Would you consider yourself a risk taker or a safety seeker? Do you prefer to live life on the edge or are you more comfortable with the security of routine, and the solace of regularity and familiarity, staying within the limits of what feels known and well navigated?
There is much to be said for the strong foundation that a steady job and paycheck can provide. Couple that with a nice home and the confidence that each day will hold much the same promise as the day before and you have a life to feel proud of.
But…does it ever feel like in spite of all your material success that something is missing?
Does it get to feel a bit repetitive after a while? Do you long for adventure? Change?
More variety? A total shake-down?
What is stopping you from branching out a bit more? Fear of failure, perhaps?
If there was nothing to hold you back, what risks would you be likely to take, do you think?
Imagine you had total freedom to pursue your dreams and your fears had disintegrated.
What would you be doing differently? Skydiving? Parachuting, or maybe kitesurfing? Investing in Bitcoin?
Learn from your mistakes.
Whatever your choice of adrenaline rush, taking risks is good for you! As children, we possess an innate curiosity, which propels us into all manner of exploration; this is how we learn and develop.
One of the ways you can overcome your fear of taking risks is to reframe the concept of failure. Failure is an inevitable part of life. Take away the judgment that it is something bad, something to be ashamed of, recognize that it is a way to learn, and you have removed a major obstacle to your becoming more of a risk-taker. Making mistakes is a way to learn and become a wiser human being.
Let go of attachment.
The Buddhists know a thing or two. When you are attached to winning or success, the loss or “failure” comes that much harder. However, when you are detached from the outcome, you can see events as just “things happen” rather than placing any negative connotations to them.
When you see events without judgment you can go ahead and take risks, knowing that life will continue to support you in the miraculous way it has done ever since the day you were born. Of course, your comfort with risk will to some extent depend on how lightly you can hold onto the need to “win.”
Seize the day.
The Tibetan Buddhists say that, “Death can come at any moment”; no one knows how long they will live. The time is now! Don’t delay in case you don’t have another chance to do the things you have always wanted to do. Author Stephen Jenkinson says that we live in the “Cradle of death,” and that when we can acknowledge this, we can become more aware of the preciousness of life and live it more fully and with more aliveness.
When you can let go of your attachment to “successful” outcomes and reframe the concept of “failure” into a learning experience that leads to wisdom and is a natural and inevitable part of life, you can start to embrace the thrill and sense of aliveness that comes with taking risks.
Knowing that there is no time to lose since not one of us can tell the moment of our death, it behaves you to hold lightly to outcomes and to embrace the uncertainty that comes with risk-taking, giving you a much fuller and more satisfying experience of life, gaining knowledge and experience that you would never find in the safety of your comfort zone.