Tuesday, May 26, 2009

taking positive risks...saying "Yes!" to life

In general, I would describe myself as someone who doesn't take a lot of risks in life. As I reflect on this, there are a few factors that probably contribute to my "play it safe," mindset...perfectionism, the way I was raised, and fear of failure are just a few. I would say the most recent big, positive risk I have taken (and this has been almost two years ago now) was agreeing to be the commencement speaker for the graduate program at my graduation. When I was asked, it was one of those moments I didn't overthink, I just said, "Yes." Speaking in front of a large audience was a bit nerve-racking, but hugely rewarding. In fact, one of my dreams growing up was to become a motivational speaker and presenter. This experience gave me a little taste of that, and I am now so thankful I said, "Yes."

Since this risk-taking experience has been two years ago now, I am definitely realizing I need to work on stepping out and taking more positive risks in my life. I recently completed an independent study graduate course and one of the lessons was on being willing to take positive risks. It listed some commonly used excuses to avoid taking a positive risk:
  1. I am not doing that bad.

  2. I am not old enough to worry about that yet.

  3. I can't get help because I have to work to take care of my responsibilities.

  4. If I change, the friends I have won't like me anymore.

  5. The people who have pressured me to be different will think they have won.

  6. I am trying so hard, but I get almost no appreciation for my efforts.

  7. Well, this is just how I am.

While I have mentally used a few of these excuses a time or two, I would say probably the one I find myself thinking the most is: "I don't have the time, energy, or financial resources right now." This excuse is definitely not serving me, so I declare here and now, I am done with it!

My focus word of the year for 2009 was ACTION for a reason. I decided this year I'm going to take ACTION, which includes taking positive risks. I'm going to push myself to make changes and try new things. I am going to say "Yes!" to life more often...

So, all you lovely ladies and gents out there, please help me out here and share how you find the courage to take risks, both big and small, and get out of your comfort zone! How do you say "Yes!" to life?