Is Risk a Four-Letter Word?
I’m originally from a southern state. A client in Georgia shared last week that she didn’t complete her coaching challenge because she had to deal with “some southern sh*t.”
I laughed out loud!
Coming from that culture, I knew there was some …expectation. She shared it was a wedding shower for a Bridezilla, thus little to do with geography. It only seemed worse because treating a bride like the Freaking Queen of England was not my client’s normal expectation.
We’re all swimming in a cultural soup
We grow up with the idea of “normal” set by our parents and social peers. The standards and goals are expected, and we know what they are without saying. (white picket fence… 2.3 children…)
When the cultural expectations have been met, it’s easy to think we can just sit tight and let life happen. We focus only on our immediate plans.
Once we attain those measures of success, we must be done.
Is that all there is?
The longer we live, the more that kind of stagnant thinking can leave a sense of emptiness. Add the fact that relationships change and sometimes die, what we thought was a sure thing… wasn’t.
Some of the most surprising shifts in lifestyle I’ve seen in my clients came from the most mundane of circumstances. The commonality was that they were uncomfortable with the expectations surrounding them, and they decided to change. Here are a few examples:
- The attorney who quit the all-male law firm that was so uncomfortable for her and ended up in Mongolia working for the Peace Corps.
- The real estate secretary who climbed a ladder to touch the second-story roof of her home (the scariest thing she could think of) and then launched her skin care clinic a few months later.
- The paralegal who left the behemoth insurance company, earned a Ph.D. and is now a professor.
Every one of these clients looked at their current comfortable lifestyle and realized it no longer fit them. They each took baby steps toward a new direction, and years later, their lives are completely different.
And, might I add, more fulfilling.
Baby Steps are Key
Baby steps lead to bigger steps, bigger steps lead to giant steps, giant steps lead to significant change. Next thing you know, serendipity and synchronicity begin to bring surprise events to help along the way.
If you’re the kind of person that crawls in a closet when it’s time to push yourself into unknown territory, here are three ways to take baby steps:
Learn something new that leads you in the general direction of your curiosity and interests. Take a class, go to a lecture, join a book club. Stretch yourself with a new skill (draw, paint, knit, learn French, refinish furniture…) Declare tech-free times. Turn off the TV and social media to clear your head,
Volunteer and put that interest into action. Teach someone else that thing you love. Advocate for someone less fortunate. Use your new skills to make something and donate it
Pay attention to your reactions and automatic responses. Find/create a consistent way to count your blessings every day. Look for the good in your current circumstances and focus on that. Watch your words – your words create your reality
Remember, you don’t have to know the destination before you start. Feeling restless and discontent is enough.
Your risk-taking muscle strengthens with use. Try it and comment below to share your experiences!