Here are my most used excuses: “There is not enough time.” “I can’t afford to.” “Someone else does it better.” “I’m too old.” “I’m too young.” “I will lose something dear to me.”
These are the self-limiting thoughts that have kept me from taking risks at various times in my life. I can certainly see the value in staying stuck…I remain safe and protected…but it doesn’t necessarily lead me toward the life of my dreams.
For as many chances that have passed me by due to my “playing it safe,” I have also made life choices that could be considered “risky.” In the realm of mortal danger, I was a competitive gymnast for 7 years as a child and teen…I look back on those years with awe at some of the feats my body could accomplish. In my 20’s, I moved to New York City from Texas with a little money in the bank, a desire to sing and dance, and a few couches on which to sleep. I even took the great leap of faith into marriage in my 30’s!
It’s interesting to see how one risk can lead to the next. If it had not been for gymnastics, I would not have had the discipline and skills to move into dance. It was dancing professionally for musical theatre that brought me to New York, and I would not have met my former husband had I not moved to the Big Apple. These risks have produced their fair share of pain and discomfort, of course. They all required vulnerability. Allowing myself to step into something scary–and managing the discomfort as it arises–always yields a stronger and wiser me.
Taking risks can bring us growth, move us forward and open us to new opportunities we cannot even imagine. I even took a risk of moving from a job where I was quite comfortable and appreciated to a job where I had to prove myself, where I am challenged daily, where I am frequently asked to risk…and it is infinitely more rewarding. So here I am…in this job that I love…writing an article to encourage you to move out of that comfort zone. What risk will you take this month?