By Nicole Tinkham
Let’s pretend for a moment that we’re all starting out at the same level. There’s not one person more skilled or advanced than anyone else. We are all the same but it’s totally up to each individual with how they spend the next 10 years of their life. How do think everyone would differ? It’s safe to say that each person would take a different path depending on what interests them. But how successful they are and how quickly they get there depends on the choices they end up making. There are basically two main types of people: the ones who after 10 years haven’t moved forward much at all; they found a comfy place in life and decided to stay where it’s safe. And then there are the people who have excelled, and they’re usually the ones not afraid to get out of their comfort zone and take risks. If you’re the type of person who rather stay where it’s comfortable, that’s totally fine! But if you’re not happy with the way your life is going and aren’t willing to make a change, that’s on you. That is the decision you have made. In order to change your life you must make a change and that can be scary. The biggest life changes happen when you decide to do something that is completely out of your comfort zone. If you just can’t seem to make the leap, read on to determine if you should take a risk or if it’s better to play it safe.
Do you really want it?
There’s a difference between taking good risks and taking stupid ones. While we encourage you to jump right in with what you’re passionate about, we also want you to think it over! We’re not saying to sit on it for a year or two but just seriously consider your options. Where can you see yourself in a year? What about 5 years? What will your life look like at that point? Consider the good times as well as the struggles you may face. Is this big decision in line with your priorities? For example, if the most important thing in your life is family, does pursuing this goal take time away from them or does it add to it? Also consider your why behind what you’re going after. Do you have a strong and emotional connection to this big thing you’re about to take on? Are you doing it for yourself or for someone else? Is it something you really want to do or something you feel like you should do? We understand that there are a lot of questions being thrown at you here but take some time and really think these things over before you get started on your new journey.
Be clear on what you want to do
Once you decide that you in fact do want to take on this challenge, figure out how you will make it happen. Don’t just be clear on your end goal but also the mini goals along the way. What does your road map look like? How will you get to where you want to be? This will be your action plan. It may change as you go but having a good idea of how you’ll get there, will give you a great overview of what to expect. When doing the research on what goes into making your goal a reality, you may find that this just simply isn’t for you. That’s ok, keep thinking about ways to either modify it or think of a new plan that fits in better with your life and passions.
Is it really a big risk?
When going through the first two steps, you may want to turn around and run away immediately. Everything seems overwhelming and scary at first, we understand that. But before you back out completely, consider how much of a risk it even is. Often times it’s not as crazy as we think in our minds. Yes, you’ll have to get uncomfortable but what is the absolute worst that could happen? What if you fail? Will you die? Probably not! Considering the possibility of failure might be terrifying but consider if you didn’t go for it? What if you always played it safe and never made a change in your life? Would living that way be scarier than just going for it and living a life you actually love?
Really think about failure and plan out what you would do in certain circumstances. Of course there’s no way to predict the future but having a plan in these cases reduces your fear of what could go wrong and helps you realize that your worries are most likely minor ones that you can handle. If you still don’t believe you can handle them however, think about ways you can modify your big goal. You can always start slow and take baby steps toward that goal. Or maybe you’re meant to do something entirely different in life! No matter the case, you’ll figure it out. It takes time but you will get there.
Our challenge to you
Above, we mentioned taking it slow if the risk of going all in is too much for you to handle. Even if it is too much, we don’t recommend always staying in your comfort zone. Doing things that you normally wouldn’t do helps you grow as a person and exposes you to new things that you may just fall in love with. Get out there and discover who you are! You don’t have to quit your day job to work on your artwork to see a drastic change in your life. You can simply get out there at local art events and meet some new people if that’s something you would normally feel uncomfortable with. Or maybe enter your artwork into a show if you’ve had a lack of confidence lately. We challenge you do to one scary thing a month for the next couple months and once you do those things, keep adding to that list. The more you put yourself outside your comfort zone, the better you’ll get at doing these things. You’ll even gain the confidence to one day possibly take on that huge goal that absolutely terrifies you now.
It’s funny how taking risks means something different to all of us. What sounds totally crazy to one person could be a walk in the park for someone else. Don’t compare yourself to others thinking that you could never take something on because you’re simply not good enough. Don’t let how other people live their lives determine how you live yours! You are your own person and you can live your life however you choose to. You can do anything in this life of yours so be sure to make the most of it. Do something crazy and go after your dreams. Life is too short to not enjoy it. Taking a risk or playing it safe is something that only you can decide but we suggest taking the risk when you can if it means living a happier life that you’re passionate about.