“You know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner ever tried.” – Yoda
Ever since I was a kid, I was a risk taker. At three years old, I would swing so high on our swingset that I literally gave my mother a heart attack! Aside from that, I have always loved to test myself.
There is a difference between taking a risk that puts you in physical danger and rising to a challenge to enhance personal growth. How many times have I heard, “Why are you making things harder for yourself?” I never thought of my journey like that.
Recently, I was at an appointment with my youngest daughter. During the session, she was playing a game with the woman who was in her early twenties. As they played, the young woman made a couple of daring moves and lost. “That’s what happens when you take risks!” she stated. When I heard this I thought, “No, no, no! That’s a part of learning and growing!”
The difference between these two outlooks is a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success explains this concept really well. Generally speaking, a person with a growth mindset will see challenges as exciting and looks forward to discovering the unknown. A fixed mindset belongs to someone who needs to have absolutes, knows the outcomes, and prefers to stay within their comfort zone.
You need to have blind faith to step out from the known into the unknown. You can’t see what the future holds yet you feel that you are moving in the right direction. It is about believing in yourself.
When I think about the word “faith,” the 1943 version of Miracle on 34th Street comes to mind. In the movie, Doris Walker is a divorced woman who does not let her daughter believe in fairy tales and Santa Claus because she only trusts absolutes. During the movie, Doris finds herself re-evaluating her belief system. In the end, she admits to her daughter that she was misguided. Instead, she says, “I was wrong when I told you that, Susie. Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”
It is so much easier to make excuses why you shouldn’t do something and to talk yourself out of it. Afterward, the exact thought keeps entering your mind with more reasons not to take a risk. This procrastination typically stems from fear. Fear will hold you back because of the unknown. It brings uncertainty –and if you are around fearful people, sometimes they unknowingly plant a seed of doubt in your mind due to their own discomfort with risk. Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone will make you feel like you’re going to vomit. Guess what? That is why you should do it.
I’ve been there.
Going back to February of 2015, my husband and I went on vacation together without the kids. After a few days of unwinding, we sat down to talk about our future and how to meet the needs of our family. My oldest daughter from my previous marriage, was getting ready to enter high school, and our three-year old daughter was going to bed with my sweater rather than a hug. (As a nurse, I was on-call often and missed out on those bedtime rituals.)
Meanwhile, my husband’s business was at a crucial point. If he devoted a little more time to it, he could take it to the next level. That meant I would have to handle more child drop-off and pick-up times and various appointments. My girls needed more of my attention since they were both at critical learning stages.
We had some decisions to make.
When we returned home, I resigned from my position as a Case Manager and gave my family what they needed – more of my time.
At one point, I asked my husband, “Can we afford to do this?” His response? “Can we afford not to?” Point taken.
Being an independent woman, that was a difficult change for me. I had worked really hard to build my career as a nurse and putting it aside was painful. However, being at home, raising a family and supporting your spouse’s business for the good of your family was my trump card that beat my career.
Was it an easy road? Of course not! However, I’m where I am today because of those challenges since it helped me to blossom.
Have you ever noticed that if you go against your initial feelings that things just don’t turn out quite right? You know that saying “go with the flow?” Imagine trying to swim upstream and the struggle that you would have. Who would win: you or the water? It’s always the water. Move in the same direction as the current.
Let go of that white knuckle grip on life. Loosen it just a little to allow your faith to take the wheel instead of always trying to steer it. You will never be guided wrong if you follow your instincts, heart, and intuition. That is how you have no regrets.
Aren’t you worth the risk?