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risksDo you have those times in life where you feel like you’ve pushed yourself to the limit?

This is long and I’m letting you in some really personal stuff. But if you’re afraid to take risks, it’ll be helpful for you. Part way through you’ll find an exercise you can do to help you really see why you’ve GOT to just go for it when you have an opportunity.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been pushing myself to take more risks.

To deal with things I don’t want to.  To feel things that scare me, that I don’t want to feel.  To feel things that bring me to life again, and are scary in their own way.  To step into bigger things.  To face reality.  To face my dreams.  To get really honest with myself.

And it all ties back into business and the whole idea that we can only grow our businesses as fast as we grow ourselves.

I’m learning three lessons.

1.  Keep saying yes to things that are scary and feel totally out of your league (you might be ready).

Feeling out of my league was the overall theme the last few weeks while I traveled to meet with the mastermind group I’m part of, participate in a livestream, and more.

I had more challenging moments professionally and personally than I have had in a long time.  Every single time, that voice in my head said, “RUN!” and 90% of the time I was able to ignore it.

Is that what you’d expect from inside my head?  I’m not fearless.  Some days I’m not even that brave.  There were moments I was afraid to speak because I didn’t know if I had anything worth sharing.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how we can see ourselves differently than others see us?  I can’t count how many times during the mastermind and VIP coaching day that idea came up in our group–that we can so easily see the brilliance in others but we discount it in ourselves.

Maybe what feels out of your league really isn’t. You might be more ready for it than you realize.

Or maybe it totally is and you’ll discover 5 seconds into it that you need to hang on tight and just figure it out as you go. Give yourself permission to do that.

[pullquote position=”right”]Be brave enough, curious enough, passionate enough to find out. Take the risk.[/pullquote]

2.  Risks are worth it.

I could have totally bombed on any number of things over the last two weeks and there would have been consequences.

Looking back I’m just as tough on myself as you probably are on yourself–I see a lot of things I could and should have done differently or better, but that’s okay.  Knowing where I need to improve in itself made taking the risk worth it because now I’m aware and I can work on it.

Why are we so afraid of taking risks?

An exercise one of my coaches taught me a few years back is to sit down and write out what the worst that could happen was if I took a risk.  Never once have I actually written “die tragically in a flaming ball of fire” on the list of possible end results (then again, sky diving or jumping motorcycles through rings of fire isn’t on my list of things to do).

Seriously though, write it out.  It’s not going to be as scary as the things floating around in your head.  Look at that list.  You can recover from any of it.

And then write out what could go right.  What happens if you DO pull it off?  What if it WORKS?  What if…?

Look at those two lists.  Isn’t the potential of making those amazing things happen worth it?

Be brave enough, curious enough, passionate enough to find out.  Take the risk. 

3.  When you say yes more, even more cool things happen.

I’m consciously saying yes to things that flat out terrify me.  Because I know who I want to be and what I want to change in my life and the world around me.  I don’t have it all figured out, and I’m not there yet, but every single day I’m getting closer.

Big steps, little steps, it doesn’t matter as long as I keep moving the right direction.

Every step you take, you prove to yourself that you CAN do it.

You aren’t defined by your past.  You aren’t defined by who you were yesterday.  You aren’t defined by your failures.

Tomorrow will be what you make it.  Say yes and keep saying yes.  Follow through.  Show up and do the best you can.  Watch what happens.

So I’ll challenge you one more time…

Be brave enough, curious enough, passionate enough to find out.  Take the risk. 

Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

It’s okay not to be fearless.  Just find enough courage to take the risk.  Because what’s on the other side is worth the chance.

Let’s Talk: What risks have you taken, or what risks do you WANT to be brave enough to take in your business or life?  How do you move through that fear and step up anyway?