Thursday, June 3, 2010


I think of a risk as anything that makes me feel uncomfortable. Things that push me outside my comfort zone and force me to deal with that “ooky” feeling I get in my stomach when I think of trying or doing them.

I have taken a lot of risks so far in life. I have made multiple changes in jobs – some forcing me to learn and do things at work I had never done before, and in some cases, learning and doing some things I had never before considered. I have taken not one but two vacations - neither of which were what I had hoped for, both of which could have been utter disasters. I have, by myself, lived in places far from home and safety net. I volunteered to become “redundant” at work, after a career with them that spanned 18 some-odd years. I started life over, being a full time student.

Some of these risks paid off a thousand-fold, some of them didn’t pay off exactly as I had hoped, but they DID turn into what I fondly call “learning experiences.”

Why? Well, for me, it all boils down to this: Fear of Regret.

I am OK with looking back and thinking “Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have tried that” or “I probably could have managed that better” or even “God, what was I thinking?” but I never want to look back and wonder "what if I had only...?"

I will never regret having tried things that didn’t turn out as I had hoped they would. Moves, jobs, clothing, vacations, and yes, even relationships. Especially relationships.

The reality is that all of these risks, whether or not they turned out as I had hoped, are the things that have bonded together to make me into the person I am right now – and the person I am still becoming. And without sounding like a total knob, I LIKE me. I’m pretty cool and if I wasn’t me, I would want to be my friend.

Am I scared sometimes? Hell yes! Am I happy all the time? Hell no! Am I willing to absorb whatever it is that I need to learn from places, people, situations and my dog? Of course – that’s what life *IS* - LEARNING!

Each and every person on this planet has a different ruler against which they measure their risk tolerance. What I consider a risk is, for some people, every-day “stuff” and in balance, what I will take as a risk is, for others, WAY too much to consider.

I encourage you to look at your world tonight. Is there something there that you are teetering on the edge of trying? Why not take that risk? What’s stopping you, fear of failure, or fear of success…?

Try it – go down that path. You will never succeed if you never take that risk.

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