5 Tips for Taking Risks
I was recently asked, "How do I take risks without feeling in a panic?" This has been a theme I'm noticing, in particular now, with people around me questioning whether they want to stay at their current job or not.
Such a completely valid question and one I have faced numerous times through chancing moving across the country, leaving jobs, and ending relationships.
Taking risks is scary. It takes courage and it takes betting on yourself and trusting that you are capable of figuring out all of the pieces of the puzzle if your decisions don't go ‘as planned'. It's especially difficult if you don't have something immediately to jump into to support you financially. The question that surfaces most is, "How will I know my life will be better somewhere else?"
I get it. Where you are is comfortable. You know what to expect even though you feel done with the current challenges.
Having gone through these major decisions many, many times already I have five of my top tips to help you navigate through the initial stages of contemplating taking a big risk.
5 Tips for Taking Risks
1) Make a list of the energizers and drainers. Begin by taking note of everything regarding the situation you are challenged with that drains you and energizes you about it. For example, if you are thinking of leaving your job become aware of every aspect of it that you enjoy and that you don't. This forces you to become more mindful of how you spend your time and where you are feeling out of alignment. You may learn from this process that there is something specific about the situation that can be draining you but could potentially be changed within the current job. If the drainer list far outweighs the energizer list you may be ready to devise an exit plan.
2) Calculate the costs. If you've decided you know you need to take a risk and shake things up then start adding up numbers and make a game plan. How much money will this risk cost you? If something doesn't go as planned who is your support system and what would they be willing to help you with? This stage depends wholly on what's at stake. If you are jumping from one job to another then you can line up what the salary difference would be, insurance details, vacation days, daily commute, etc.
If you are leaving one steady job and going freelance or starting a business, start running the numbers of what the startup will cost you, how you will find clients/customers, do you need a loan or office space, getting insurance, etc.
3) List all of your fears. Go ahead and write down all of your fears around making this particular decision. Then, go back and write down how you resolved the fears as if they did indeed play out that way. You don't want fear in the driver's seat for taking risks. You do need to be open and honest with yourself on worst-case scenarios though. Once you address these fears and know that you would have a plan to course correct, then you are a step ahead of the game. Fear no longer drives your decisions and you'll be able to have a clear action plan and be able to stay focused on how to market and sell your newfound business. Trust in your ability to navigate through the ebbs and flows.
4) Meditate. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and turn inward. Ask yourself honestly how you would feel if you stayed where you currently are and how you would feel if you made this decision. Which one feels heavier to you? Our intuition likes to speak to us through what feels heavy and light. If a particular answer feels lighter take note of that. Your higher self is communicating with you and you can do this anytime you have a question about a decision you need to make in life.
5) Decision time. The above exercises are to help build your intuition and trust your decision. Only you can know if taking a risk is right for you though. Can you trust that no matter what happens that you will be okay and figure it all out? Only you can know how you are feeling. And remember that not making a decision is still making a decision. Either way, own what decision you are making and why. That is your power and no one can take that away from you.
Remember, there is never any failure in any decision you make. "Failure" is only feedback. If you don't like the feedback you get then make a change that will align more fully with where you currently are and what you currently desire.