Risks: The Biggest Mistake is Not Risking Enough
By Elizabeth Barrera
Talking about our feelings, and exposing ourselves takes a lot of risk. It means we risk looking like a fool and being vulnerable. It means we’re allowing room for potential pain and failure, potential damage and wrongdoing. We’re putting ourselves out there with the possibility of being humiliated, but instead, we’re trusting the other person or valuing them enough to believe that they won’t do it.
By ditching the job that pays us extremely well to focus on our passion, we risk judgment from our family and friends, our business partners and teammates. Why would we choose a freelance writer job over an executive position? God knows why, but we make our choice regardless of what others will think of us because we trust that the minute we make our decision, they’ll understand, or at least they will with time.
Take risks, they say. It always sounds so much easier said than done. But that's the beauty of life, isn't it? If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and everyone would come out with a win - for the most part. I once learned a beautiful poem that didn’t mean too much to me at the time, but now, it means more than the words that are so easily laid out on paper:
To laugh is to risk appearing a fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out to another is to risk involvement
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self
To place your ideas, dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To live is to risk dying
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken
Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing
A person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing
She may avoid suffering and sorrow but she simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live
Chained by her servitude she is a slave who has forfeited freedom
Only a person who risks is free
Take a few seconds to actually let that poem sink in. Are we risking enough? Are we truly free? We will never know what life, a job, another person, or moving to a different location will offer us. The longer we live in fear and hesitation, the less happy we’ll be. Who likes to live with constant wonders? Who likes to wake up in the morning and think, “I should have taken that position” when our colleagues get a promotion we could have gotten or “I should have told him I loved him” as he’s walking down the aisle? Nobody.
If we speak our mind, make our move, and take the chance, the shot may be ours. But if we hesitate and miss our opportunity, there’s a higher likelihood of missing a chance that we’ll later regret. Why? Because we're not even giving ourselves the opportunity to let others make that choice for us.
So next time you’re catching yourself in hesitation, think about what's the worst that could happen.
Too scared too apply for your dream job?
Worst case scenario: you won't hear back.
Best case scenario: you'll get hired.
Too scared to tell her you're in love with her?
Worst case scenario: she won't love you back.
Best case scenario: she will love you back.
You need to give your all if you want to expect positive results. Keep a positive mentality and go after what you want. Sitting around, sulking, and waiting for things to happen to you won't get you anywhere. So get up, and take a risk. Do what you're afraid of doing, trust yourself, and trust the process. Nobody accomplishes great things or fulfills their desires without first taking a risk. So take a deep breath, lift your chin up, and do it.