Happiness is Often Risky: 4 Steps to Take Risks
Today we celebrate National Take a Chance Day – a day that encourages us to break out of our comfort zone.
We all have goals and dreams. What if today the day is you take a chance or a risk to make your dreams happen?
I always knew I was not a “normal dietitian.” I will forever remember the day I realized it was not the food people were eating that was important, it was “what was eating them” that proved to be most important. With crystal clarity I remember providing an outpatient diet instruction at Waconia Hospital with a retired, extremely pleasant overweight woman who told me what she ate for dinner and that she always ate her dinner in the living room on her sofa. Wanting to explore “mindful eating” with her I asked her why she ate her dinners seated on her couch. With discouragement and sadness in her blue eyes (I always look at eyes and see if they match their shirt) she explained that her husband Harry ate his dinners in his Lazy Boy recliner while he watched TV. She just wanted to be with him and grab a morsel of conversation after being (delete all) alone all day. She was feeling all alone in her marriage and desired more togetherness and to feel more cherished. It was not the food that she was eating, but her loss of “togetherness” in her marriage. She was grieving and that lead to her overeating and her disgust with getting on the scale.
It’s not what you are eating it’s what is eating you!
Looking back, I know I spent more of my outpatient diet instructions talking about mindsets and beliefs than I did about food. Sure, I showed patients those rubber food models, but they left with more than the portion sizes needed to achieve their new health goals. They left with a new confidence to question their beliefs. My journey helping others continued until a key pivotal day – March 5, 1999 when I attended a Registered Dietitian meeting and there was “Life Coach” talking about life balance. I thought I do this! Am I a life coach? Three or four weeks later, I attended a meeting to learn about life coaching and got so excited I signed up on the spot spending over $3,000 to enroll in a life coaching course. If I signed up that day I could get the Co-Active Coaching book for free. (It cost $25.00) I was so caught up in the excitement of this new adventure that I totally forgot about Gary. I can still remember driving down 494 and remembering I would need to tell Gary. Let’s just say Gary was not as excited as I was. I signed up and spent $3000.00 to get a free book! Excitedly, I called my dad and I will never forget what he said in disbelief, “…people pay people to talk on the phone? People are going to pay YOU to talk on the phone?” Even though I didn’t get much support, I took a risk! And there has been no turning back!
Many of us have taken risks that never paid off. I have invested in friendships, mastermind programs, speaker programs, graphic designers, and once even purchased a franchise to audit energy bills for companies… and wasted over $12,000 and many sleepless nights. But the bigger question is how many times have you and I lost a great opportunity because we were afraid of risk. Is your life on hold because you are waiting for the risk to diminish? Think about it, your risk could diminish but so could your opportunity.
Your ONLY limit is your desire!
Your only real limit is your desire. And sometimes to get what we want RISK is involved. Risk taking is essential to learning what our limits are and, to being our absolute best.
4 Steps to Take a Risk
Here are a few ways to become a positive risk taker by Barbara Sahakian, a cool professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine who has discovered RISK TAKING is one of the primary behaviors that leads to the “good life.”
- Increase your risk tolerance. Take small risks that make you feel slightly uncomfortable.
- Expect and prepare to fail. Determine the worst thing that can happen with a particular risk and come up with a plan to handle the failure.
- Become more risk aware. Just thinking and learning about risk taking may actually increase your chances of taking positive risks.
- Learn the routine/ risk balance that is best for you. Have your routine life filled with some positive risk taking and excitement. A healthy thriving life requires both risk and routine and you need to find the right balance for you.
Author Eria Jong reminds us, “If you don’t risk anything you risk even more.” She is right!
My risk back in 2000 has provided me with priceless happiness, a deep life satisfaction helping others combined with a flexible work life while earning much more money than I ever imagined as a Registered Dietitian…all because I took a risk!
What is one small risk you would be willing to take today to create the life you were meant to live?
Today is the day you buy that plane ticket, tell your special person you truly love them, or create your business plan.
We can’t wait to hear.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~ Mark Twain