Three Strategies To Help You Stay Grounded And Open To New Experiences

It's amazing how different two places can be and still speak the same language! We experienced this phenomenon when we visited Australia.

Some of these cultural differences were also highlighted when I applied to the Masters of Coaching and Mentoring programme at Oxford Brookes. For example, I am “on the programme” instead of “in the program.” I told my daughter that I would need to think before I speak so I know whether to use the British or American version of the word or phrase. 🤔😂 I'll be learning about a different culture and new academic material!

On a similar note, I listened to a sermon discussing how many new words each generation creates. It's no wonder parents and grandparents tell their children and grandchildren they don't understand them. They are speaking a different language!

Learning to interact in a new setting or a culture can be overwhelming and frightening. You might feel left out or lost. I have had quite a few of those moments over the past few years. It's disconcerting and discombobulating.

  • My daughters have used words or phrases I have never heard before.
  • I've had networking meetings with business professionals where I felt insecure and out of place since it's been 20 years since I was in a corporate environment.
  • I had to learn to navigate a new course platform and understand the expectations for submitting assignments and interacting on college discussion boards.
  • I am now learning about a completely different educational system and its terminology.

All of these experiences pushed me outside of my comfort zone. This is good and helps me grow, which I value, but it can also feel overwhelming.

I remind myself of a few strategies to help me stay grounded and open to new experiences. (And let's face it, as we move into the next stage of life, there are a lot of new experiences!)

  1. Breathe. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or discombobulated, I take a deep breath. This simple act helps to reengage my pre-frontal cortex (my thinking brain) so my amygdala (my emotional brain) doesn't hijack the situation.
  2. Remember that discomfort is normal. Everything new is uncomfortable at first because it's different. Different isn't bad, just different. Over time, I acclimate to new situations, learn about customs and expectations, and feel more at ease.
  3. Find the humor in the situation. It's normal and expected that you will make mistakes as you learn anything new. (Anyone else not like making mistakes? 🙋🏼‍♀️) Instead of beating myself up about my mistake, I try to find humor in it or laugh off my mistake. In all honesty, this usually happens after the fact!

For me, it boils down to taking the next step and trusting God to guide me every step of the way.

What experience are you facing right now that is taking you outside your comfort zone?

What do you need to remind yourself today to help you embrace the experience and take the next step?

Similar Posts