This week I want to talk about risking. When I say risk I am talking about getting out of our comfort zones. This is a risk as our comfort zones are exactly as the name states. They are comfortable. When we decide to step outside of that comfort zone we take a risk as we do not know what is going to happen as usually we have not done this before or we fear the action. There are many benefits to taking risks and I feel that we should all consciously choose to take risks on a regular basis.The reason I feel everyone should take risks to step out of our comfort zones is because I feel that everything we want is outside of our comfort zones. If what we wanted was inside we would already have it. For example, I am currently writing a book and to get the project to move ahead I need to get funding for it. Going to ask people to partner with me and asking for money is outside of my comfort zone, hence I have not done it yet. If this was in my comfort zone it would have been one of the first things I did.
I feel that to truly get the most out of life and reach our fullest potential we must take risks regularly. If we just stay in our comfort zones all of our lives we will miss out on a lot of what life has to offer. In fact, I feel that staying inside of our comfort zones is the biggest risk of all. When we choose to take risks we are filled with energy and adrenaline that, no matter the outcome of the risk, will help propel us forward.
The results of our risks are not as important to the actual act of taking the risk. The willingness to be vulnerable, to move outside our comfort zones and to go for what we want is the important factor. Each risk will stretch our comfort zones wider and wider every single time. Our context for life will expand and we will be that much closer to what we want. Our willingness to put ourselves out there will be a reward in of itself. We will realize that we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.
Risks can come in all shapes and sizes. The simple act of striking up a conversation with a stranger can be a risk for many. It does not have to be something as wild as jumping out of a plane. I have done both and they both come with their own respective benefits just as any other risk will too. For men, just talking about our emotions and being open with them can be a pretty big risk. For many people public speaking is far out of their comfort zones. Stepping onto a stage and talking to people can be very frightening and it is in fact the biggest fear people have after the fear of death.
I have been taking Personal Development classes for four years now and even that was a big risk for me. The first time I went I had no idea what to expect or what was going to happen. The reason I went was because everything I had going in my life at the time had just fallen apart and I had no idea what I was going to do next. My friends had been telling me about this class for about a year and I finally decide to go as I now had all the time in the world. I thought to myself why not?
There is a good chance that you would not be reading this blog had I not gone to that class four years ago. There is a good chance that I would not be writing a book and creating an e-course had I not gone to that class. There is a good chance that Rodos Questions would not exist had I not went to that class. I know my life would be totally different than it is had I not gone to that class.
It has now been four years and I continue to return to take as many classes as I can. I know that I can always be better and that there are still many things I want that are outside of my comfort zone. I know that the journey of personal development is a long journey and will not be complete overnight. In fact I feel that it might never be complete. I do know that this journey has helped me overcome fears, be more open and honest in my relationships and also have a better understanding of myself. That original risk of walking into a room full of strangers ended up changing my life to the point where I don’t even want to think about how my life would be if I had decided not to go that day.
This is how taking conscious risks to step outside of our comfort zones can truly have a huge effect on our lives. We grow and evolve from every risk that we take. When our comfort zones expand they never go back to the size they were before. It is similar to when an elastic band stretches. Every time it is stretched it becomes a little bigger and eventually if it is stretched enough it will snap. This is what taking risks does to our comfort zones.
I now want to ask, what are you willing to risk? What are you willing to do in order to get what you want out of life? Are you willing to put yourself out there and reach for your goals and dreams? Even by taking small risks like smiling at a stranger can have an impact on your life. Remember that every time you take a risk your comfort zone expands and your context for life also expands.
Take that risk and allow yourself to live the life that you were born to live.
I’d rather stand on the edge of a cliff
Hang my toes over it
And then jump when they dare me to
Even if it scares me and I get hurt
I’d rather build my wings on the way down
Do my best not to fall to the ground
And then laugh at my mistakes as they’re only lessons I’ll learn
Paul Brandt – Risk