Risk is four letter word that should be repeated daily and acted upon regularly.
I’m at a crossroads, and I know I’m not the only one.
A major decision looms, forcing me to ask, if I give up now, how will I feel?”
The odds are both against me and for me at this point in my life.
The choice of playing small in what appears safe vs. taking the risk of going big.
I started writing this as I prepared for a job interview.
Depending on whom you ask in my life, there is both support for and against the direction I choose. The decision comes down to the trust I have in “me” to not stay in a vicious circle of playing small.
I’m desperate in certain circumstances, but not in who I am and what I want for myself.
As for the job, it’s symbolic. I know what will be required of me. I’ll be busy more than 40 hours a week, not doing what I love; it’ll create an imbalance in my life and put my goals on hold.
Income is the bait; will I bite?
It requires a sacrifice of my business. It’ll be the culmination of my work over the past few years: gone, given up. It means the newest branch of my business will never see the light of day. It’s a major opportunity lost.
Do I stay with my newest “just about to launch” product, which has garnered professional interest by a couple of parties? Or, commit to something that says, “I give up on my dream”? Does it mean the term, “Safe, but sorry?”
The immediate gratification of a paycheck will be lost when I stand in this place again in a year or two, or even three, because I made a short term choice. I’ll be older, full of more regret and excuses to immobilize me; will I be wiser?
The thing is, Risk is calling my name.
And as crazy, and I mean crazy as it sounds right now, it’s what my soul is leaning toward. I’m in the process of losing almost everything; the stress of major life issues converging at once has placed me at the crossroads.
And that is the kicker. I almost don’t care about the loss.
Playing small has worn on me.
Taking the safe route is a soul killer. You think the stars will align and everything will be perfect, so you can take your leap of faith, but what if that moment never comes?
You have to make it happen.
When a client or friend, says the word, “someday,” to me, I’ve had to stop myself from screaming, “Don’t be afraid, do it now!”
We feed ourselves so many excuses to play small. We’re afraid of our own success, unless it accidentally happens to us. And I don’t mean success suffering at a job you hate, or a relationship that keeps you down.
Please don’t tell me that suffering like a martyr toward a “someday” fantasy will pay off in a reward. It may in what you learn, but there’s no reward in “staying stuck.”
What I mean is doing what you love and achieving that fulfillment.
No one is going to find their dream standing on a corner in Hollywood waiting for some dude to walk up and says, “Hey, I can make you a movie star,” and *poof* you’re rich and famous! No, you gotta commit, work at it and take uncomfortable steps beyond your own limitations to make it happen.
When all circumstances around you are telling you to quit and give up the dream, that is when you have to dig deeper.
In my case, I wake up some days, with the demons in my head. One of my friends, who has listened to my morning venting, tells me I’ve a habit of talking, clearing it out and then I move on through the rest of my day—focused on the goal. I’m thankful she’s there.
When I get stuck I ask myself, “If I give up now, how will I feel?”
And then I push the courage button, “Okay, let’s go, bring it on!” I’m not hiding out, I can and will get through “this time.” As a friend said, “It is only a moment in time.”
I look at people who failed not just once, but several times, such as Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Mr. Macy and the guy who owns Tom’s Shoes.
When I’m older, do I want to look back at a mundane existence? Or instead see the adventure, the experiences, the learning and fulfillment I received as I lived from my heart and soul?
If life is not about experiences, what is it?
We are afraid of the “what if.”
Fear can make you decide against yourself.
It’s clever in its disguise. Words like, practical, the right thing, secure, selfless, confusion, sacrifice and others, actually mean fear. Telling yourself that it isn’t fear, so you don’t feel like you’re giving up, is flat out being dishonest with yourself.
At least if you’re going to use the words above, just admit to yourself that you’re afraid. It’s much easier to see it “truthfully,” no matter what you decide. Knowing it is fear that rules your decisions, you might not feel as bad or maybe it’ll spur you on to take a crazy risk.
Emotional risk is where it’s at; financial risk is just the diving board.
Taking risk is having faith in yourself and a greater power that you deserve happiness, fulfillment, success and other emotional benefits.
It’s how you feel through your life that matters. Being courageous, breaking through your own barriers of what you believe you can do is when the real “living” starts.
I know what I’m gonna do, I’m on the diving board. How about you?
Editor: Brianna Bemel
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