The Life-Changing Magic of Taking a Risk


I love taking risks. I love the thrill of doing something I feel I am not ready for.

I love committing to a big thing and then to figuring it out as I go.

There is nothing that grows me faster than to make a bold move. Jumping out the window and growing wings on the way down.

While I do believe in the power of taking a risk, I also believe that the idea of "just follow your bliss and everything will work out fine" can sometimes set us up for disappointment. 

Yes, making massive moves is a great way to build our confidence, to quickly upgrade our lives and expand our impact. 

However, it is equally important to have systems in place that help us make the best of our leaps of faith, so that we back our optimism with action that will guarantee our success. 

Here are three ways you can guarantee that your risk taking will be a success: 

#1 Commit to the thing and then get to work. 

It is not enough to just take the leap and have faith. There are many people making massive moves and not all of them are successful. This is the uncomfortable truth. 

Living full out is not as glossy as it sounds, it means constantly pushing your growth edge and leaning into discomfort. Being a risk-taker can feel really shitty at times and as rewarding as it is in the long run, we have to first be prepared to be uncomfortable for a while. 

The quickest way to grow is to commit to a big opportunity, an opportunity that is a couple of sizes too big for you. Whether that is hiring a team, saying yes to the speaking engagement, asking for the promotion, as soon as you have chosen to walk this path, you are going to have to hustle to make it work.

There is a gap between where you are and where you want to be and against popular opinion, the gap does not close miraculously, it closes when we put in the work and become a more masterful version of ourselves. 

Making a big commitment is like buying a jacket that is too big and deciding to grow into it. The opportunity will most likely ask of you to show up with more confidence, expertise and leadership skills. So as soon as you have said yes, you'll need to develop those. 

If you choose to do the work, prepare to the best of your ability and to show up with your brilliance on full throttle, you'll see how magical this risk taking thing can be. 

You’ll commit, you’ll grow, you’ll reap the results. 

#2 Learn to forgive yourself

You'll know you have chosen the right risk to take when you are aware of how badly you could screw this up. 

External circumstances can be a bitch, you could get sick the day of the speaking engagement, you could spill coffee all over you right before the meeting. The truth is, there are so many things that could wrong. 

I don't want to bullshit you, these things happen. 

The important thing to remember is that you are not just in the game to get what you initially wanted to get out of this. You are choosing to become a risk-taker, you are doing this because it makes you a better you. 

Taking risks, having to course-correct, screwing up, winning big, no matter how things turn out, you'll grow. 

And that is the biggest win of all. 

After every screw up of mine (and I have shitloads of those) I say the words "I forgive you, I am sorry, I love you.". I close my eyes, put my hands over my heart and forgive myself, I let it go. I did the best I knew how given my circumstances. 

#3 Celebrate

You know that if you do something you hate over and over and over again, it will get harder and harder to take action. 

In the same way, if you make taking action fun for you, if you do things that are easy and joyful, you'll find yourself wanting to take more action like this. 

We can reprogram our brains to love taking massive action. All you have to do is celebrate every action step you are taking. 

Light a candle as you are sending out that e-mail. Dance to your favorite song to celebrate your courage. Take yourself out to dinner with a friend to really let your win sink in. 

The better you feel about taking action, the easier it will be. And over time you'll want to take even bigger risks, because you know how good it feels to be on the other side celebrating and having grown more confident. 

CareerHanna BierComment