Feeling into risk is a scary experience. We look at a choice, and imagine what the worst case scenario is. Our amygdala is primed to scream at us when there is any possibility of “loss”, our brain is wired to keep us safe, so it uses all of its tools to keep this large organism alive. Yet, most risks we face aren’t truly life and death. For example, if you are a leader in an organization, any risk brings thoughts of not only failure of the project, but the risk of the livelihood of those that you lead. You’re scared not just about feeding your own family, but the families of those who trust your leadership. Yet, the truth is that even if the worst case happened, you all would likely be okay. It would be hard, and difficult, but most of the people (if not all) would be able to find other work afterward, and no one would end up homeless with their family.
With no risk, comes limited opportunity. You work towards the certainties, the must wins, and the projects you have previously been successful with. This philosophy causes its own set of problems. Following its logic, you try to repeat your past successes. That product you designed before, you work on the next iteration for a new customer using the same processes and procedures. If you are trying to minimize risk, you don’t want to change much. This leaves you vulnerable to technological disruption from competitors, and evolution of the customer. Rather than figuring out how to evolve and look forward, you look back to repeat what worked in the past. And, by staying still with the desire for safety and certainty, we give up our agency to create the future we actually want.
We do this with our lives. How we managed people before, how we related to them, how we communicated with them is all repeated. How we interact with our loved ones is the same. How we feed our bodies and our minds is the same. We try to keep repeating that which previously brought us success and happiness. Yet, you’ve changed. You’ve grown. What matters most to you is a little different then it was in the past. Your dreams and ambitions are have evolved. By repeating what worked in the past, we work towards an old version of ourselves. We allow ourselves to get out of alignment with our lives. All people for resonant alignment, a life that brings us happiness, challenge, and positive energy.
So, how do we get there, through that fear of risk and change?
We need to engage risk. We need to be willing to look at what is most important to us, and decide what’s more important – allowing things to stay the same, with its pains, frustrations, and disappointments; or, do we want to open to the possibility of growth in our work, relationships and our lives.
Change is difficult. Sometimes, change is downright painful. Like a patient who needs their shoulder put back in its socket, it’s not going to feel good during the process, but it is worth it in the long run. So, how do you go about setting a desire for change (i.e. goals), and also work through the fear that is associated with the change?
This Thursday, I’m hosting a 30-minute call in which I’m going to discuss this (Thursday June 2, at 12pm EDT). In the past 3 years, I’ve revamped my relationship with my wife and daughter, my relationship with my work, and my relationship to myself. I’ve taken small risks such as running a half-marathon, to large risks like quitting my job for an opportunity that might never come in. I’ve risked my job by trying to redefine what my role is (beyond what the company previously expected), and risked money by investing in coaching, training and experiences. I’ve risked how I related to my wife, and how I show up with my presence with her. I’ve risked my relationship with my daughter in order to create something that is even more powerful for the both of us. I’ve won some, and lost some. But, I’ve learned a lot about understanding which risks are worth it, and which ones aren’t. I’ve learned how to set goals that scare you, and how to work with that fear in order to grow beyond what you currently think is possible. When looking at change that matters we all experience fear, but that the fear doesn’t have to be a barrier to making the impossible happen.
Join me this Thursday, if you want to learn more about how to set goals that scare you, and how by doing that you open yourself up the possibility of stepping into the fullness of your greatness. Robin Williams once said “You’re only given one little spark of madness. Don’t lose it”. Every time you don’t step into risk, you are suffocating that spark. Instead, by leaning into big goals, goals that scare you and feel out of reach, you are fanning that little spark, turning it into a flame. And, when we have a flame burning from within us, we are able to transform the world around us in what ever way we want to.
Click here to provide your e-mail address, and on Wednesday you’ll receive all of the information you need for Thursday’s call. And, as a bonus for those who attend, I’m offering a free 30-minute coaching session to help you set a big goal that matters, and help you work through the plan you need to make it through the risk.
I hope to see you there on Thursday.