Now that we are approaching March, it seems like an appropriate time to ask… how’s you personal development New Year’s Resolution going? (Oh yeah, have you forgotten about that?) Did you pick up that hobby to relieve some of your recent empty-nest symptoms? How many date nights have been replaced with Netflix and popcorn due to still feeling exhausted trying to juggle work and a (successful) personal life? Are you taking the necessary steps towards the big promotion you’ve been dreaming of since...ever?
Are you rolling your eyes and softly saying to yourself, “uhhh...no”? I 110% guarantee you’re not the only one. But why is pursuing your personal goals and pushing past the natural feeling of fear so difficult and frustrating? My short answer: It’s not. However, understanding why you’re allowing yourself to accept a mediocre life is the first step towards living a life of purpose and passion.
I invite you to try out an exercise.
Stop everything that’s going on around you; let go of the built up tension in your shoulders, take several deep breaths, and tell the kids to settle down- momma is visualizing.
When was the last time you took a risk?
And no, I’m not talking about reading “best by last week” on your yogurt container and confidently whispering to yourself, “I’m sure it’s still fine.”
I’m talking about when was the last time you mustered up the courage to take a leap and honestly took a risk. Chances are you might not even remember. Or maybe you’re thinking the last time you took a personal development risk was when you were, quote-unquote, young and dumb.
The number one reason your personal development plan isn’t “going as planned” is because you’re trying to work the system and avoid the risks. I’m here to tell you there’s no age limit to taking acceptable risks towards personal development goals.
What do I mean by work the system? I mean taking the easy way out. The easier, softer way as some describe it. But we know, that personal growth is developed outside of the easy way.
So let’s talk about it, why risk? ...it’s risky...
Don’t get me wrong. I get it; I’ve been there too. I've had moments of self-doubt, insecurity and fear (and still do!) but I also recognized the many times in my life I took risks because the reward was well worth it. Once I accepted, better yet, instilled in myself that acceptable risk-taking was an essential part of life I stopped letting fear stop me.
Like I said, you’re not the only one having a hard time with their personal development goals due to the fear of risk.
A study was performed by Virgin Media connecting risk with fear. Among the people surveyed, 60% expressed that they are uncomfortable with risk, with over two-thirds of those individuals saying they are fearful of the consequences of risk. (Sound all too familiar?) But get this, two-thirds of the same group agreed that success is consequential to risk-taking.
So, for the most part, we consciously understand that acceptable risk-taking is essential to happiness and success, however most of us are afraid of taking a leap. We re surrendering our personal development goals to a perceived fear?
Take a moment...
Close your eyes and imagine: what would you be doing right now if risk didn’t exist. Where would you be living? What would you be working on? (or not working on) How many more accomplishments could you check off your mental checklist that has been growing for years. How’s your personal development plan going? Ok, now open your eyes… back to reality. Risk still and always will exist. My job isn’t to erase the risk from your life, but to help you find clarity and accept risk for what it is and enjoy the outcomes of your risk-taking.
I’ll be honest, snakes scare me (stick with me, I promise this is going somewhere). I take risks all the time, even to the point where I don’t realize what a risk it was until I’m out of it. (Writing a book, traveling solo around the world, opening a high school for teenagers who just completed drug rehab, etc...) But I have never “risked it all” to hold a snake. However, I have traveled the world and experienced everything this world has to offer- completely alone. That’s risky! But now I can say that I have a fulfilled life partly due to my traveling- that’s the reward. Holding a snake? That’s not rewarding. (or at least not for me!)
That's me on a solo trip to Vietnam in 2017.
So, to be clear, I’m not saying you have to hold a snake, jump out of a plane or swim with sharks to be a successful risk-taker. But I am saying you need to make the time and investment into changing your mindset and take acceptable risks towards personal development goals.
If this is resonating with you all too well, but not sure how to start, I encourage you to check out my Live Your Best Life: Courage, Risks & Rewards Online Personal Growth Program. This program I created gives you everything you need to shift your perspective around taking the risks necessary to step out of our comfort zone and into your full potential, success and fulfillment. Due to my introductory offer, this personal development training course will cost you less than your morning coffees for the month (or week, depending on the person). I’m very excited for you to take a step towards your personal development goals, see you there.