The Dangers of Risk Taking
March 22, 2011
Once upon a time I was a successful prosecutor with a heavy caseload and an immense knowledge of the Laws of Evidence. In my leisure time, between preliminary hearings and closing arguments, I devoured shelter magazines and dabbled in remodeling on the side because deep down inside, I loved interior design. Then I got pregnant, and left my job at the District Attorney’s office. Then I had two babies. Then I opened a law practice. Then I started a blog ~ a blog about what I love. Then I closed my law practice and took a leap of faith.
I did something brave, something dangerous, something very risky. I changed course, and I changed careers. I realized that I truly do love home improvement, great design, interior decorating, and DIY projects. It’s those subjects that keep me awake at night, not memorizing the exceptions to the hearsay rule.
I love the thrill of taking on a new venture and teaching myself something new. There is always apprehension and fear, but in the last few years, I’ve learned that challenging myself is the definition of taking a risk, and it is absolutely thrilling. It’s why I experiment with power tools and paint, with recipes and gardening, and then write all about it. With the risk comes the thrill. It’s dangerous, and it’s addicting.
Whenever I get the chance, I love to scour Craigslist and thrift stores, looking for something that speaks to me. Take this vintage cocktail table I found many months ago in the dusty corner of the Goodwill. There are many of you looking at this table and thinking “Crikey, that’s hideous! I’d never look twice at that gilded beast!”
And then there are a few of you who think like me. You see something gorgeous in that frame, the hidden potential of a piece that needs just a little TLC.
A $5 dollar investment in some ‘Liquid Leaf’ and 20 minutes of my time led to a refurbished piece. One that glistens in the sunlight, and stands a little prouder if you ask me.
This gold leaf table makes zero sense in my home. It’s glass, it’s gilded, it’s impractical and ostentatious, and I have absolutely no place to put it. I plan to sell it someday, if I can ever bring myself to part with it.
I really don’t care that most people would hate it, I love it. I saw something there, and I took a risk. I paid $20 dollars to take it home with me, not knowing what I would ever do with it, or if I could ever really make it work in my home.
Taking a risk means you’re not going to please everyone. (Oh, the horror!) It means climbing out a limb and saying ‘I love this thing/design/idea/person’ even when it makes no sense to others around you. Even when those people open their opinionated mouths to criticize you.
Taking risks is courageous and dangerous. And it should be celebrated.
Beware the dangers of risk taking!
Strange things might happen to you.
You might stand out from the crowd.
You might discover hidden talents.
You might venture into the unknown by trying something new.
Then you will learn something new.
You might fail, but true failure is never risking anything at all.
Then surely you’ll discover something about yourself you never knew.
Then you’ll be proud of yourself.
You’ll be more interesting.
You’ll have a story to tell.
And that alone is amazing.
Taking a risk usually means your heart is talking to you, saying “Do it.” But then your head quickly answers back “Don’t.” Consider that a good risk is when your heart says “Go for it!” and your head says “Are you sure?”. That’s OK. That’s where you want to be. The best kind of risk involves both an equal amount of sense and passion. Those are the kinds of risks worth taking time and again.
Today, I encourage you to go forth and live dangerously! Do something that completely scares you. Be courageous. Go against the trend. Bet on yourself. It will guarantee one thing for sure, you’ll have less regrets when you look back on your life. Paint your walls that bold color. Sell your house. Write that novel. Change jobs. Teach yourself something new. Stretch out of your comfort zone, take a leap of faith, believe in yourself.
Accept that you might be wrong, but once you determine that the risk is worth the education you’ll receive in the process, then the repercussions of failure are minimized.
Remember, the risk takers are the ones who are willing to bet on themselves. When will you start betting on you? Risk takers are not necessarily the most talented, but the ones who are willing to put themselves out there, and work the hardest.
Beware the dangers of risk taking!
You just might lead a more interesting life.
Visit my friend Nester today to see how others are taking risks in their lives too.