Taking risks is never easy. Whether you’re 20, 40, or 60 – change is hard.
Human beings are naturally cautious. Fear is one of your most common emotions, a self-preservation technique hard-wired into your DNA to keep you from putting yourself in danger.
People recoil from situations that might put their mental, physical, or financial safety in jeopardy. It’s a biological imperative to meet basic requirements and maintain them. Anything that upsets the status quo can lead to fear, anxiety, and outright rejection of another way.
Better the devil you know (than the devil you don’t). ~ UnknownTaking risks is never easy. Whether you’re 20, 40, or 60 – change is hard. #BeTheChange #TakeRisksClick To Tweet
The Ease of Sameness
Therein forms the rut. You know the rut. Just about everyone has one in an area of their life.
For some, it’s staying in a relationship you know isn’t working for fear of what you’ll do without that person, those habits, the life you’ve built as a couple. What about the house, the kids, the stuff, your shared friends? Figuring it out, changing direction, “might be worse” than what there is now.
For others, it’s staying in a town that doesn’t have the education or growth you need for your future or goals. Moving is expensive, you won’t know anybody in a new place, and you’d probably end up back home again anyway. Besides, it’s “good enough” for your relatives, your friends from school, your neighbors, so why not for you?
Still more may find themselves staying in a job they hate for years because it’s predictable. If you left, you’d have to look for a new job, get accustomed to new systems, and navigate new co-workers. It would “be more of the same” anyway so you might as well stay where you know all the problems.
Maybe you don’t get serious about weight loss for health because “you’re fine” the way you are or you figure “most people are overweight” or “it won’t work anyway.” You’d have to seriously address bad habits, your nutrition plan, and maybe emotional elements that caused you to gain weight. Then if it doesn’t work, you spent all that effort for nothing.
The rut is comfortable, familiar. You like knowing what is (or isn’t) going to happen. You don’t have to guess because it’s mostly the same day after day.
Like a soft, old sweater you love so much, it’s easy to ignore the holes, the snags, the stains that make other people look at it and ask themselves, “Why is she wearing that damaged old thing?”
Fear of the Unknown
A large portion of the world population purposefully avoids taking risks of any kind. Even if those risks can pay off in huge ways you never expected.A large portion of the world population purposefully avoids taking risks. #DoNotBeTheStatistic #BeTheChange #RisksClick To Tweet
There’s a mantra I use in my daily life for decisions big and small. It’s served me well – even though there are plenty of times I’ve chosen rut over risk.
What’s the absolute worst thing that can happen if you make this choice, take this step, or move in a different direction? ~ Shayne McClendon
The way your brain works, the self-preservation instinct inside you imagines horrible, terrifying outcomes if you try something new. If you stop a moment, if you really consider, what could the “worst thing” truly be?
- The answer might be “no” to something you want.
- You could fail a dozen times at losing weight or quitting bad habits such as smoking.
- You might be embarrassed or end up with hurt feelings.
- The business you always dreamed of starting might mean a year of poverty.
- You could end up in a relationship, town, or job that isn’t better than what you left.
Most outcomes when taking risks on something new aren’t life or death. They simply aren’t. We have the opportunity to make a dozen choices every day. The repercussions of those choices are typically minimal but the ripple effect touches everything around you.
- What if the answer to what you want is “yes?”
- What if you lose even ten pounds by the end of the year or quit smoking successfully?
- What if you crush a presentation or the object of your affection says yes to dinner?
- What if that business kills you for six months and then suddenly gives you a life you didn’t dare to imagine?
- What if that new relationship, new town, or new job exceeds your expectations and makes you wonder, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
Taking risks isn’t something that comes naturally but without leaps of faith throughout mankind’s history, the planet would remain unexplored, technology would go undeveloped, and possibilities would be a lot more limited.Taking risks isn’t always easy, but without leaps of faith the world wouldn't be the same. #BeTheChange #TakeRisksClick To Tweet
It’s time to ask yourself three very important questions and think about your answers honestly.
- What do you really want?
- What’s the worst thing that could happen if you move toward it?
- What’s the best thing that could happen?
Once you define your answer to the first question, you create a plan, a roadmap to your destination. Within your plan, you do everything you can to avoid the answers to question two and everything you can to achieve your answers to question three. It’s easier than you think.
You might be afraid. If you are, take a deep breath and do it anyway.
You might fail. If you do, start again and account for obstacles you encountered.
You might be hurt. If that happens, love yourself even more and make it through.
Be realistic but be brave. Choose risk-taking over rut-existing. Change your life.Be realistic but be brave. Choose risk-taking over rut-existing. Change your life. #BeTheChange #TakeRisks #FlyHighClick To Tweet
Shayne McClendon is an author and positivity practitioner. Shayne believes love crosses all boundaries, social castes, races, genders, and belief systems. If you are lucky enough to find soul-deep love, you should fight for it. Life-certified, reader approved.