Are You Taking Big Enough Risks?

Apr 17, 2015 | Creativity

take risks

Are you taking big enough risks?

Chances are, you will blurt out yes if you know you are, if you really are…

If you are in a place of huge creative risk, lots of positive challenge… you know it.

If you aren’t in a place of positive risk-taking the malaise can disguise itself as mild depression, boredom, overwhelm, CLUTTER (in all caps because its so prevalent), frequent aches and pains…

It’s as though you are keeping your energy pent up in a small box rather than letting it be free, and that energy has a way of getting knotted up, confused and deflated for lack of motion.

If you want to take bigger risks… here are three things to avoid… and one thing you might want to try!

cliff jumping

My own risk taking went out the window for a while (about 6 years) to become a part of “the normal world” as I perceived it. Rather that freelancing, I went corporate. Instead of going on adventures, I went to self help events.  I traded living with art to living with a phone tethered to my arm. None of these things are bad in themselves in moderation-  but the spirit that drove me there was bad.

I was motivated by the want of a sure thing.

Some call it the “safe bet.”

That “want” rarely brings anything great.

I call it settling. 

As a result, I was anxious, had not-too-fun mood swings, had all kinds of physical issues that were mysterious and I never really “got ahead.”

Risk set me free.

It wasn’t flip-my-life-upside-down risk. But there were moments it felt that crazy.

Progressive risks built up to giant leaps.

Momentum builds.

You feel like you can do anything.

Consequently, you do amazing, mind-bendingly magical things.

But, if you are stuck in the world of settling and “safe bets”, that magic isn’t common… even though it can be!

Here are three traps that kept me stuck way longer than I needed to be stuck, afraid to take a risk.

1. I compared myself to other people. (don’t do it!!!) 

Yes, everyone around me seemed so much further along in a career that I felt like I lost the plot, really screwed up my life by being such a free spirit and the like. So, I doubled-down in work to try to “catch up.”

Hint: that didn’t work.

Noone is ahead of you or behind you. The only thing that matters is how you feel about how you spend your time all day.

2. I convinced myself there was security in taking a traditional route. (there isn’t!!!)

I don’t heavily read the newspapers but I am informed enough to know that there is no “job security” any more in the larger sense of the word. People are finding that security within themselves means more than banking on a long-term future at a job.

Guess what creates security within yourself?

Yep: the willingness to take risks.

3. I created a very rational list of things that had to be done “before I could do…..” 

If you have a whole lot of things to cross off your list before you can start dating again or start therapy or create a book proposal or anything else that feels really risky… well… that list will grow longer. In fact, you’ll likely create all kinds of problems, too, to top off the to-do list and keep you from getting to your goal.

Do you have enough risk in your life in terms of your purpose & mission, your creativity, your relationships, your spirit… all of it? 

How big are the leaps you are taking to develop yourself?

If you can envision what your life would be like if you took more risks, you are halfway there.

But the one thing that made it possible to really risk more?

Clearing Space.

Clear your clutter, organize your life and you’ll feel that sense of inner peace rising up inside… the feeling that’s a reminder that you really can’t go wrong, you just have to go forward.

You have to dive.

You have to figure it out as you go.

You have to stretch yourself.

It’s the most exhilarating feeling ever.

And you can do it more!

Bet on yourself, your talents and your passions. It is never anything less than the right thing to do.

xoxo Dana

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