“Risk: Step out of your comfort zone and into the unknown.” Your comfort zone defines the extent you believe you can stretch yourself. Metal tempered at high temperature withstands subsequent exposure to lower temperatures. Likewise, when you reach beyond your perceived limits, you permanently expand your range. You might run your first marathon, ask someone on a date, or give a presentation.
Risk becomes manageable when you focus on the experience and not the outcome. While your first presentation might feel awkward or even unpleasant, taking that risk permanently alters your experience of yourself. Plus you begin building your internal database on how to approach (or avoid!) your next speaking engagement. When considering taking a risk, bear in mind people tend to have lower expectations for beginners, essentially giving you a free pass when you try something new.
“Be bold, visible, and mindfully daring.” Risk rarely occurs in private. More often risk involves unveiling some aspect of yourself to the world where your courage gets witnessed. While risk feels dangerous, facing it with boldness and daring empowers you. Embracing risk demonstrates your ability to transcend fear and thus bring yourself forward wholeheartedly.
“Dance with uncertainty and live your life to the fullest.” Staying small and safe where life feels certain can lead to stagnation. Opening yourself to possibilities frees energy previously used to avoid change. For example, tomorrow I drive to Brattleboro, Vermont for a Jin Shin Jyutsu® special topics class. Traveling involves risk for me since I have celiac disease and must source safe food while away from our pristinely gluten-free kitchen. If I stay home where I know safety and certainty, I will miss a great learning opportunity, a chance to expand myself. Risk beckons you to act while holding hands with your fear.
When does taking a risk feel better than not taking one? Do you think rewards scale with risk?
*The risk quotes come from The Original Angel Card Book – Inspirational Messages and Meditations by Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake.