Taking calculated risks sharpens our confidence and wellbeing as we identify ourselves as being stronger. When it comes to taking risks, there’s something to be said for trusting our gut, but too often we confuse gut instinct with fear. We assume, that discomfort means our gut is telling us not to proceed. So rather than step outside our comfort zone, we avoid the risks that can propel us forward. We assume if something feels scary, then it must be really risky, but that’s not an accurate way to measure risk.
Our level of fear, usually has nothing to do with the actual level of risk we face. Most people fear public speaking, being embarrassed, or being laughed at, but none of these instances are risky. We sign up for a get rich quick scheme using our hard earned cash, but we often don’t see this as a risk. On the other hand, we don’t think twice about getting into a car, yet car crashes kill people every day.
Mentally strong people don’t fear taking calculated risks. We know taking the right risks, can be the difference between living an ordinary life and living an extraordinary life. Everyone has a risk muscle, we keep it in shape by trying new things. If we don’t, it atrophies and we’re no longer able to take risks. How many of the wonderful things that happened to me, did I actually have anything to do with? Not very many it seems.
Luckily, some of the best things that happen in our lives, are not governed by our influence at all, they just happen. Most of the time, it would be far better, to get out of our own way and not interfere at all. We can choose to take risks and not wait until we become ill and feel our life force diminishing. We will always have regrets, it’s the regret stage we go through, in which we visit the life we wish we had lived.
Risks with our heart.
It’s a pity that being who we truly are requires so much courage, but it does. Being who we are, whoever that is, sometimes cannot even be articulated at first, not even to ourselves. All we know is there is a yearning within that is not being fulfilled by the life we are currently living. The mind knows no answers. The heart knows no questions. It is the heart that guides us to joy, not the mind. Having the courage to follow it, is where true happiness lies. As the heart grows, life brings more joy and peace our way. A happy life wants us as much as we want it. (paraphrased from a book by Bronnie Ware. The top five regrets of the dying)
What if risks.
Why do we live a life, that is often based on a fear of what if’s? What if I can’t take the consequences? What if I’m too frightened, what if I end up alone, what if this costs me too much money. Well what if ? We have to ask ourselves, how many of our greatest fears ever actually happened. There is no safe path to take, we have to take risks going forwards, whether we want to or not. We can’t allow ourselves to look backwards for guidance, because there is nothing of us back there. The reason we are where we are now, is because that part of our life is over. We can’t look “back” to the past when we are trying to “chart” the new. We risk seeing an image of ourselves, that doesn’t exist anymore, we are not that person now.
20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. (Mark Twain)
I think the heart does carry us to joy and not our thinking process, if we are willing to follow it. Often, there is an excitement felt deep inside, similar to the feeling we get when listening to music, that we enjoy. Living within this and similar feelings, often makes taking risks easier. The answer, isn’t always dramatic risk taking that drives us forward, often it’s baby steps to where we want to go. While being aware of the direction in which our heart, is trying to guide us.