to do so the first time around the rink was like two Bambi’s out there.  Both of us were unsteady, shaky and wobbly.  My son was holding on tightly and there was a lot of falling and getting back up again.  It’s natural that when you start something new that you will feel a little uneasy.  This is when you take things gently, one step at a time.  Be okay with enjoying the process of not knowing.

  1. Confidence grows quickly 

How often do we want to be perfect straight away?  By the second time around, I could notice a significant difference in both our confidence levels.  My son was starting to ground into his own body and feel the balance for himself and by the 5th time around, he was letting go and happy to have a go on his own.   Not only was my son’s confidence growing but mine as well.  I was able to pick him up when he fell down, without falling over myself.  As much as he was grounding into this new exercise, I was too.  

  1. Relinquish to the external

There were penguins there to support people new to the sport and once my son noticed other people using them, he wanted one.  By this stage, he was trying things out on his own so I didn’t really see the point, other than it being something fun for him to play with.  However, the lesson this showed me was how often we seek something outside of us for stability instead of trusting ourselves.  When I noticed my son get a little wobbly, I said for him to find his balance and he learned to trust his own abilities and body movements very quickly.

  1. Practice, practice, practice

It’s a bit of a weekly ritual now, even though I’m sure he’s motivated to go in part for the hot chocolate!  At times I will see him looking at other skaters and trying to lift one foot or flick one out, he’s happy to experiment.  Think about the things you do well now, I’m sure there is an element of dedication of time to the application of it.  None of us just got good at doing something without any effort.  To be good at anything requires practice and we get to have fun in the process.

Something must have happened within my brain because later on that day while we were watching a show, I worked on the Rubix cube. I managed to get one side done after watching a how-to video.  Yes, it’s only one side but it’s more than I’ve ever done in my life.  My brain was in a creative space and had more capacity to let in new information.

This is why it is great for us to stretch ourselves into something new.  Our brain starts calibrating problem solving in a new way and we are able to tune into out of the box solutions much quicker and easier because we’re not so tied to “knowing” the answer or just doing something automatically.

So be okay with sucking at trying something new.  Bring the excitement and enthusiasm of a child to the experience and notice just how many other capabilities your brain can tune into.

Kirsten Barfoot is an Australian based Transformational Speaker, Coach and Author who inspires and guides women to being wealthy, even in times of uncertainty.  Sign up for her Inspirational Newsletter here