Risky business

How do you feel about taking risks? Are you a risk taker or risk averse? What do you say when opportunity knocks? Do you go, like, “oh shhh now, can’t you see I’m having a cup of coffee here”? Don’t feel bad if you do. I, too, enjoy my relaxed no-need-to-perform coffee breaks. But there are times when it’s better to let your coffee go cold and answer the knock.

This fall I’ve been faced with situations where, as an entrepreneur, I’ve had to ask myself if I’m up for the challenge. I tend to find many things intriguing but, at the end of the day, not all things are right up my alley. Nor should they be. But how to navigate this jungle of opportunities? It pays to bear in mind that some things seem scary and even painful from afar but when you get closer you realize that the whole thing was actually just a walk in the park! We usually have much more talent, skill and courage than we give ourselves credit for.

In taking risks you are bound to fail, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. You are bound to get criticized as you put yourself out there for people either to like or dislike. It’s not always fun. But that’s not the end of it. I used to do figure skating when I was younger. One of the first things we learned was how to fall so that we don’t hurt ourselves. The coach didn’t say there’s no point in learning how to skate because eventually you will fall. But instead, he taught us to fall in a way that we’d get up again. There are many truths to be grasped from doing sports!

The thing is, if you only stay in your comfort zone, before long you’ll start to feel very uncomfortable. Yes, you read that right. Because if in the face of every challenge you say to yourself “no I can’t! I really don’t have it in me!”, eventually you’ll start to believe that’s true. You’ll rob yourself of that sense of joy and accomplishment you feel after you’ve tried something new and maybe a bit scary. Okay, maybe you didn’t nail it but you didn’t shrink back either! Way to go, you!

So this is from me to you: risks may seem intimidating but learn to embrace them. They can turn out to be a friend. Don’t settle for being good at something – aim to be great! If that little voice inside you is whispering “I wish I could…”, then you know what to do 🙂