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RISK-TAKING: assess if you always choose the safe route or if you're willing to take risks

Hello, beautiful people! This morning I got a pleasant surprise. I was able to read about risk-taking. Currently, in my book group we are reading “Do What you Love, The Money will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood,” by Marsha Sinetar. I feel like I’ve been reading along, waiting for the “Aha, this is the message I need and others might need, too” moment. Why do I like this topic of risk-taking? Because I think we are so programmed to live in a safe manner. Safety is not bad. No way! We certainly need a certain level of feeling safe in our lives. Yet, there is a fine line to living an entire lifetime consistently choosing safety instead of taking a leap of faith into a world of unknowns. That world of unknowns might be scary, yet that possibilities are all too exciting to NOT go in that direction.

Here's what I want to do. I want to give you the quotes from the book that stood out to me in my reading, then I want to go through some questions together about risk-taking. The author, Marsha Sinetar, often has casual lunches at a local deli. The conversations are typically lighthearted, but one day the conversation came up about the work she is doing. She told her friend that she is writing a book on doing work we love. With that, her friend who was stuck in a job he did not enjoy and finds himself in a situation he is not accustomed to said,

"When you write your chapter, don’t forget to tell people that if they don’t like what they are doing, they should figure out what to do about it, take a risk and get out. Better to be true to yourself than spend your time worrying about whether you should or shouldn’t make the move. Life’s just too short for that."

Ah, those words. Life’s just too short for that. I’m thinking if you decided to read this post, some part of you can relate to those words. We are to be true to ourselves and take risks. I want to follow up with one more quote, and then walk through the questions. The next quote on this topic said,

"As an individual transcends his limited self-idea, as he grows into a larger self by surrendering even some aspect of the fear which grips and cripples him, he gradually discovers that he can do what he previously believed he could not do. Such a discovery comes slowly for some, and in a burst of freeing insight for others. In all cases, this discovery- and the behaviors which ensure- amounts to an awakening."

When we realize we have been limiting ourselves by our own self-belief we are awakened. Our eyes open to the way we have been holding ourselves back and that realization alone can boost us in a new direction. Fear cripples us, and if we just imagine letting go of it for a second we will see we have a lot of potential!

Now, let’s take a few moments to discuss some reflection questions. I’m such a quote person, but only to the extent that we take the time to reflect and see how they specifically apply to us! Use these questions to reflect on your ability to take appropriate risks:

1) What have you been taught about taking risks? About playing it safe? (think about what you’ve learned growing up, from your social connections, etc)

2) What has fear stopped you from doing?

3) What’s a time in your life you’ve taken a risk and saw a whole different side of yourself? How did that feel? Maybe it was speaking your mind, sharing your emotions, shifting your career.

4) When you think about how you might view your life when you are at the end of life, will you have any regrets? What would those regrets be? Life is short.

5) What’s your relationship to all the “shoulds” in your life? All the things you “should” be, how you “should” act, all the roles you “should” fill… be a rebel for a second and imagine dropping even just one of them.

Ok, I hope those questions were helpful! Let the rebel inside of you surface just a little more to take a risk that leads you in a direction in life that is closer to your deepest heart’s desires. We all want a life that is full of connection and love, but admitting what we truly want can be the hardest part. Join me in the path of taking risks that lead to fuller lives! Happy rooting, everyone.

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