We recently wrote about how seeking solitude is beneficial for our well-being. Finding time for hobbies is also important as optional activities can also be fun and beneficial to our personal development.
One way in which hobbies can help us to grow as individuals is by helping us achieve greater self-confidence. Any hobby you enjoy that also enhances other aspects of your life is a powerful activity. Of course, an activity that builds your self-confidence may also stretch your comfort zone a bit and it is here, within that sense of challenge, where we can grow psychologically stronger and more fulfilled.
While you contemplate hobbies that offer a creative outlet or a personal escape, give some thought to trying activities that will also challenge you in new ways. Here are a few ideas:
Many people find it intimidating to dance in front of others. Consider joining a dance class in a style that appeals to you. Perhaps ask a friend who might be interested if they’d like to join you. By developing your dance skills, you can do a lot to boost your confidence and social life, as well as your flexibility and fitness. Plus, next time you’re at a social event, you’ll feel that much more confident strutting your stuff on the dancefloor.
Specifically, traveling alone. If it’s intimidating, which is understandable, start small by taking a weekend away somewhere local. Gradually challenge yourself to travel to a new city, then a new country. You’ll learn a lot about the world which will give you a leg up on most of the people you know. You learn a lot about yourself, too.
Improving your fitness can give a huge sense of achievement. Knowing that you can flip, kick, punch, and stomp anyone at any time will make anyone confident. Maybe that’s going a little too far but getting in shape and learning how to protect yourself gives you confidence. Consider self-defence classes as a starting point. You can get fit and build your confidence simultaneously.
I thought I’d throw this one in here. Hear me out! Not many people have the nerve to go skydiving and even fewer have the nerve to do it repeatedly. Getting your skydiving license can take anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on where you train, your time, and your budget. Knowing that you voluntarily jump out of a plane while others are too afraid to consider it is great for your confidence and can literally give you a unique perspective on the world.
Challenging your mind and body to tackle a new (or old) sport isn’t easy. Perhaps you don’t feel as able as you once did; perhaps you doubt your abilities. You don’t know until you try! Visit your local sports centres and community halls to look for amateur teams that you might want to join, or research online for sporting challenges for beginners. Like every hobby here, perseverance is required, which pays off with successes that will bolster your morale.
Acting is another way of putting yourself out there with the risk of being judged. Most people don’t have the nerve to get up on stage, but if you do, you’ll benefit from a great boost of confidence. Look for local drama groups or classes. Acting in plays is also a great way to make some new and interesting friends.
Learning to play an instrument is as rewarding as it is challenging. Pick your instrument and make a firm commitment to mastering it, even when it gets difficult. To be able to play a favourite piece of music to yourself, friends, or even with a local group, will provide a huge and ongoing sense of pride. If singing is more appealing, look for local choirs or groups, where you can make new friends and enjoy the challenge of taking part in social events.
Do any of these hobbies appeal to you? These are just a selection of ideas you can use as a springboard. There are literally thousands of hobbies to choose from, and options for beginners are abundant. All you need to do is find one that you’ll enjoy that will also make you feel more confident.
Start making a list of possibilities and give a couple of them a try. A little trepidation is to be expected, as are negative thoughts (“you’re too old/overweight/untalented to do this”) to keep you in your comfort zone. Just remember that you have nothing to lose and so much confidence to gain!