Taking a Risk

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything.” – popular quote

Some of us aren’t risk takers and that’s ok. I have to admit, I’m not a big risk taker, but there are times I have been. I’m not talking about doing something you shouldn’t do as a kid and risk getting caught by your parents. Sure, we probably all did some of that.

I’m talking about the bigger risks in life. How about commitment? To some people, like myself, commitment isn’t a risk. When I was sure about someone, I committed. I’m not scared of commitment. To other people, especially people with commitment issues, diving into a relationship is a big risk. One they probably wouldn’t take.

I could write an entire blog post about commitment issues but that’s not what this is about. It’s about all of those missed chances in life. What do you wish that you did in the past? What would you have done differently?

No Regrets, Just the Future

This isn’t an exercise about listing your regrets. Rather, it’s about taking a good look at what you wished you had done differently so that you can use it to guide you in the future.

Do you wish you had committed to that guy or gal?

If you answered yes, then apply that to your current or next relationship. Would you be missing out if you didn’t commit? Are you wishing you could commit but are too afraid? What’s holding you back?

Do you wish you had taken that job?

Again, use it as a learning moment. Why didn’t you take it? Was it too much of a gamble in your mind?

If you didn’t take it because of something that you thought was too big of a risk, and now you wish you had, maybe it’s time to make that leap for the next job offer.

Do you wish you had gone on that spiritual retreat that everyone was later talking about but you didn’t go because you were afraid – i.e., it was too big of a step for you?

As the quote says, by not taking a risk, you risk everything. You risk all the missed opportunities to learn, grow, have fun, be with someone.

We’re Not All Thrill Seekers

Not everyone is a thrill seeker. Not everyone is a risk taker when it comes to investing their money. We don’t all have to do daring things or invest in potentially hazardous schemes to take a risk. The stakes can be much smaller.

Everyone defines risk differently. And since it’s only a definition, we can adjust it. What you considered too scary or dangerous ten years or even a year ago may look different now. It’s about redefining your comfort zone. And then realizing that when you get out of your comfort zone, you’re ok. It might’ve been a stretch, but it wasn’t so bad after all.

A friend of mine’s elderly mother often talks about the boyfriend that she wishes she’d married instead of her husband. Why didn’t she marry him? The man she ended up marrying seemed like a safe bet. Safe doesn’t imply risk, does it? Safe is the opposite of risk. The sad part is, she spent the majority of her life wishing she’d made a different decision. She lived with regret for many years. By not taking the chance of marrying the man she wanted, she missed potential happiness that she didn’t get with her husband.  Oh, what could have been is the theme of her life.

A client of mine that I’ll call Anne, told me when she was younger, she was preparing for cheerleading try-outs. All the current cheerleaders who were training them told Anne she was really good. They gave her the “secret wink” to let her know she’ll make the squad. At the last-minute Anne got cold feet and pulled out. She was afraid that she wouldn’t make the squad despite the encouragement she was receiving. She just couldn’t take the risk. The risk of humiliation if she didn’t make the cut. The risk of being left out when her friends were having fun as cheerleaders. It was safer to pull out than be rejected. Oh, what could have been…regrets.

Since I’ve known Anne, she’s brought this up more than once. She realizes she didn’t take the risk and clearly regrets it. Instead of allowing her to focus on the regrets and beating herself up, I asked her what’s a similar step she could take today? Is there a presentation she doesn’t want to give because she gets anxiety when faced with getting in front of a group of people? Is there a video she doesn’t want to make because she’s afraid how people will judge her? Is there a guy she’s reluctant to go out with because she’s afraid he’ll hurt her?

What’s one thing she can do to grow and not get caught up in regrets of the past? Ask yourself the same question.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Maybe you can relate to some of those examples. While your opportunity may be long gone, what can you do now that would take you out of your comfort zone?

While you may not be as extreme as people who are afraid to leave their house, what are you missing out on? What’s one small baby step that you can take today so that you won’t regret it later?

As I stated in the beginning, I don’t see myself as a big risk taker. It’s all in how you look at it. To people who have commitment issues, I am a risk taker because I’m not afraid to commit.

To the thrill seekers out there I’m not a risk taker because bungee jumping or para-sailing isn’t for me. I’ll leave that to them, thank you very much!

Business people may see me as a risk taker because I started my own business eighteen years ago without much thought as to whether it would work or not. I wasn’t worried because I knew it would work out! My intuition guided me and it was right. I listened, I followed, I had success. For some, starting a business is way too risky. They just wouldn’t do it. That may not be the right opportunity for them. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

Even New Foods are a Risk!

When my husband and I go eat to Mexican food we both love guacamole. Yet, I’d never once bought or eaten an avocado. I wasn’t so sure about them, yet I loved guacamole. Last year I realized that was silly. If I can eat guacamole, why can’t I eat an avocado? I know that’s a small thing, but I got out of my comfort zone and started eating them at home, not just at a restaurant. Look at all that healthy fat I was missing out on! What new food or recipe can you try?

My husband always told me he didn’t like Indian food. Secretly, I felt it was because he hadn’t really tried it. Many of us say we don’t like something, yet we never even tried it! One day he tried it and he really liked it. He got out of his comfort zone and found a new food that he enjoys. Now we have a new food that we can enjoy together.

Jackie O said on her deathbed that she wished she hadn’t left half the piece of cake on her plate and instead eaten it all. Don’t go to your grave wishing you’d done something differently, even something as small as eating cake. Grab the opportunity.

When you don’t take the risk, you risk missing out on something. What are you not trying? What’s a baby step that you can take?  Can you wear a bright color today instead of your usual black or gray? Can you go out with a totally different type of person? Can you take a different route to work or the store? You might stumble onto something you didn’t know existed!

Life is too short. Don’t live with your regrets. Find little ways to do something new and different to have new experiences. You might surprise yourself!

If you’re not sure how you feel about what I wrote and want an honest answer, ask your intuition. If you need ideas on what to risk for a more fulfilling life, ask your intuition. Find out how to identify your
intuition, how to listen to it, how to talk to it and how to trust it 

Once you start listening to your intuition, you’ll be amazed how much your life clicks into place. Then you can truly start enjoying yourself. CLICK HERE to find out more!