Remove barriers between yourself and your target. Whenever you do something new and different, there’s always a hill or bump to get over in order to start doing it. The ultimate goal is to make that hill part of your routine, but while it’s new, you have to actively fight against it. hill can be physical, like being really far away, or mental, like thinking it won’t be fun, but you inevitably have to get over it before you can start.
I’ve noticed this a lot of times when I wanted to try out new things. I always make these excuses not to do it, not to go out and try that new sport because it was too much work and I’m tired, not to drive down to wherever and explore because it’s too far, not to eat at that restaurant because it’s too different or it’s too new. I realized a couple things about overcoming this that I’d like to share.
The first thing I realized was at some point there was a conscious decision to say yes or no, effectively a cut-off point in my decision making where I said yes and planned to do it, or no and planned something else. It was so much easier to say no to it because doing nothing was so much easier and lazier. Because it was a conscious decision to do, it required a lot of energy to say yes, and zero energy to say no. Thus, it became very important to identify that cut-off point and truly think about the decision you’re going to make at that point.
What ended up happening was this subconscious understanding that your life is made up of a lot of unconscious cut-off points that you don’t think about, but happen around you regardless. When you make these decisions, it takes effort to consciously take a stand against your default decision. So I realized the best way to try new things is to take the yes default stance. If you say yes to things by default, it’ll take more effort to say no to it, and thus it is more likely you will try more things than otherwise.
It was also important to realize that it’s very easy as humans to make up excuses, or lie. So I also realized the longer I wait to say yes or no, the more excuses I have lined up to not do something, and the easier it is to not try that new thing. However, if I say yes immediately, I now not only have to make up excuses to say no, I have to explain why I said yes in the first place. In this way, I lower the barrier of entry by making the conscious decision to say yes before thinking about it, and thus raise the barrier of exit from my yes decision.
The second thing I realized is that I can throw money at it. I realized early on that a large limiting factor to what I wanted to do was my frugality. If I’m adverse to spending money, then I’m adverse to doing anything that requires money, and that’s a huge range of things. Yes, you can go about being frugal and still have fun, but not as much fun by definition as something who doesn’t care at all. Meaning if I want to give myself more options, I should stop worrying about money.
I grew up with my parent’s mentality of never really spending money on things needlessly, which has worked in my favour thus far, but to continue with that mentality now is really limiting. You cut yourself off from a lot of things when you aren’t willing to spend money at all. I also read a lot of opinion pieces from people in their 30’s or older who said they realized that their late 10’s and 20’s were the only time they had zero financial responsibility to people other than themselves, and that they regret missing out on experiences in their 20’s because they were worried about their financial future in their 30’s and having that future end up pretty much the same anyways. It was eye opening to realize that I have closed myself off for so long because I tried to not spend money.
In the end I learned to throw money at it. If the problem has to do with money, it’s a lot easier to throw money at it than to try and work around it. It’s not worth it now for me to limit my choices based on money. It’s much more enjoyable to experience new things than it is to constantly say no.