Trying anything unfamiliar or challenging can feel scary and cause stress. But a willingness to try new things is essential for progress. Being unwilling to attempt anything new can really hold a person back. Luckily, there are ways to support yourself or others, so you feel more capable and prepared for something new.

Value-Based Living

Valued-based living is a concept from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This practice helps you: 

  • Know who you are.

  • Like who you are.

  • Feel motivated about the things that really matter to you.

  • Focus on things you can control.

  • Develop genuine confidence.

Take a moment to consider what values matter the most to you. For example: 

  • Friendship 

  • Reliability

  • Forgiveness

  • Acceptance

  • Freedom

  • Self Respect

  • Connection

  • Caring

  • Determination

  • Gratitude

  • Compassion

  • Generosity

  • Order

  • Equality

  • Knowledge

  • Mindfulness

Notice which ones comes up when you think about your values. They do not necessarily have to be on this list. This practice should help you determine which values are important to you. Focusing on your values nurtures your self-esteem, encourages personal autonomy, and develops a sense of self.

Living According to Your Values

If you live for goals and values that are not important to you or set by someone else, you aren’t going to feel personally fulfilled. That’s why it is important to set goals for yourself that align with the values that are most important to you. 

Focusing on your values helps build honesty with yourself so you can be your most authentic. This is an important step in building genuine confidence. And that confidence is what will increase your willingness to try new things in life.

Setting Goals Based on Your Values

By using the values that are most important to you, you can set specific achievable goals for yourself.  Write down your values and subsequent goals using the example below:

Value: Connection


  1. Message the people I care about but have lost touch with.

  2. Reach out to someone who seems lonely, like a neighbor or someone I see every day like the mailman or someone working at a coffee shop (even if it's just to have a short conversation).

  3. Call a relative that I don't keep in touch with as often as I'd like to and miss.

Remember that these goals don’t need to be daunting (I will call a family member once a week). Set an easy goal - (I will call a family member this week) and then move on to your next goal. Make these goals achievable, but in line with your core values, then you will be more willing to try new things.