24 Feb Stop Taking The Bigger Risk
Why doesn’t everyone chase what they’re passionate about or take the risk to pursue what they really want to do?
It’s one of the biggest questions in life. We all know we’re going to die, no matter what we believe we’re here on earth once – so why don’t people do what they truly want to do?
A lot of people would’ve read about the nurse who shared the 5 biggest regrets from people on their deathbed or chances are you’ve heard of something similar. The overall theme is that the things we’re going regret later in life are not what we did, but what we didn’t do.
We all know this – it’s nothing new. Yet so many of us continue to live a life that’s not what we truly want. It’s so easy to unknowingly live a life that’s designed by other people and only realise once it’s too late.
So if we know that we’re going to regret the things we don’t do, what holds us back? Why don’t we build the courage to pursue what it is we want?
It’s because the majority of us, whether we admit it or not, are scared of taking the risk. The risk that we might fail, what people will think of us or that we might lose money. It’s so easy to let fear of what could happen, get in the way of what we think is a risk.
But what is fear? Napoleon Hill described fear as “nothing more than a state of mind”. We allow ourselves to create it. Some fear is legitimate don’t get me wrong, like physical danger, but most fear only exists inside our mind. It’s just a negative thought about a future event that might not ever happen.
Ask yourself this question: how many times have you feared doing something and once you finally built up enough courage to do whatever it was, you realised it was nowhere near as bad as you thought? Chances are it’s a definite yes.
We allow ourselves to build things up into something bigger than they actually are because it’s easier to make up an excuse than to take action. If you allow it, your mind will come up with an excuse to avoid doing anything.
But when we put things off, the bigger the task becomes in our mind, and the more willpower it actually requires to do whatever it is we must do. When taking risks in life and making change, it only seems so big because we focus on what could happen if we fail and that produces excuses to why we can’t do it.
Not allowing yourself to take risks in life will keep you in what I believe is one of the most dangerous places on earth – your comfort zone. It’s good to be in there at times, but if you allow yourself to stay there for too long it creates only one thing, regret.
Think of the area immediately after you leave your comfort zone as the growth zone. We aren’t growing if we’re not uncomfortable or stretching ourselves. Only those who push themselves out of their comfort zone are the ones who continue to grow.
A great place to start to practice moving outside of your comfort zone, is by doing things you normally wouldn’t do. Start small. Try new food you’ve never tasted, talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to, go 24 hours without using social media on your phone, take a different route to work. The more you do things like this, the more your mind gets used to this feeling, the easier it becomes.
One of my coaches once taught me that the best thing you can do in your life is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you want to be satisfied and successful in life it all comes down to doing things when you don’t want to do them. Take the risk, no matter how far it pushes you outside your comfort zone or how uncomfortable it makes you feel.
The thing you need to realise is when you don’t take these risks to pursue what you want, make a change, start something new or whatever it might be – YOU ARE TAKING AN EVEN BIGGER RISK. The bigger risk is that you will look back on your life with regret because of what you didn’t do.
When I quit my job to pursue my passion full time, it was the biggest decision I had ever made. But it was something that I had wanted my whole life and I knew if I didn’t do it, I would always regret it. Although the decision was big, in reality it was relatively simple.
It was the greatest decision I ever made. I could not have been any further outside my comfort zone if I tried. It forced me to build courage, to build confidence and grow.
Although I figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t what I wanted to do as my life’s work, I still view it as a huge success. I can say I did it and I actually took the risk to see if that was what I truly wanted.
Knowing what I know now, I would still make that decision to pursue it in a heartbeat because I had to find out to get me to where I am today.
It doesn’t matter if you fail, or realise it’s not what you thought it was or it’s not what you actually wanted. You have to do these things in order to live a life that’s true to you.
You never know what can come from it, where it will take you, who you’ll meet on the way or what the experience teaches you. It’s all about what you learn and the person you become by getting to the other side.
When I talk to people and they say they don’t know what they want to do with their life, my usual response to this is – how much time do you intentionally spend trying to work it out? You can imagine what the answer is.
If you have no idea what you want to do, but you know what you’re currently doing now isn’t it, sit down, get rid of all distractions and work it out. Don’t be casual about it, intentionally spend time figuring it out. Keep working on it until you get somewhere.
A lot of people don’t make change because they’ve invested so much time and money into what they currently do. Some people won’t leave a job because of that reason even if they hate it. Just because you might leave that industry or line of work, doesn’t mean you’ve wasted that time. Focus on what you’ve learnt, where it’s taken you and the idea that you’ve had to do go down that path to get you where you are today.
You don’t have to quit your job to pursue what you want. Just take some form of action to discover more about it, see how you could start it on the side and make it work with what you already do. It doesn’t matter what responsibilities you have – start small, find an hour a week and just start.
If you’re exactly where you want to be, why not see how good you can become? Why not see what giving your absolute all looks like? See how rewarding it can be. You have nothing to lose and you are always capable of giving more. You won’t regret it – no one ever regrets giving their best.
Don’t be scared of giving your all in something because there’s a chance you might fail. It’s too easy not to give your all in something so that if it doesn’t work out, you can make out like you didn’t try. You don’t have to be the best, just be your best and see how it feels.
When we take risks, leave our comfort zone, make changes in our lives or when we give our all, it brings a feeling that nothing else can produce. Although at times it’s scary and uncomfortable, it’s one of the most rewarding feelings in life.
Whenever you next find yourself wanting to make a change or take a leap of faith and fear gets in the way, don’t allow yourself to come up with an excuse. Just ask yourself – what’s the bigger risk?