Are you willing to try something new?

Are you willing to try something new?When asked to try something new, we often hesitate.  One of the favorite meals that my adult sons and I splurge on is sushi. The boys both use chopsticks and I have always used a fork. The other night when we sat down to eat and they got out their chopsticks, I looked and said, “You know, I should give this a try.”

Confession time. I hate to look clumsy or uncoordinated so many times, I just don’t do things that could make me look less than “perfect.”

For example, I don’t clap to music because my sense of rhythm isn’t as good as some people’s and I get very uncomfortable with many of the cute ice-breaker activities that people do to get people working together at meetings or conferences.

Would you believe that there was a time that I didn’t want to order at a deli because it made me uncomfortable? You’ll be happy to know that I now can say, “could I please have a pound of ham?” without getting upset or nervous.

Using chopsticks would fall in this category because you have to be coordinated to use them or you will drop your food.

Are you willing to try something new?We weren’t out in public and there was no reason to be embarrassed in my own house. My sons know enough not to make fun of me when I decide to try something new. So I gave it a try! We had ordered multiple types of sushi from Yao’s Grand Dragon and some are easier to handle with a chopstick than others but I tried each type and only reverted to a fork a few times.

Are you willing to try something new?

Take the chance of failing

As I admitted in my last post, I do have a perfectionist mentality and it does get in the way. In public, you can probably understand my reluctance to try chopsticks although many people don’t let being in public stop them from doing things they aren’t comfortable with or don’t feel confident doing. But in reality, we only learn when we are willing to let ourselves take the chance of failing.

I have accumulated extra chopsticks through many orders of sushi or Chinese food. I think I might have to practice some more to see if I really can eat other foods with chopsticks.

There are many things that make us uncomfortable and sometimes that gets in the way of enjoying life and sometimes it gets in the way of our career. If you are holding back on networking or attending events that could help you connect with people to help you in your career, perhaps you should just take a chance on doing something that makes you uncomfortable. You never know you might end up to be good at it!


  1. Maureen on November 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Julie, you are leading by example. It has often been my experience (and yours too I might imagine) that we are asking our clients to put themselves in these types of “uncomfortable” positions to try and reach new heights. In doing so, they are able to try something new, look at a problem from a different perspective, or as you mentioned enjoy a new experience.

    Your example with the chopsticks is very similar to something I did this morning. I sang in a choir…something I have often wanted to do, but feared doing for numerous reasons.

    What a thrill it was to take up the challenge and feel the pride and success in doing something new.

    Thank you for sharing your experience here. It reminds us we can all learn something new (even if it appears a little scary at first).

    • Julie Walraven on November 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you for stopping by, Maureen. I’ve worked hard at challenging myself the last few years. In the past, I ran away from more challenges. Now I see myself facing them head-on and I think you are doing the same thing… It is easier to lead others when they can see you doing the same thing. Enjoy the choir!

  2. JM Auron on November 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Julie:

    Great post! I had a buddy – a professional guitarist – who refused to use chopsticks. Needless to say, he had sufficient fine muscle control to accomplish this. But he was, I think, a little embarrassed. Something we can all relate to in, one area or another… And very relevant to the job search!


    • Julie Walraven on December 6, 2011 at 6:59 am

      Thanks for the comment, JM. I do think we run away from things we think we can’t do or are embarrassed to be not perfect initially at doing.

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