When you think of risk, what comes to mind?
Do you have visions of Evil Knievel leaping across Snake River Canyon, someone engaged in hazardous, intense, and foolish actions or do you think of risk taking as an exhilarating, breathtaking and awe-inspiring experience?
Of course, risk can be all those things and more. But it’s really about having the courage to make a decision to experience life fully without fear and limitations. It can also mean that sometimes you just have to take advantage of that once in a lifetime opportunity without limiting yourself by fear.
I took that once in a lifetime opportunity when I signed up for the sea trek excursion while on a recent cruise.
If you’re not familiar with a sea trek, it’s an amazing helmet diving experience. Your guide outfits you in an alien-like contraption that covers your head and shoulders. Once the helmet is in place, you’re then outfitted with a breathing apparatus. The wonderful thing about a sea trek is that you don’t have to swim. And for someone like me who can barely float, taking a walk on the bottom of the sea sounds pretty foolish, doesn’t it. But I knew if I didn’t take this rare opportunity, I might not have another chance to play with some of the most colorful fish and coral imaginable, see firsthand long forgotten shipwrecks, cannons and a sunken Odyssey submarine up close and personal.
Was I afraid? Did I question my sanity? Did I think I might drown?
But, I didn’t allow myself to dwell on the fear. Instead, I listened intently to our guide’s instructions, took several deep breaths, and refused to let fear and doubt keep me from an experience of a lifetime! And, I took the “plunge”!
Just as it took courage for me to don that alien looking equipment and go deep down to the bottom of the ocean, it also takes courage to make changes, enter a new relationship, learn to ride a bike, start a business or move to a new city. Even though fear may be present, you can still venture into uncharted waters with confidence and a strong belief that you will survive and thrive.
I’m sure I would forever regret it had I not taken the chance to go on that sea trek! Sure, I could have played it safe and stayed securely on land but I would have missed out on an exciting, fun and spectacular experience. And had I played it safe, I would have let fear rule and prevent me from taking another step forward. Because I faced fear head on, I’m now ready for my next adventure – a hot air balloon ride!
I like to think of taking a risk the same way you start a roaring fire — by igniting the first spark. You can continue thinking of risk as a dangerous, hazardous activity or you can embrace it as something that ignites you to get out from under a cloud of fear, doubt, regret and procrastination. It can lead you to a wealth of new memorable adventures or that ultimate once in a lifetime experience.
So, what will you do today to walk away from your self-limiting safety net and light the spark that moves you to inspired, courageous and exhilarating action?
Certified Life Coach, Family Therapist, Group Coaching Specialist, Gladys Anderson, helps nurses, teachers, social workers, therapists and other care-giving women to set limits so they have more time, more joy and more energy to devote to self-care.