When my nieces were aged 2 and 4, I created a club with them. Each meeting started by dancing to Sister Sledge, “We are Family.” Snacks were served and we usually held the meeting in some sort of makeshift fort.
As they got older, my nieces began to share more deeply during our club meetings. I was often touched with their openness and willingness to be vulnerable and pondered, why don’t I do this? Share this deeply? Why don’t more adults act on their inhibitions and passions?
Playing it safe can cause us to stagnate. One of three things happens. We tell ourselves it’s not the right time, we talk ourselves out of it, or we unknowingly let life slip away.
Maybe you’re thinking …
I’m not that person. I take risks. I live a full life.
Are you sure about that? Do you stretch yourself beyond your means on a regular basis at work? At home? With your family & friends? When’s the last time you did something that took your breath away? Made you vulnerable? Scared you a little? Left you feeling empowered and exhilarated all at the same time because of the risk involved?
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about becoming a thrill seeker, nor am I telling you to do anything dangerous. I’m asking you if you’ve stepped out of your normal routine and shook life up a bit.
When you were a child you took risks. Sometimes it wasn’t an option. Everything around you, at some point, was new and different. The first day of school. When you joined a new team or club. When you did your first cherry drop from the monkey bars. The first time behind the wheel of a car.
What about the risks you’ve taken as an adult? Interviewing for the job of your dreams. Giving a speech. Giving feedback. Receiving feedback. Becoming a parent. Apologizing. Owning your mistakes. Moving. Starting a new job. Opening a business. Volunteering. Buying a house. Running your first marathon.
Once something feels normal in our life we forget that it ever felt risky. But what keeps us from taking risks on a regular basis? Internal Worries. Fear of failure. Fear of so many things. You were not born with these fears. You learned them. You create stories that keep you playing small and living a carefully protected life.
Risk adverse living is an epidemic. It keeps us from generating new ideas, from truly living an awe-inspiring purposeful life. That’s a huge misfortune for yourself, and everyone around you.
“Have faith in you and the things you do. You can’t go wrong.”
~Sung by Sister Sledge, written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards and used by Michelle Lefebvre during Sister Sledge Club meetings with her nieces.
I challenge you to go beyond the fear and live bigger, bolder and braver.