A Risk-Taker? You Betcha…

Could it be? Is country crooner Kenny Rogers seriously more adept at assessing the need for risk in life than you? I hope you’re not telling me you don’t know when to hold ’em or when to fold ’em.

Don’t worry. I’m just giving you a hard time. I don’t either.

Well, maybe a little bit.

It’s true that there is a real gambler in me. I love, love, LOVE roulette and can be found at the table for hours and hours, spending the same $40 during that time. And I love the lottery, especially scratch-offs. Who doesn’t, really? It’s completely pointless and in most cases, doesn’t pay off, but it’s fun seeing if it does and who doesn’t enjoy uncovering what’s under the little silvery boxes with the corner of a dime and creating a lovely mess on your clothes, your desk and wherever else you can possibly brush, sweep and clutter the area with scratch-off “droppings?”

Do you have a bit of a gambler in you? I’ll bet you do. At least somewhere in your life. But is it necessarily where you need that extra boost of confidence and risk-taking most for the greatest payout?

Love requires a bit of a gamble, doesn’t it? Leaving a job to go out on your own or find another position certainly involves risk. Having kids as a solo parent or couple definitely involves flying by the seat of your pants. And of course, there is the stock market, the absolute definition of taking chances these days – most of us no longer “dabble” anymore here, because when we “lose,” it can mean our house or future retirement.

Earlier in the week, I asked you –

Where do you need to take greater risk in your life and why haven’t you?

Did you get a chance to think about this challenge and maybe even jot down some thoughts in a journal? I encourage you to take a close-up look. You know the drill: warts, pimples and dark spots, welcomed. Look deep at yourself – wrinkles, fine lines and all – and figure out where you might need a little injection of bravery (not botox required).

As for me… my scary place is “the stage.” I try to avoid speaking in front of groups and putting myself out there in person at all costs, yet I realize that when I have done speaking engagements, led group discussions or even took part in on-air interviews, I’ve had much success. So what am I so afraid of? Failure? Not being liked?  Tripping over my words, ideas or feet? All of the above? Quite possibly…

I know that in my line of work – a writer – it’s very easy to hide behind the laptop and quietly go about my business. I connect with people via social media and email, conduct most of my interviews by phone and network fairly regularly but never volunteer to serve as a guest speaker or host any kind of events of my own. Yet it doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it.

In fact, I’ve finally uncovered and acknowledged some of these deep-rooted “fears” of mine recently when I participated in Change Clique, a group blog project examining fears and attempting to tackle them while aiming to achieve an important goal – my goal, to write my first book. I quickly realized in taking part in this project that one of my biggest fears holding me back from actually COMPLETING my book is the fear of all of the promotional work to accompany it – going before people, taking part in whatever marketing events are necessary to sell the book or talk about it. Egads. I realized that I needed to become more fearless about not only putting those words to paper (or in my case, screen) — I needed to become fearless about talking about the finished product. I haven’t even finished it and already just thinking about it, the prospect scares the crap out of me! Yet I know that it is an inevitable part of the process down the road and I WILL have to finally tackle that fear if I want to sell even a couple books.

So in my wacky world, my risk-taking days may be hearty and healthy before the roulette wheel, but I’ll need to do much more “dabbling” in addressing groups now in order to grow a spine and conquer this crazy fear of mine. No, I haven’t signed up for ToastMasters, and have no intention of doing that, but I AM going to make an effort this last quarter of 2012 to put myself out there in some way or another. The wheels are spinning. I welcome your suggestions.

Where do you need to step outside of your comfort zone and take more risk in your life? I want to hear about it…we all do! So go on. Take a chance on us or we’ll start a group sing-a-long. (Come on, folks, let’s sharpen our inner ABBA!)

Good luck to you! And never fear: we’re here with chattering teeth right beside you…

Cheers to finding that daily spark in your life!


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