If we choose to grow, we start to see new paths emerging ripe for exploration.
Then the fear of the risk makes its appearance at the entrance like some annoying Hollywood star grabbing the limelight before we even begin.
Risk has two sides: the first is fear of the risk itself. What will I lose? What if I fail? How will I find my way back? What if I’m so successful I have to produce more? What if I don’t know how?
The second is the fear of regret. It comes when you look ahead and get a glimpse of yourself in the future, having not grabbed that opportunity, being old, and telling the story of what might have been with sighs and wonderment about what you were thinking.
Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic, states that ideas visit us but they do not have infinite patience. If we choose not to use them, they move on to give someone else the chance.
Both sides of risk are intertwined with the notion of fear – something we are all well-acquainted with but spend most of our time trying to avoid.
We associate risk with something like taking a bungee jump off a huge bridge instead of a baby step that can walk us into an adventure with support and safety.
We allow the fear to expand and explode in our heads until we pull back and give up altogether.
And this is the problem. There is no moving forward without risk.
It is in the risk that we find the exhilaration of the attempt, the learning that we gain in spite of possibly failing the first time, the emerging persistence to try again.
There will be helpers along the way. They will be the most unexpected sources of support – you can’t possibly imagine who or what they might be – don’t even try. Just be alert and become an observer of the experience.
When we learn to walk, we start by standing up then promptly sitting down. It feels so natural that we don’t even think about it. This might be a good way to think about risk, next time you receive an invitation from it to take yourself to a new place.