One of my pet hates is when someone announces that they definitely don’t like something (e.g. Indian or Chinese Food). “Have you tried it then” I will enquire to which the answer is invariably “no”. So how on earth do they know they don’t like it.
Some of our likes and dislikes are inherited; our parents didn’t like something and we followed suit. Or a dislike is based upon fear; fear of trying something new, resistance to new ideas because they are out of our comfort zone. Some dislikes are based upon ignorance. Maybe we heard somebody say something was bad/disgusting/dangerous/pointless etc and we took what we heard as truth, without checking it out for ourselves.
It is the same with business ideas. Don’t be too quick to dismiss something, a suggestions or idea until you’ve investigated it further or tried it out.
Try it out, dare to be different
Some of my most successful ideas have come from the pottiest of ideas. “I wonder if…” is a phrase I use all the time. I will at least have a cogitate over the idea, bending and twisting it, following through mental paths before deciding if it is viable to act upon or really is a non-starter.
Clive Sinclair may have been dismissed as nuttier than a fruitcake with his weird looking electric car the C5 but the idea of an electric car was not dismissed. The Toyota Auris Hybrid is certainly sexier than the C5 but it uses Sinclair’s concepts and elevates them to a car you can feel good about driving and is ecologically sounder than it’s petrol rivals.
Sometimes we dismiss ideas because they don’t “fit” with how we see ourselves. I may have been a champion for rail safety but I don’t see myself as very adventurous when it comes to physical challenges.
Hot air ballooning was an idea suggested that I might try. ‘Uh oh I don’t think so’ was my initial reaction as I don’t have a great head for heights but my second thought was ‘what the hell – I’m here so I’ll have a go’. It did help that we floated above the Valley of the Kings so the scenery was spectacular but I’ll always remember the feelings of exhilaration and clarity once my fear had subsided.
Similarly post the rail crash I was faced with many challenges; the greatest being, what do I do now? I could not afford to dismiss ideas out of hand as I was literally reinventing myself. Many companies face that dilemma when the old way of doing things is no longer working. They may want to retreat to the safety of what they know, but if that is not giving them success, then new ideas and a different direction are needed.
Some of the world’s greatest breakthroughs have come from a lateral approach and a willingness to say, “What if?”
Feel the fear and try it…
I harness these same feelings now when I am faced by situations that I am not keen on and sail smoothly through them accomplishing the goal the situation offered.
Rather than dismiss an idea I suggest you “Don’t knock it, till you try it”. If fear is holding you back, identify the source of the fear before dismissing a potential new experience. Sometimes that fear is fear of ridicule; we hate to look foolish. Or, it can be a genuine fear for your safety; in which case, do your due diligence. Most scary pastimes are in fact, absolutely safe.
A friend of mine was terrified of roller coasters, without ever having been on one. She conquered that by going on a trip with her sixth form students, who held her hand, took photos and all cheered when she reached the end of her first ride. The rush she felt having achieved this, meant they couldn’t keep her off the scary rides for the rest of the day!
At the very least; try new foods, new social occasions; go to the theatre, or the ballet if you have never been, it can be quite an eye opener. By opening yourself up to new experiences you often find out new things about yourself.
Don’t be too quick to judge something you have never experienced; if you try it you may surprise yourself.
If I try something and really don’t like it I won’t repeat the experience but I am content that at least I tried.