Starting a New Hobby

Having hobbies that you enjoy can enrich your life. Taking time for hobbies can help you reduce stress, teach you new things, and add value to your day. Sometimes, starting a new hobby can be intimidating, especially if you have never tried anything like it before. However, practicing a new hobby can help you overcome self-consciousness, fear, and perfectionism. 

How to Start a New Hobby

If you want to try out a new hobby, the first thing you can do is research all you can about it. Countless online resources can help you learn anything from yoga to sewing to cooking–even if you are at a beginner’s level. Depending on the hobby you are interested in, you might need to purchase tools or equipment. If you are trying something new and are not quite sure if you enjoy the hobby or not yet, you can always rent or borrow equipment or purchase cheaper materials before committing financially to a larger purchase. 

Fear of Failure

Once you have the right tools and a tutorial or two on your side, you have everything you need to jump right in and start your new hobby. However, you might still find yourself hesitating. Even if you can manage the first few steps, you might give up easily or decide that you do not want to try this new hobby after all. 

Perfectionism can cause a severe fear of failure. You might feel that if you are unable to do this new hobby perfectly right off the bat, then you should not try to do it at all. Some examples of perfectionism might look like: 

  • Expecting to learn a new song perfectly on the guitar: If you have never played guitar before, then this is likely impossible to achieve as a beginner. It will take time, effort, and practice to learn a new song–not to mention perfect it. 

  • Pushing yourself into yoga poses you cannot actually do: If you are new to yoga, you might not be as flexible as the person instructing you. Pushing yourself into challenging poses can cause severe injury and is not realistic to expect as a beginner. 

  • Giving up after a few stitches in a cross stitch pattern: Cross stitching can be complicated and delicate work. You will make mistakes throughout your first pattern, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.

Expecting yourself to be perfect at the new hobby you are exploring will only lead to disappointment and frustration. 

Setting Realistic Goals

For most, a hobby is fun and pressure-free. While you may be used to pushing yourself at work or school, a hobby is done simply for its joy and should not be stressful or cause pain. Approach a new hobby with the mindset that you will try your best and accept any mistakes that you make in the process. You will likely not excel at a new hobby right away, or even in a few months or years. For many, the point of a hobby is not to be the best at it but to enjoy doing it. 

You can set realistic goals for yourself by asking yourself what you want to get out of your new hobby. Instead of aiming to learn a song perfectly on the piano in three months as a beginner, you can try to set a healthier goal of practicing a song you enjoy three times a week. Having realistic expectations about your abilities as a beginner can help you avoid unnecessary shame, guilt, and pressure by setting healthier goals. 

Giving Up vs. Finding What You Enjoy

While you should be wary of giving up a new hobby because of perfectionism or self-defeating thoughts, it is okay to stop a hobby if you realize that you do not enjoy it. Again, hobbies should bring positive feelings into your life, and if a hobby consistently makes you feel frustrated, bored, or even angry, you might want to consider trying something else. 

There are many different hobbies that you can try. Many of them do not require a lot of money or time. Some hobbies you can try out include: 

  • Learning a new instrument

  • Fixing and restoring cars

  • Painting, drawing, or ceramics

  • Gardening or indoor plant care

  • Playing video games

  • Reading

  • Photography

  • Coding

  • Weightlifting

  • Dancing

This list is just a fraction of the potential hobbies out there. You can find what makes you happy by allowing yourself to make mistakes and rejecting perfectionist standards. 

Benefits of Hobbies

A study published by the Journal of Epidemiology found that having hobbies allows you to have a greater purpose in life and can even improve your mind and motor-functioning as you age. Having hobbies can help you meet new people, try new things, and give yourself time and space to do what you love. Hobbies help you find balance in life as you seek overall wellness, improving your mental and physical health. 

Trying a new hobby out can be intimidating. You might feel held back because of perfectionism, feeling like you can only participate in a hobby if you are immediately perfect at it. Fear of failure caused by perfectionism can lead to self-defeating thoughts and keep you from doing things you enjoy. Hobbies can be fun and bring value into your life if you learn how to accept any mistakes you will likely make as you learn new things. At SokyaHealth, we know that trying new things can be challenging, especially if you are self-conscious about making mistakes and afraid of failing. Our compassionate therapists can help you build confidence in yourself and assist you as you take time for yourself to try new and enjoyable hobbies. We can help you combat perfectionism and self-defeating thoughts so you can do what you love. Call SokyaHealth today at (877) 840-6956 to learn more about our services.

More than 50% of Americans struggle with mental health.

Headlight is now collaborating with health plans and companies to make therapy more accessible and affordable. Speak to a Care Coordinator today.