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New Experiences & Knowing When To Say Yes

Newmarket Races Track
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The transition into the second half of the year acts as the perfect opportunity for review. A one-on-oneself, if you will. During my own, one question persistently reoccurred: Am I making headway on my only resolution of the year and enjoying more experiences? 

Throughout 2019 I’ve tried to actively push myself to experience more. I’ve completed no bucket-list-style tick box, there’s no movie-style collage of me jumping out of aeroplanes. It’s not as dramatic as that, but I feel as though I’ve been succeeding.

 

Newmarket Races Style
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‘LIFE BEGINS OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE’

On the few occasions I’ve shared my feelings of low self-confidence with friends, it’s been met with (seemingly genuine) surprise. I remember the shock of being nominated as ‘most independent’ during a conversation at work a few years ago. It taught me the importance of perception and also had me questioning the very construct of confidence.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that pushing myself out of my comfort zone has helped to grow my confidence. Fighting my usual default to run a mile (figuratively, of course, I’m no athlete) and saying yes instead. Not only experiencing, but enjoying new things.

Comfort zones are safe havens but they protect and police us in alternating measures. I visualise my own as a dartboard, bullseye is, of course, peak comfort: On the sofa with my partner and cat. The further I travel from the middle, the less comfortable I am. It’s important also, to appreciate that everyone’s comfort zones are different. There are people far more adventurous than I who would scoff at the simplicity of what I’m actively pushing myself to do.

Finding a balance is key though because let’s face it, a weekend on the sofa is great, but a lifetime? No thanks.

 

Summer Pimms Truck
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ENJOYING NEW EXPERIENCES

There seems to be a relatively common misconception that change must be all-consuming. The changes I’ve made are small, very possibly unnoticeable to others, but important to me and my growth as a person. I’ve simply been taking baby steps outside of my comfort zone, one foot in front of the other.

As someone whose mother passionately shoved me into new experiences and lessons (from dance to swimming, to horse-riding), it was the realisation that as an adult, I’m not doing enough to encourage my own growth, that coaxed me into thinking more seriously about new experiences.

So, for me, that’s what 2019 has been about, travelling more (so far to Paris and the Dominican Republic) and saying yes to more opportunities.

 

Newmarket Races
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A DAY AT THE RACES

I recently had the honour of attending the annual Moët & Chandon July Festival as a guest of Newmarket Races, ‘The Home of Horseracing‘. We were gifted tickets to their Champions lawn where we enjoyed a ‘Great British Picnic’, lost and won a few bets and enjoyed both the (intermittent) sunshine and each others company. What really made the day enjoyable though, was that it was a shiny new experience. Neither of us had visited before and we welcomed the change of scene.

Holding a misconception that the races aren’t attended by diverse crowds, I was slightly worried that I wouldn’t ‘fit in’. Like most of the things I worry about, I needn’t have. Although Newmarket’s website does feature a dress code, we found that dressing up was definitely part of the fun. Jamie even entered their Style Awards.

Attending as a couple was fun but we’d be interested in attending again with family or friends. There’s free entry for under 18’s too so it makes for a perfect family day without breaking the bank. Although prepare to pay top sterling for food and drinks, a small Pimms was £7.40.

 

Newmarket Races Style: Hat
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Newmarket Races host themed events throughout the year, including their upcoming Gin and Fizz and Peaky Blinders Racedays. We will be heading back, but until then, what other experiences would you recommend?

*  This post discusses gifted experiences. As always, all words, images and opinions are my own. Please read my full disclaimer for more information. 

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40 Comments

  • Reply Jasmine Burke

    I love your attitude of using the middle of the year as an opportunity to review and reflect how the years going – I may do the same! I also have been trying to gain new experiences again. Much like you, I did all the dance classes and swimming and music as a child due to my mum, and now that I’m out of Uni, I’m seeking loads of new experiences as well. I find that blogging really helps with that!

    Jas xx

    July 18, 2019 at 6:24 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I’ve seen a few people do it this year and it really inspired me. I’m so glad that you relate and I agree- blogging definitely pushes me to do more! x

      July 18, 2019 at 9:22 pm
  • Reply Aaliyah

    I am also definitely guilty of sticking to my comfort zone and I rarely go outside of it and I don’t really know why. I do love making new memories and experiencing new things I just have to do it more often! The races sound so fun, I’ve never been before I’ll have to go next year! Lovely outfit as well x

    July 18, 2019 at 7:08 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I think a lot of us are guilty of it to be honest! I think it’s something that we need to make a conscious effort to do. The races were so fun, I think you’d love it! x

      July 18, 2019 at 10:01 pm
  • Reply Monica Wong

    What a lovely post! Sometimes I like routine but I definitely feel the benefits going outside of my comfort zone. Love your pics from your day at the races!

    July 19, 2019 at 6:07 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I agree, I think I like routine a little too much to be honest so it’s been great to push myself to experience more and to grow as a person! Thank you lovely x

      July 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply Alisha Valerie

    I am personally against races involving animals as I’m totally against animal cruelty, however, your pictures are beautiful and your outfit is stunning. 💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | http://www.alishavalerie.com

    July 19, 2019 at 10:55 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I did have some worries before attending as I am very aware of criticism specifically towards the Grand National. These were flat races and I was reassured that the horses are treated very well. Thank you! x

      July 19, 2019 at 2:46 pm
  • Reply Becky

    This is such a lovely post! I’m always trying to push myself outside my comfort zone and to experience new things, so it’s nice to see someone else do this too! x

    Becky | Uptown Oracle

    July 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I’m so glad that it’s something you actively do as well x

      July 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm
  • Reply Sophie Naylor

    I will never get over how beautiful and inspiring you are. Such a lovely post x

    July 19, 2019 at 1:31 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Aw you’re too sweet, thank you so much! x

      July 20, 2019 at 10:37 am
  • Reply Lucy

    You look so lovely, your dress is so pretty! Over the years I’ve slowly but surely been stepping out of my comfort zone and I do think small steps is the best way!

    Lucy | Forever September

    July 19, 2019 at 4:27 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I’m so glad that small steps work well for you too x

      July 20, 2019 at 10:40 am
  • Reply Kinga

    Sounds cool 🙂

    July 20, 2019 at 8:29 am
  • Reply Nancy

    It is great that you are trying to challenge yourself more this year with different things you haven’t done before. This is how we grow and I definitely agree with you about the quote. Life starts when you keep pushing yourself and wanting to try out something different. You start discovering things that you never thought you’d like. I try to do the same with my life lately. Thanks for sharing the positive vibes!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    July 21, 2019 at 3:33 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I’m so glad you agree, here’s to growth! x

      July 21, 2019 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Emma

    I love this post! It’s always lovely reflecting on what you’ve achieved so far, and how your managed to achieve it. A day at the races, looks amazing! I’ve been to Ascot once before and it was the best experience. Keep it up Soph! Can’t wait to see what you achieve over the next 6 months 😌

    Emma | http://www.lifeofemmax.co.uk

    July 21, 2019 at 10:56 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! It was so fun- I can’t wait to get more new things booked in for the remainder of the year x

      July 21, 2019 at 7:49 pm
  • Reply Laura

    I think it’s so wonderful that you are trying new experiences but also keeping true to yourself, recognizing your boundaries and keeping balance. This is what helps promote growth within ourselves ♡ We all have some growing to do and this is a beautiful post that you shared of how you’re doing so!

    July 21, 2019 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Kristin Harris/Tales from Home

    I used to spend a lot of time at racetracks and horse show grounds as a kid and always loved it. Horses were basically a part of my life back then and I wish they could be still! It’s fantastic that you got the chance to check it out and I really hope you had a lot of fun!

    July 21, 2019 at 1:07 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I think its s super fun day out, and great for families as under 18s enter free! Thank you, we really did x

      July 23, 2019 at 10:18 am
  • Reply Lucy

    You look lovely in these photo’s Soph, you can’t beat a day at the races! I’ve started stepping out of my comfort zone these last few years and I’ve learnt that doing it in small steps is always the best way (for me personally) xx

    July 21, 2019 at 8:56 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! It was so fun. It’s the best way for me too x

      July 23, 2019 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Eena

    I love this post so much, Soph! I love that you’re using the middle of the year to reflect on past experiences yet brace yourself for new ones. And I totally agree – life DOES begin out of your comfort zone. The process will be uncomfortable but the end result will be amazing. Yay you for going out to the races and having a grand time! Can’t wait to see what else the latter half of this year has in store for you. ♥

    ☼ Eena | cabin twenty-four

    July 22, 2019 at 4:41 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you! I love fresh starts so am always looking for an excuse haha! Thanks lovely x

      July 23, 2019 at 10:23 am
  • Reply Mercy

    Such a fun event! I like the Pimm’s cart in the background and your dress just looks perfect on you!

    http://www.busyandfab.com

    July 22, 2019 at 7:06 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      It was! Thank you so much, the Pimms was amazing x

      July 23, 2019 at 9:53 am
  • Reply Deborah Kos

    Getting out of your comfort zone is so important for growth. You can even try working on a new project that makes you feel uncomfortable just to see if it really excites you.

    July 23, 2019 at 8:56 pm
  • Reply Kayleigh Zara

    I’ve never been to the races to before because I’m not sure quite where I fit on it on the animal rights side, but your outfit is stunning and I love your heels! X
    Kayleigh Zara 🌿 http://www.kayleighzaraa.com

    July 24, 2019 at 8:46 pm
  • Reply Dasynka

    It’s crazy to think that half year already passed. I’m brave enough to think of what I accomplished yet. But I’m so happy you are getting out of the comfort zone, so difficult cause you never know how it will be, but it always helps at the end.
    xx Dasynka
    http://dasynka.com

    July 25, 2019 at 3:26 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      I agree- it’s flown by! I totally agree- thank you x

      July 26, 2019 at 10:48 pm
  • Reply Luce

    Oh my gosh, I love your blog!! Really enjoyed reading this post, excited to follow your blog and join you on your journey! xx

    July 27, 2019 at 2:22 pm
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much! I look forward to having you! x

      July 28, 2019 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Natonya

    So I just agree with you 1,000%! First off this post was written beautifully and your pleated blue dress with the pointed toe heels is fashion goals!👏🏾 While comfort zones protect us, it’s nice to venture out in life and try something new. Exploring the world is so healthy, even if it’s trying sushi for the first time. I’m so glad you are trying new things and I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures, so inspiring!!

    Natonya

    July 29, 2019 at 4:35 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      Thank you so much, that means a lot! I absolutely agree- new experiences don’t always have to be big to expand your horizons and to make life a little more interesting! x

      July 30, 2019 at 10:49 am
  • Reply Sian ryan

    I am very guilty of sticking to my comfort zone and what I know, but when I have pushed outside of it I do tend to surprise myself! Btw you look dazzling in that blue dress!

    August 3, 2019 at 7:57 am
    • Reply sophhearts

      I think most of us can be sometimes! Thanks so much! x

      August 5, 2019 at 7:14 pm

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