Take Risks Like a Pro

Here’s how to find victory in vulnerability.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” —André Gide

Fear is the most common thing that holds us back from the adventures we dream up. We fear losing what we have gained. We fear we will lose everything. Is fear stopping you from seeing how far you can go?

If it is, it is time to start training. When you look at those you admire—the people who have reached high levels of achievement—often, they have gotten there because they continue to push. They push past their comfort zone. They get uncomfortable. They get vulnerable. They question what they have to lose. They wonder whether taking this risk really puts them in danger. They live life on the edge of the unknown.

Don’t get me wrong. Fear has a proper place in our life. Fear keeps us safe WHEN OUR LIFE IS ACTUALLLY IN DANGER! If you are not in physical danger, then fear is simply holding you back.

Take the common fear of public speaking. Fear of speaking in public is second only to the fear of death. … Have you seen someone die or endure physical harm while speaking? I didn’t think so. On the other side, are there benefits to being a good public speaker? Absolutely!

I’m sure you have heard similar trains of thought before, but knowing and doing are two different things entirely. Now that you can see that there are great rewards on the other side of fear, discomfort and vulnerability, let’s talk about how you can navigate the waters of discomfort and vulnerability to get to the other side. Here are a few things you can begin to implement on a daily basis to find the victory in vulnerability.

  1. Invest in Yourself: There is a common practice in personal finance that says to pay yourself first. That means you take a percentage of the money that comes in and put it in your savings first. Then you take whatever is left to pay your bills. The same wisdom applies to every area of your life. Take your most productive time and best efforts and invest them in yourself. If you are stronger, smarter and happier, then you can tackle bigger challenges. Take time each day to build your body, mind and spirit. Engage in practices that make you bigger and stronger than the challenges you face.
  2. Explore the Fear: George Mumford, a mindfulness and performance expert, says that if you feel fear, it is because you lack understanding. The solution to fear is to know more about the situation. Sit with the fear. Explore where the fear is coming from. Get to the root cause and begin to understand what is going on.
  3. Reframe: Think about all the times you have grown. My guess is that every phase of growth was proceeded by a period of discomfort. We need challenges, obstacles, risks and setbacks to grow. How you view the world shapes your energy. Find the opportunity in the challenge.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” —T.S. Eliot

Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. He lost more than 300 games. He was trusted to take the game-winning shot 26 times and missed. He was willing to take the risk. He was willing to fail over and over again. That is why he won. He wanted to know what else was out there. Ironically enough, despite all those failures on a grand stage, he was still alive. Nothing terrible happened to him. He probably went home and had a great dinner after each of those losses. So what is holding you back?

Get out there and chase life down. If you don’t stop yourself, who can stop you?

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