Try Something Old Again

Growing up, life was pretty good. I had loving parents. I had good friends. I had everything a kid could hope for.

Except one thing.

The one thing I was missing was a positive sports experience.

A memory that looms large in my mind is of being benched during my first, and only, season of little league baseball. Sitting on the bench while all of the other kids played baseball seemed like the worst thing that could happen to me.

I was wrong and there were other things that have taken the place of being benched. Yet this memory looms large. It held me back for many years.

And then last year I was invited to join my work’s recreation softball team. This was a blast. I discovered I wasn’t so bad at softball/baseball. I could add value to the team.

This year I was invited to play on a local soccer team by my wife’s cousin. I was very hesitant to accept the invitation to play. I had fears and doubts about my ability to play.

However, I accepted and decided to lace up the soccer cleats and give sports another shot. I have to say it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Try Something Old Again

For years I held off from attempting any kind of sport. My mind told me I didn’t have what it took to play. I had to overcome the thought pattern of defeat.

Those memories of embarrassment from youth sports held me back from enjoying sports and the team comradaery that comes from playing together.

In the end, I decided I should try something old, once again. I faced the fears I had of playing ball. I faced the fears of playing a sport I’d never attempted before.

By taking this small risk, it’s propelled me forward and has increased my curiosity about other activities I’m missing out on.

Why You Try Again

You never know what you’ll discover when you try once again. Like me, you may discover you enjoyed something you thought you were no good at. You may discover there’s talent hidden just beneath the surface. You may discover a new group of friends.

By pushing past the previous fears you once held onto, you move yourself into new situations that breathe new breath into your life. You also begin to see connections where there were none before.

You’re able to see the thoughts you previously held weren’t so true. There’s a better truth hidden from your view, if only because you weren’t ready to see it.

What This Means For Your Leadership

Many leaders are scared to try something that failed long ago. They think if they try again they’ll experience the same results.

That’s true. You may experience the same failure, again.

And then there’s the brighter possibility. The possibility that the failure was only for a time.

The failure may have been caused from a lack of experience. The failure may have been caused because your team wasn’t fully prepared. The failure may have been caused by a lack of knowledge.

Today, I want to encourage you to try something old again. Look into the archives and find a past failure. See if you can attempt the task again and change the outcome. If you see hope, give it a shot.

Question: When’s the last time you tried something old again? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • John Dolan

    Great post!

    • Thanks John. What’s your biggest takeaway from the post?

      • John Dolan

        How I’ve reinvented myself. Growing up I was fortunate to have been physically gifted, so I didn’t sit the bench much. Then as my kids were growing up I had the opportunity to coach a lot of youth baseball. One of the hardest things I faced as a coach was deciding on who had to sit.

        Your post helped me reflect back on the past 25 years of my career and recognize how I’ve reinvented myself twice; and now it looks like I’m planning for a third. Each reinvention came when I wasn’t challenged or personally fulfilled w/what I was doing.

        The first one occurred in my mid-20’s when I was in a salaried position and not earning very much. So I reinvented myself from technical support into technical sales. The second came in my mid-30’s when I reinvented myself from technical sales to an entrepreneur in the same field, but now involved in technical sales and support, in addition to running the business. Now I find myself “trying something old” and planning for the next chapter in my life; hoping to build a platform to help people in a completely different way.

        So thank you for helping me gain a better understanding about myself and for giving me some perspective for the future.

        • Awesome John. It sounds like you’re getting a firm grasp to the trying something old again and reinventing yourself. Keep at it!

  • RcMaFitness

    Well, I’ve had a few walls (rock climbing walls) that have put me to shame! So I’ve had to make myself a promise about attempting those same walls at a later time. And so I will! Anyhow, my husband told me one day (after I failed to reach the last anchor), When you’re up there, you look way out of reach. You know, it seems to me that you could take a leap of faith & jump from one rock to another, instead of holding on to the one you’ve already reached!” My reply? “Easy for you to say, my dear!” The truth is — which I of course won’t admit to him, LOL — the guy is right, mighty right! Every single day I’ve one of those walls right between my eyes. Every single day I prepared to conquer it. I won’t be easy, but I want to be my like children (my three four-legged children). I want to be as relentless as they’re when they want my attention, a snack, play-time, a massage (some people call that petting), or simply be still next to them. Joe, I’m super HAPPY you went back to sports. I’ve zero doubts you’re incredibly GREAT at those sports! Keep going for it, & thank you! P.S. I did admit to my husband he was right, which has contributed to his big head! 🙂

    • You brought up a great example in the rock climbing walls. There are times where we just don’t try because it looks super scary or dangerous. Yet, if we come back to it, we’re able to overcome what held us back before. And then, it makes us stronger in the process.

  • Joe – definitely understand this bro. Kudos for mustering the courage and trying sports again.

  • The last time I tried something I failed at previously would have to be learning a language – french! I spent a few years working on it and then put it to the side because I never felt that it was all coming together. Kinda felt like I was wasting mine – and others (teachers, resources) time. SO I recently picked it back up – I’m feeling good about it! Learning how to be in control of my learning process and approach it in new ways to make sure I don’t feel “trapped” by those old feelings of defeat – thanks for sharing your story!

    • Great job Maurice! Glad to hear you were able to pick something up again and find success in doing so.

      Quick question, if you don’t mind. What are you doing to learn French? I’d love to learn a foreign language but haven’t found anything that works for me.

      • well. I’m a students and knew on top of working/social life/being a student I wasn’t really up for taking more on. So I tried to find ways of incorporating the french language into already existing things.

        I love music. And listening to new music. So I became a big fan of a few french artists with styles of music that I would normal listen to in English. Helped me get used to the sound of the language and if I chose to look up translations it gives me a little bit of vocab as well. If I’m watching youtube or a TED talk or something I’ll check to see if there are french subtitles. It gets me used to seeing the language written out and it’s a good way for me to learn a bit more formally. The main way I learn vocab/written french is through Duolingo. It’s not a complete language learning program – but it’s a pretty great start. It’ll teach basic language skills and I may do about 15-20 minutes twice a day to get a head start?

        Def tons of ways to approach language learning – these are some ways that I chose to approach it.

  • Blogging has definitely been a place for me to try something new again. I am an engineer by background, and writing wasn’t my first love even though I went through four years of Honors English in high school. Blogging has given me the opportunity to try writing again. And…it’s been great!

    • That’s really cool Jon. I’m glad blogging has given you that opportunity again. It’s been great reading your thoughts!