Absolutely nothing I’ve accomplished in my life came by playing it safe.
I’ve accomplished quite a bit in my life so far. I graduated college, got a good job, and moved into my dream apartment. As I checked each accomplishment off my list, I got comfortable and stopped adding goals to my list. I slowly lost touch with my ambitious side.
Fear told ambition to “step aside”.
Comfort is my worst enemy. Once comfort and fear set in, it becomes so difficult to escape their cold grip. I eventually became unhappy with my job. Looking for a new job was frightening. Of the many, many jobs I found, there were a couple of positions I should have applied for. These positions were out of my comfort zone, which was good…and bad. I need to be shaken up, however, learning new skills after honing my existing skills for a decade was frightening.
What did I end up doing? I didn’t apply for any of the jobs. I was too scared to at least apply and I’m still pissed at myself. I was too scared to step on that ledge and take a risk.
That was my first wake up moment.
The second wake up moment came when I ran across the below video on Twitter. Ice T explains that in order for you to get where you want to be in life, sometimes you just have to say “F-ck It” and just take that risk. The situation can go one of two ways. You can fall on your face OR you can be successful. Isn’t that worth stepping on the ledge?
Discuss this famous Anais Nin quote: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
When you live your life based on the expectations of others, you slowly suffocate. Emotional duct tape is applied. Your dreams, wants, fears are silenced.
The worst feeling is to look in the mirror and not recognize the face staring back at you. That’s the moment when you take your life back.
Duct tape has to go. Your voice needs to be heard. Your life needs to be lived the way you want to live it.
Recently, I overheard a discussion about the documentary Forks Over Knives. A woman was speaking about the difference between the diets of those in the U.S. versus those in Asian countries and the effect it had on their health. When she finished, another woman made the following statement:
“I’m not going to drink tea and eat rice every day.”
The choices you make are directly correlated to the life you live. In the above scenario, choosing to not live a healthier lifestyle comes with various risks. Those risks are both known and unforeseen.
Risks cannot be avoided, but actions can be put into place to prevent the risks from becoming detrimental. In order to implement those actions, one must choose to do so first. The cycle continues.
Do you always look before you leap?
My mother taught me to look before I walk.
If I’m taking a risk, I always run the risk of letting anxiety take over, so I’ll leap and then look.
By then, it’s too late to go back, so enjoy the journey.
Name a time when a risk you took paid off.
Years ago, I was hellbent on moving to this apartment community in the downtown area. Finances would keep me from applying for a few years. Meantime, I finished school and got my financial house in order.
At some point, I became annoyed with management and neighbors. I had to move NOW! I went to the community on a Sunday I believe. At that moment, I saw myself living there.
After the tour, I applied for the apartment. Granted, the rent was a little pricey, but I could swing it without being on a ramen noodle diet. At least that’s what I kept telling myself to ease my anxiety. Finally, the consultant emailed me back. Based on finances, I wasn’t eligible however, he was going to forward my application to the manager for review.
Whew! Still in the game. More anxious than ever.
A few more days pass before I get another email.
“Congratulations…” That’s all I read before I started screaming. I did it. Took a major risk with a 70/30 chance of reward and the odds worked out in my favor. After I calmed down I continued reading. My previous landlords provided great references and that got me the apartment.
Money isn’t everything, that’s for damn sure.
Three years later, and I’m a very happy resident of a really dope downtown apartment. Well worth the risk.
Do you believe the saying that with great risks come great rewards?
Yes. Experience has taught me that even though I may take a great risk, the reward may not always be what I expected.