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Fear is a common response to new challenges or experiences. We can feel uncertain, vulnerable and anxious.

Training your mind to believe that something new will be a good experience or someone new will be good is a resilience skill.

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There can be  some really good reasons why we don’t meet new people or  try new experiences.

(Escargot- no thank you!)

However if we find that we never take a smart risk and try something new then it is worth looking closer at our thoughts to make sure we aren't missing out? Check out the thought traps below which ones do you find yourself in?

Top 3 Terrible Thought Traps

Zooming in on the negative.

Focusing in on just the negative. Useful if you are trekking in the amazon and in constant survival mode but not if you want to live your best life.


"We all doomed Captain Mannering"

Jumping to the worst-case scenario and predicting a disastrous outcome.

I can't!

Reacting habitually to difficult situations or to new opportunities with "I can't," rather than "I can try," leads to helplessness.

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In fact we can waste a lot of our mental energy assuming the worst is going to happen and then it doesn't

This Smart Move is about reminding us that if we challenge our worries and instead choose to assume/predict everything will go well then we will actually save energy and be more resilient. Think through the following questions:

  • How would you rate yourself out of 10 at predicting a good experience?

  • If your mind says that it won’t be a good experience what happens?

  • What thought habits stop you trying new experiences?

  • What does your pessimistic inner voice say?

  • How does that stop you living your best life?


Think of 3 things you would like to do but have been afraid to do 

  • What’s the worst thing that could happen?

  • What evidence is there that this might happen?

  • What is more likely to happen?

You don’t have to be brilliant at something as soon as you start it!

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The Yes Man experiment 

Way back in 2005 Danny Wallace a journalist and TV presenter and wrote the book, Yes Man, based on his experience of saying "yes" to everything for six months! Yes Man was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Jim Carrey. 

While we have to make wise decisions and make Smart choices this book & film can challenge us to check our habit of saying 'no' out of fear.

Top tips for saying  yes more often:

  • Find a good reason to try something new

  • Notice when you are catastrophizing and take a breath - view the bigger picture, and decide how to act based on the most realistic perspective.

  • Changing I can't  to "I can try!" encourages problem-solving and a willingness to be proactive, to take positive action — both keys to being successful and resilient.

Try practicing positive thinking using the Smart Work Sheet below 

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Accept that sometimes we all fail, but that that isn't necessarily a bad thing, nor does it mean we shouldn't try

The Museum of Failure


Licensed psychologist and innovation researcher Dr. Samuel West curates the Museum of failure.


It is a collection of over 100 failed products and services from some of the world’s best-known companies. Visitors get an entertaining glimpse into the risky business of innovation.

For every mega-success like the Apple iPhone, VCR and Ford Mustang, there’s a couple of Newtons, Betamaxes and Edsels that crashed and burned before them.

West hopes to convey that the acceptance of failure is necessary in order for innovation and progress to truly succeed.

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