On Tuesday, I shared observations from when our family attended a baseball game. Here’s a slight addition to that story. One of our children is a risk-taker, and one is not. When Peter was so eager to meet the team mascot–Sox the Fox–I asked Edmund if he wanted to go too. He shrank into his seat and gave a definite shake of his head. Too risky.
He looked like he wanted to meet the mascot, but it would be too embarrassing for him. Edmund dislikes being singled out for something–good or not-so-good. Ruining his reputation is too high a risk for our youngest boy. He stayed in his seat and watched his brother greet the fox.
Peter rarely worries about what others think. If he wants to do something, he’s going to do it. This is the boy who climbed thirty feet into a tree when he was six. Risk and Peter seem to be synonymous.
I’ve thought about the different mindsets my guys displayed that night. Peter was uninhibited about going after what he wanted. Edmund let fear of embarrassment stop him from getting something he wanted.
What about me?
Too many times, I’ve let risks persuade me to say no to possibilities life offers me. Fear of making a mistake in front of others, of trying something and failing, of being hurt in the attempt have all convinced me to say, “No way” rather than to take life up on its possibilities.
I’m purposing to get beyond the “No Way” mindset. A few things I’ve discovered that help me to “take on” risks are:
- Realize I need to let go of some of the control I think I hold over my life. When I release my grip on life, I discover the ability to embrace adventure and try new things.
- Look beyond the fear factor to the possibilities–fun, learning something, accomplishing something I never thought I could do are all great results from taking risks.
- Tell someone I’m going to do something I consider risky. When there’s an accountability to “just do it,” I’m more likely to move out of my comfort zone and take a risk.
- Taking someone along with me. When I try something new with a friend or a loved one, it’s easier to move beyond fear. It’s also easier to take the pressure off and laugh at myself.
There are times to say, “No Way.” There are also occasions when I need to answer an opportunity with “Okay,” even when risks are involved.
Your Turn: What helps you to say “Yes” to taking a risk in your life? What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever tried?