Taking the Risk out of Risk

I remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday.

I was sitting in my manager’s office.  It was not turning out to be a pleasant meeting.  It had been an awful week…an awful month actually…and both my body and my brain were overloaded.  I was thinking of how much I hated my job when, all of a sudden, a thought came into my head – “I don’t have to do this anymore”.  At the same time a sense of calm came over my entire body.

My intuition had spoken.

Two days after that meeting, my letter of resignation was on my manager’s desk.  Six weeks later, I was free.  Was it an easy decision?  No way!  Was I scared?  For sure!  I was taking a HUGE risk by giving up a good salary.  I didn’t qualify for unemployment insurance and would have to live off my savings until my business got on its feet.  But it was the best decision I have ever made.  In the two years since my wise self spoke to me, I have never been happier.  I may be living on a shoestring budget but my life is full of riches.  I’ve met some wonderful people.  I’ve discovered hidden talents and strengths I never knew I had.  And to great relief to my family and friends, I’ve stopped complaining!  Was it worth the risk?  Yes.  I’ll never regret it.

Life is full of risk.  The small risks we face every day are usually pretty easy to deal with.  Do I walk across the street even though the light is red?  Do I try this new recipe even though it may not work?  These are easy decisions to make because we don’t put much on the line.  But what about the big ones?  What about leaving the job you hate for one you may love?  Or ending a relationship that you know is bad but you are scared of being alone?  Or hiring that coach to help you build your business even though it will mean going into debt?  These steps are much harder to take – the level of risk is higher.  In order to make them happen you have to put your fear aside and have faith.  You have to believe in yourself; that you are capable of weathering any storm that may come your way and coming out of it OK.  You have to be courageous enough to take that first step.

In his CD series, “Maximum Confidence”, Jack Canfield compares taking risks to playing poker.  If you are going into the game with 100 chips, you are more likely to take risks and place large bets than if you only have 10 chips to play with.  Why?  Because you have less to lose.  It is the same with confidence.  You are more likely, and feel more comfortable, taking those big risks because you have less to lose if they don’t work out.  Your confidence doesn’t take as big a hit.  If you have little confidence in yourself and your abilities, you will always strive to stay within your comfort zone, even if it isn’t all that comfortable.

And life truly begins at the end of your comfort zone.

So how can you increase your confidence so that you have the courage to take those big risks?

1)   Identify the area in your life where you feel less confident

All of us are confident in some areas of our lives and less confident in others.  Is there a change you would like to make in your life that you have been putting off?  This will point you in the right direction.

2)   Reconnect with who you are

All change starts from within.  Take the time to reacquaint yourself with what makes you the awesome person that you are.  What are your talents and treasures?  What fears and beliefs are holding you back?  What successes have you had in the past that will help you to move forward?

3)   Start out small

Set yourself up for success by taking baby steps.  For example, if you would like to find a job you love, start out visualizing what your dream job would be.  Then move on from there.  Each small success will give you the confidence to take the next step.

4)    Change loves company

It is extremely hard to increase your confidence, and the risks you take, on your own.  Ask for help from a mentor or good friend that you can trust to support and challenge you.  Attend a class or a workshop like the Get Real Retreat where you can connect with other people who are like you.  Their ideas, encouragement and support will make your journey to a great life easier and faster.

 

As you are reading this, what are you noticing?  What is your intuition telling you about what your next step should be?

Taking the big risks in life, and living your best life with confidence requires inner work, resourcefulness, and being part of a community of like-minded allies.