Isn’t there a saying that everything in this life worth having requires a certain amount of risk?
If there isn’t, there should be.
Life doesn’t come with a guarantee.
The trick, then, is figuring out what you’re willing to risk and what you’re not willing to risk. Or if you’re me, figuring out which risks are healthy and which risks are dysfunctional.
Fear, unfortunately, does not tend to be the most reliable indicator. Fear can exist for both positive risks and harmful risks. Sometimes we are more afraid of risks that will be good for us than risks that will be actively detrimental.
Sometimes we want to choose a risk that would be bad for us because those old unhealthy patterns are so very comfortable.
Sometimes what we want has nothing at all to do with the wise course of action.
Here’s what happens when you aren’t willing to risk at all:
Unless life forces itself on you, which it has a habit of doing. So maybe a few things will happen. Eventually. Randomly. And inevitably. The days will pass, and you will get older, and the world will slowly change around you.
You can embrace stagnancy. Which, when you think about it, is actually a pretty big risk to take too. It just takes less effort.
Here’s what happens when you are willing to take some risks:
Maybe you will fail, and you will be completely and absolutely devastated.
Maybe you will fail, and you will learn something.
Maybe you will fail, and you will realize it wasn’t very important to you after all. Or that it is SUPER important, and you are determined to keep trying.
Maybe you will fail, and you will see that you are strong. Maybe stronger than you think.
Maybe you will succeed!
Maybe you will kind of succeed, and end up taking some strange tangent, and it turns out to be the best thing that could have ever happened.
Maybe you will realize that risks are okay, and pain is okay, and disappointment is okay, and All the Emotions are okay.
Maybe you will succeed, and then you’ll realize you have to take ANOTHER risk. Darn it.
The past few years, I’ve taken some big risks. Big enough that beforehand, I feel sick to my stomach, and I have to take deep breaths and make strange Amy hand gestures to convince myself to go forward.
(You think I’m kidding about the hand gestures?)
I’ve laid myself bare on the page. I’ve asked for what I needed, even when I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be getting it. I’ve said no, and I’ve said yes. I’ve taken a close look at things I don’t want to look at, and I’ve shared things I’ve been afraid to share. I’ve committed myself to change, and I’ve committed myself to holding boundaries that force me to acknowledge the painful behavior of others.
I have taken a few long shots, because the unlikely payoff would be so freaking beautiful, it makes the risk completely worth it.
I would take them again.
And I have failed
And I have lost.
And I have found things that are infinitely precious to me.
I have cried myself to sleep, and I have been blissfully happy.
And my life is so much richer for it all.
Everything worthwhile in this life requires a certain amount of risk.
The choice is yours.