February 10, 2017 by Cathy Vartuli

What Risks Are Right for You?

How do you know when a risk is right for you?

There’s the regret for the risks not taken that might have turned out great, the regret for risks that were taken that turned out badly…

leap-sunsetAnd the wondrous experiences of taking that leap and having things work out amazing!

How do you know when to leap and when to take a deep breath and stay grounded?

First, I think its important to realize that risk and disappointment FEEL different to different people.

When there’s been unhealed trauma or deeply unmet needs… risk feels threatening, not thrilling!

Humans can interpret risk from different viewpoints.

Think of it like this… Imagine a small child just learning to be independent. He takes his first shaky steps away from Mom and safety, and then looks back.

A) If he sees her smiling at him and loving him, ready to embrace him if he runs back, and still love him if he wanders about the room, that child learns some risk is okay… even fun.

B) If the overwhelmed Mom moves away, or even punishes him for not staying close (there are a lot of reasons she might have for trying to keep him safe or deeply bonded to her), he can learn or decide that risk is not worth it. His survival brain may associate risk with loss or pain.

What were your early messages and lessons about risk and venturing into the unknown?

Current Resources
Feeling full of vitality and energy? Risk and minor loss probably don’t impact you as much as the person who’s exhausted, ill, in pain, or struggling with emotional hurt.

For example, would a roller coaster ride feel more thrilling if you’re feeling great or when you’re hungover or ill?

Where are your resources right now? Are you tired or hungry? Hurting physically and/or emotionally? Or feeling pretty amazing?

What could you do to raise your resource level right now? (Tapping, appreciating yourself, getting some food, rest, water, etc.)

Celebrating-YOU!Having emotional support and encouragement can make all the difference! Knowing that people believe in you and will support you if you stumble, and cheer you on when you succeed… Having someone believe in what you’re doing lets your survival brain relax and focus on helping you achieve your goals rather than searching for danger.

How strong is your community right now? Do you have amazing, strong, and confident people who “get what you” do cheering you on?

What are you doing to build an even stronger community? To find people who get what you’re driven to create?

Want to do something daring? “Tanking up” with rest, good food, and lots of emotional support can make it seem easier.

And having a full tank and being grounded can help you make solid decisions about what’s right for you.

We’ll be back with more thoughts on risks and inner knowing soon!

In the meantime, we’d love to know your thoughts about this. Feel free to reply to this email and let us know, or post a comment on this article here.

We can’t always reply to everyone — but we always do read what you write!

To a full tank and lots of wondrous experiences!

  • Kevin Russell says:

    Thank you so much for a great article!!

  • Hi, I think this is a great topic to do a webinar or work shop about. The topic has several angles:
    the “high risk taker” who is constantly taking great risks and putting her/himself in actual danger,
    the “highly sensitive” personality who doesn’t take risks at all or is struggling to know how to respond to challenge – how do I perceive the situation?- and everyone in between:-)

    • Cathy and I were talking about that last night. Yes, feels like something worth a webinar! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Virginia Voigt says:

    I love the idea of playing with the concept of risk. And what insightful questions you have asked with the presentation of actual lined spaces in which to put one’s thoughts. I find that in some areas of my life I feel quite free to take a risk. In the kitchen and the art studio I am positively a born experimenter. In other areas I am quite conservative. I respect these parts of myself. I have enjoyed exploring the subject of risk in several books. Two that come to mind are: “inGenius” by Tina Seelig, about creativity. Risk is touched on throughout the book, but there are several pages dedicated to the description of a workshop the author offered called “Failure Faire” to help people reflect on what it feels like to fail and where people can develop their own “risk profile.” One of the most important things I learned from that book is to see failure as a data collection system which is used as a tool for growth. While failure is not as much fun as success, I routinely learn more from it. And that is very satisfying to me. The other book is called, “How To Be An Imperfectionist” by Stephen Guise. A man wise beyond his years who, fortunately, is also a very fine teacher. I have learned to call myself a big mistake machine which, to me, means that I am an active life-long learner.

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