The Power of Risk and Why It’s Important to Change

By , May 15, 2013 8:17 pm

Risk“All real change REQUIRES risk. You must take risks everyday of your life. You must get up each morning and ask not, ‘What can I do that is the same today?’ but in fact the complete opposite: What can I do that is different?” 

~Debbie Ford, Author

I’m a past-master at risk aversion – clinging onto things. I may let go with one hand, but the other is still firmly holding on. Letting go and seeing what happens terrified me. I wanted to know how it would turn out before I let go.

My solution used to be to hold on, wait and hope that someone or something would change the situation or force my hand.

Here’s what I’ve learnt…

Taking a risk is a risky business, but it’s essential if you want to successfully change your life.

Often what we are clinging onto is our own inner security, those familiar habits. The way we have done things in the past is easier and this way we get to continue to make the same choices each day (even if we’re not very happy).

Life becomes stale and automated because we’re in a holding pattern, circling around, waiting for something to happen from the outside to jolt us into something different and exciting. At the same time the inside is bored, unfulfilled and stale. Showing up the same way every day feels dull.

We are naturally programmed for growth and it’s a life-long process. I believe that our souls are infinitely creative, curious and open to change. Our unconscious habits create limiting beliefs and we settle for mediocre rather than stretching for great. In the boredom and false sense of security our mindset becomes fixed and focused on preservation of what we have.

Risk is a really powerful thing…

I first experienced it when I was asked to travel internationally as a consultant. I was a woman travelling alone in countries where English was a 2nd or 3rd language. Some of my family and friends saw this as dangerous and that I shouldn’t be going.

I found each trip exciting and expanding for my soul! I learned new ways of doing things, developed an appreciation of different cultures and tasted whole palates of new food! Every time I travelled I also noticed the difference in the local wildlife. I was used to seeing British birds; in other countries the birds looked so different – I didn’t recognise them and enjoyed the excitement of spotting new species. I felt like I was an explorer!

I loved it!

Taking risks is like being an explorer.

It’s about doing something outside of the norm. It doesn’t have to be dangerous! Risk is about stepping out of the borders of you, of what you already know and trying something new. It’s easy to become locked into the person you are and become stagnant.

Why not step into the person you have yet to become? There is infinite possibility. Reach out and be a little uncomfortable. Be curious, be exciting and allow your soul to express itself. Surprise yourself by doing something differently, or taking up a new interest.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Join a dancing class
  • Take up yoga
  • Read a book that you wouldn’t normally choose
  • Try some new food choices that you’re not familiar with
  • Exercise a different way
  • Change your morning or evening rituals
  • Buy some different clothes for work
  • Travel to a country you’ve never been before
  • Learn a new craft

Taking small risks every day can be fun. It can fill you with joy and fulfilment because you’re trying something different. Practise can also help you to handle bigger risks when they show up in your life.

Learn to embrace the power of risk and why it is important for change.

13 Responses to “The Power of Risk and Why It’s Important to Change”

  1. Al C says:

    Thank you, another inspirational article to start my Thursday with :)

  2. Al C says:

    Forgot to add, the Slade interview was great – your giggle is infectious…….

  3. Megan says:

    this sooo speaks to me, Elaine. The last big risk for me was going off to Ireland by myself to find a little island called Clare to practice some yoga on. Sounds silly but it broke down so many restraints for myself. But now I’ve fallen into the usual routines and haven’t had the practice lately. I find risk is just like working the muscles of the body or the mind–you have to practice it, make time for it. Thanks for your message!

  4. Amanda says:

    Another great message. Elaine I really enjoy reading your posts every week.

  5. elaine says:

    Hey! Thanks Amanda – I’m glad you enjoy reading them. Thanks for stopping by

  6. elaine says:

    Hey Megan! I’m so glad this spoke to you. It’s so easy to get lost in those ‘usual’ routines and forget the things that are important to us. Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. elaine says:

    Thanks Al – I had so much fun working with Slade, we could talk for hours about this stuff (We did actually!)

  8. elaine says:

    Bless you and thanks Al! :-)

  9. Hi Elaine,

    Thanks for the timely post. You’re a witch…you know that… ’cause this is EXACTLY what I worked on today’s TAT call with Sara Avery. What had stopped me in the past from taking the risk necessary for the change I want was fear of the shame that came with making a mistake or falling flat or not getting something right.
    I get know that RISK will always be there…but it’s an adventure to embrace, not a sign of failure!
    Thanks so much! Love you!

  10. elaine says:

    Hey Monique!Haha! Yes it has been said about me! So GLAD that this was helpful for you today and that you also got to work on it in a TAT session too – perfect timing.I LOVE how you’ve been able to reframe this to risk being an adventure to embrace. And know that courage is always waiting for you on the other side of fear… you just have to lean through fear and it’s ALWAYS there waiting for you. Also I’ve found that talking about what we fear the most reduces it’s power.

    Not sure if you got to hear my radio interview this week with Authenticity radio – We talked about some of this so it might help too :)

    Love to you my friend!

  11. Jayne says:

    I’m remembering the quote that goes something like, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

  12. Enjoyed reading your post Elaine, i realised that over the last five year,s I have learned a lot about myself, and even when I have had doubt,s I have had to make deseisions , l never thought I would . I made new friends , and traveled to places l never thought would be possible. It was only after reading your post l new how far I had moved on, yes I do still fear certain things ,but hopefully will overcome them. Xxx

  13. elaine says:

    Pat – Thank you so much for posting!
    Yes we sometimes forget how far we’ve actually come because we ‘in the moment’ – I know you will overcome your fears xxx

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