Something I still deal with on a regular basis, as someone attempting to live more locally, is the fear of new and unknown things. By no means am I shy or timid to new experiences, but sometimes when dealing with a local business, I get anxious about that first visit. I wish I could decide that I want to try a new restaurant or clothing store or coffee shop or bookstore, and just go. It doesn’t always work that way; sometimes I will even get to a new place and NOT even go in.
I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way, because if I was, local businesses would never have a problem with lack of customers. Think about it, local businesses tend to offer higher quality products and service, yet they are missing out on customers. I really don’t believe it’s all because you can get less expensive things somewhere else, value matters on some level … to almost everyone.
I hop around too much with my feelings regarding the fear of trying local things for the first time. What am I expecting? Is it that I will make a fool of myself and feel I can’t return? Is it that I will not like the place? Is it that I just want to know what I’m getting into? Is it that I really just want something I’m used to? Is it that the place won’t be what I thought at all and I end up walking in on the ritual practice of some cult? These are the crazy questions I ask myself when I chicken out of actually going. For example, a few months ago I wanted to try a new breakfast style restaurant. I looked online and found a highly rated, locally owned one and thought it sounded wonderful. I found a hungry companion to go with me and we got in the car… and drove by the restaurant… and ended up eating at a place we had already been to. How did that happen?
So, what holds you back? Why don’t you always hop on an opportunity to try a new local place? I obviously haven’t placed my finger on it yet, as you can probably tell from the amount of silly questions I ask myself on a regular basis. I’d like to hear from others about their ridiculous reasons not to get out of their “brand name comfort zones”.
NO MORE! We must just face our concerns and do it. This blog is about living locally and having a presence in the community. That can’t happen if we don’t get out of our heads!
I really love when I want to go somewhere new, and when that fear creeps in, a friend of mine will have already been and recommend it. The validation that someone I know has actually walked through the doors, makes me feel so much better about going myself. If this happens on a larger scale, more people may feel comfortable trying new local things. If I tell everyone I know about the places I go, then more people will feel comfortable about going themselves!
I can’t think of a time when I sucked it up, went to do new things, and ended up hating it. Every time I have mustered the courage and tried something new in the community, I have been pleasantly surprised and happy! For example, I have always wanted to go to Newman’s Deli, on California Ave. but have been too afraid! Well ladies and gentlemen… I ate there! Last week! and it was delicious! No regrets here, and now I can’t wait to share my experience (get ready for a Newman’s feature).
We can do it. We can be bold in trying new things and going new places. I can almost guarantee you won’t walk in on some cult ritual when trying new things in the Reno community, but if you do, don’t drink the kool-aid.