Risk-taking can be scary, and everyone’s idea of “risk” looks a little bit different. Risk means that whatever the situation might be, there’s a chance for danger or loss; it means you have something to lose! Now, a risk doesn’t have to be something massive like cliff jumping off a waterfall in Bali, or swimming with hammerhead sharks in the open ocean. There can be risks (and their equal benefits!) in something as small as trying a new restaurant or learning how to do a handstand!
Risks mean your feet go up.
Let’s say your biggest goal right now is to master the handstand. If you’re not generally one to take risks, the idea of jumping straight into a handstand probably seems like it’ll end with an ambulance. There are a TON of ways to practice and build up your strength to make handstands easier and more attainable—and doing these things are so good for you and your body! (Here’s a great link if you ARE looking to improve your handstands.)
But, when it comes down to it, “practice” will only take you so far (think of this as the kid pool). At some point, if you don’t put your hands on the ground and put your feet in the air, you will never do a handstand. Years of donkey kicks (another great practice for handstands) won’t get you there if you don’t take the risk and kick those feet all the way up!
Why should I take the risk?
Okay, so you get the analogy, and now everyone wants to learn how to do handstands (#same). But what are the benefits of taking risks in our daily lives? Why should we leave the warm and cozy comfort of that magical place we call our comfort zone?!
Learning is growing.
When we learn new skills, our brain REALLY likes it. When we take a risk, there’s generally a new skill involved. Learning new skills makes us smarter.
Fear becomes less scary.
The more often we put ourselves into uncomfortable environments, the less scary new situations become, and the more likely we are to branch out and do something incredible!
Risks bring new opportunities.
One more analogy for you … hear me out. If you sit in your home every day, odds are you aren’t going to meet anyone new or create any new situations for yourself. (Although, right now, we’re all sitting at home trying to create new ways to interact. #pandemicproblems) If you want a new opportunity for yourself, you need to take the risk, jump out there, talk to new people, and put yourself in new places!
Example: All you singles out there aren’t going to meet new people by sitting at home wishing for it to happen. Even online dating requires some work, right?!
Taking risks helps you realize what you really want.
Have you ever noticed that the scarier something is, or the bigger the risk it is, the more you realize you didn’t actually want it to begin with? 😆 But, even better, often risk-taking shows us what we DO want. Use that. Write it down. But don’t let that initial fear scare you out of your goals. (See point above … fear becomes less scary.) Think about what makes it scary, what you’d need to do to get past it, and then do it!
Risk DOES mean reward.
We’ve all heard it: “With big risks, come big rewards.” But that doesn’t mean small risks aren’t important or beneficial, too! We often only see, as outsiders, the result of people taking the “big” risks. What we aren’t seeing are the small choices, the work, and the successes and failures that went along with those big risks.
Remember, reward isn’t always tangible, but it’s usually the non-tangible things that we gain the most: self-confidence, opportunity, new relationships, new skills, resilience, and a better idea for next time!
When is the right time?
Obviously, there are levels of risk, right? And no single answer is going to be right for everyone as to “When is the right time?” But there are a few ways to help you decide if a risk is worth taking!
- Talk to someone you trust. Share your ideas with a mentor or close friend and see what they say! Feedback can be so helpful.
- Be honest with yourself. Are you running away due to fear of something that likely won’t happen? Do you have unrealistic expectations for the outcome of your situation? (Need help with expectations? Here’s a great article!)
- Be solid in your goals and where you’re headed. If you know what you want, you can figure out how to get there.
- Can you actively take steps in your “risk” to avoid or minimize failure? Great! Do that.
- Even if you “fail” in taking this risk … will you still gain something from it? If so, it’s probably still a good choice!
You know you best, but it’s easy to underestimate yourself and get too reliant on that comfort zone! Write down three risks, figure out what’s keeping you from moving forward, talk yourself into one of them, and go!
Dream big, plan often, and jump into the big kid pool! What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken or are planning to take this year?
Share with us in the comments below!