I’m not ashamed to admit it: I do not like taking risks. When everyone else in the room may be all in for doing something wild and crazy, I’m the one in the corner quietly weighing all of my options, trying to figure out just how many ways the plan may hurt me. I do not like roller coasters, it took me a while to get used to flying, and I love the comforts of my retirement plan and insurance policies.
Despite my love affair with everything that is comfortable, I have surprised myself by taking huge steps to start Restored. I think it’s because as much as I don’t like taking risks, I still have a desire to do something out of the ordinary. I fully realize the impact of stepping out of my comfort zone. That still doesn’t make it easy.
This week’s Restored Challenge was about reflecting on something you have already convinced yourself you cannot do, and challenge yourself to do it anyway. I’ve often written about how I'm my biggest detractor. Before I can even give others the opportunity to shoot down my thoughts, sometimes I do it for them! Imagine the audacity of challenging your own preconceived thoughts and saying, "I can do something despite my fears telling me I can’t."
Imagine the audacity of challenging your own preconceived thoughts and saying, "I can do something despite my fears telling me I can’t."
We so often convince ourselves that we’re not worth greater because we cannot visualize ourselves in that greater position. At least I know I do. It’s so interesting how comfortable we can be with the status quo. Our fear of success can sometimes be bigger than our fear of failure. Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are okay with living life without making any noise. When it comes to my life, however, I cannot imagine leaving this earth without helping to change something or someone. Yet, there is always a nagging feeling saying that no matter how lofty my plans are, I won’t be able to do it.
So, I created the challenge because life wouldn’t be interesting without a little risk and discomfort! It came to mind as I was prepping for the launch party for Restored. I had an idea to contact other local small businesses to donate gifts that would be used as giveaways for the party. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, my doubting self immediately thought it would be ridiculous. Who would actually donate to a new business that’s just getting its name out there? I felt like I was going to get laughed off the phone. Despite my self-doubts I forced myself to start calling, no matter how uncomfortable I felt. Because of my challenge, as of today, 3 businesses have already agreed to donate various services for the party and I couldn’t be happier!
When I want to pull myself out of my self-doubt and take a risk, here are a few things that have helped me:
Make swift decisions
I can literally drown in my own thoughts. It can be so overwhelming when you constantly over think every situation you encounter, but that’s me most days. The more time I take to think about my next step, the more reason I have to reject my initial thought. There’s something to be said about a person who can quickly assess their situation and make a decision. Sometimes you just have to go with it and not look back. Of course you may end up regretting a quick decision, but the regret of missed opportunities is much greater.
Don’t accept “no”
Every time you hear something inside you say “no”, go beyond the no and ask yourself “why not?” Yes, there are situations where after careful thought, you should not pursue those particular opportunities. That’s perfectly ok! I actually talked about that in a previous post. There are also instances where you tell yourself "no" because you’re simply blinded by fear. Rather than pursuing a road that may be dark and uncertain, you’d rather not even go there and shut it down immediately. It’s important to know the difference between a “no” that’s meant to protect you and your interests, and a “no” that’s only meant to protect your insecurities.
Know the difference between a "no" that protects you, and a "no" that only wants to protect your insecurities.
Accept the consequences
Taking a risk hurts, there’s no doubt about it. You can jump out on a limb and fall flat on your tail. Failure can be embarrassing. It can make you never want to jump again. Despite failure, there’s always a lesson lingering soon after. The truth is, there are some things you will never learn unless you are in a humbled position: sometimes you have to be flat on your tail to receive a revelation. Getting through the consequence of a risk, gives you confidence to take another risk, and another after that. When you realize that it’s only a failure and not the end of the world, you are empowered to keep going.
You must do this constantly. You may feel silly repeating something to yourself. But you should realize this: if you’re not speaking to yourself, you’re allowing everything else around you to speak to you. Your negative thoughts (your anger, worry, doubt), thoughts from different forms of media, energy from the people you encounter, are all seeping into your spirit. It’s up to you to determine what you will allow to consume you. Taking a risk feels weird and lonely. Those feelings can quickly trip you up and make you want to give up. That’s exactly when you should speak positively to yourself. I look in the mirror and repeat affirmations to myself, but I don’t feel crazy at all. I’d rather myself be the dominant voice above anything else. I’ve compiled 20 daily affirmations you can repeat to yourself to keep you going.
What ways have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently?
- July 29, 2015
- Tiffany A