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I am looking for a word that can express the idea of 'approaching' a new idea boldly or 'taking it on'.

I want to use it as (assuming the word is XYZ):

'this shows my ability to XYZ unfamiliar concepts and applying them successfully'

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    You need the infinitive apply there, to match to XYZ. What have you looked up and discarded so far? How about handle? – Andrew Leach Dec 13 '16 at 11:50
  • @AndrewLeach, I was thinking like my ability to *approach* unfamiliar ideas but it seemed tepid, and not give the sense of taking head on Did I make sense? – user1993 Dec 13 '16 at 11:56
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    Yes, but please do check the single-word-requests help -- you added that tag quite correctly. – Andrew Leach Dec 13 '16 at 12:01
  • Tackle, comprehend, wrestle or grapple with, master – The Nate Dec 13 '16 at 15:48
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Perhaps, embrace helps here.

'this shows my ability to embrace unfamiliar concepts and applying them successfully'

ODO:

embrace VERB

2 Accept (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically:
‘besides traditional methods, artists are embracing new technology’

‘Maybe we will benefit beyond belief in embracing some of these valuable philosophies and using them in practical solutions for all our welfare.’

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