Have you ever stood face to face with indecision? You consider taking another step, turning and running, only to find yourself doing neither? There you are seemingly stuck with an insatiable desire to be somewhere else and yet unable to move. What is it that is required to close the gap? Many avoid it as if it is an option – consciously or unconsciously. Some will go to extreme measures to circumvent while others are adept at nonchalantly slithering out of its way. The very mention of the word typically triggers a shudder at minimum and paralyzing fear at the other end of the spectrum. Yet without it we are incapable of growth. Without it we cannot get from where we are to where we want to be. The challenge is to first recognize it as it is intangible. Next, we must do whatever it takes to embrace and face it head on. What is it, this absolutely essential requirement? A small four letter word – one some would refer to as “nasty” – careful what you’re thinking – R–I–S–K!
What if you looked at RISK as . . .
Risk means we are exploring unknown territory. As we learn we are stretching our comfort zones. For most this is uncomfortable, even stressful. We don’t get to look good or feel good in the learning process. In fact, this is a time when comfort is more a detriment than a benefit. Remaining in comfort zones is stagnant, in life and in business.
This is the very essence of Right 20 in Embrace Your Rights. For those of you with the book, see page six. For those of you yet to get your copy, click here. Right 20 is as follows:
I have the Right to risk new territory, stretch my comfort zones
and feel scared doing so
I suggest you post this Right in several places to serve as your reminder. Read it often and take continual baby steps to implementing.
Seeking knowledge however, is only the starting point. How many V8 moments have you experienced in your life? The times you groan and say “I knew that” or “You’d think I’d know better” – you acted differently than you claim to know. These phrases represent only a cognitive level of data or information. Knowledge alone therefore is insufficient. Once we obtain the knowledge we must practice until we demonstrate application with ease and consistency.
Practice requires three parts, conscious choice, action and commitment. If we are numb and unaware we are unable to make conscious choices. How does one become aware? Increasing awareness requires that “nasty” four letter word – RISK – embarking on new territory, stretching comfort zones and permission to feel scared along the way – refer to Right 20 above. Awareness is developed as a result of meditation and education. There are a variety of forms of meditation. Experiment and find something that works for you. Opportunities for education abound. How often to read and listen to self-development material?
Practice means there has to be action which of course includes that “nasty” four letter word – RISK. Many overlook inaction as a form of action. In other words, whatever action or inaction you take creates a result. Inaction could also be labeled as RISK. How beneficial is your action? Remember, outcomes we experience in life are directly proportional to the level of responsibility and commitment to ourselves and our skills.
Commitment is the last component of practice. There is a distinct difference between interest and commitment. Interest lacks ownership, motivation and follow-through. Commitment comprises all three with that “nasty” four letter word RISK as a main ingredient. Are you interested or committed in making the changes necessary to achieve your desires?
One could argue a fourth part to practice, persistence. To me persistence is automatic when there’s commitment. Haven’t you persisted whenever you made a commitment and faltered when you merely toyed with an idea? Life and business continuously expose us to RISK. Every time we learn or improve we take a RISK. Progress of any kind requires RISK. Hence, we would be better served to befriend RISK than to fear or avoid.
One of my mentors offered four questions as a tool when facing a risk of any magnitude in your life. Consider the following:
1. What is the best thing that can happen if I take the next step?
2. What is the worst thing that can happen if I take the next step?
3. What is the best thing that can happen if I avoid the next step?
4. What is the worst thing that can happen if I avoid the next step?
Then make a decision to the best of your abilities . . . and remember . . .
I have the Right to risk new territory, stretch my comfort zones and feel scared doing so