There’s a misconception that risk is bad for you. It’s an old wive’s tale that says a good life is a quiet one. It’s why there are people who don’t travel, who stay unhappily in the same job/relationship for years, and why we never quite live up to our potential.
The fear of feeling uncomfortable dries up our ambitions. We mistakenly believe that staying at home or working the same job is safe. Somewhere along the way when we abandoned the tooth fairy and the magic of Santa Claus, we also bid adieu to our childlike spirit that craves adventure and self-growth. We settled instead.
I had a childhood friend who’s parents didn’t want her to leave the house out of fear. Leave home and she could be hit by a car, struck by lightening, or killed. But who knows what staying stagnant will do to our soul?
Psychologically we feel safe when we don’t venture outside our comfort zone. We avoid uncomfortable stomach butterflies, the shame of failure or the fear of success.
We get so comfy in our stagnation that shaking things up feels intolerable and unsafe. Yet, playing it safe can prove risky to our success.
In The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things, Larry Dossey, M.D. says:
“I believe the urge to take risks is innate, inscribed in bone and blood and genes, and that when we completely avoid risk, we sabotage our greatest potential.”
By not choosing to take risks, we can compromise our physical health as well. In his book, Dossey shares research that indicates risky behavior can stimulate our immune system aiding in things like cancer and infections.
If risky behavior is good for us, then what’s stopping us from pursuing our dreams?
Maybe we’re not all built to jump out of planes or even on a surfboard, but that doesn’t mean we’re ill-equipped to take on our dreams. Maybe what we need is someone to tell us right now that what we’re doing means something, that it will be worth it, and that our efforts in the present moment have significant influence on our future.
Well it is.
It will be.
And it does.