How Risk Taking Can Be a Healthy Aspect of Self-Development

I'm starting this lifestyle blog, a new adventure for me as a healthy act of self-development.

This is new ground for me. I've spent the last decade "mommy blogging," writing a memoir of my childhood, creating sobering essays for published works and penning two Bible studies. I've written think pieces on the importance of racial reconciliation among evangelical Christians and advocacy-based pleas on behalf of black women and murdered black men. I write a monthly health-based newsletter, but nothing in my writerly experience points to this. Lifestyle blogging isn't exactly my genre, nor my strength.

For many reasons, I'm taking a risk.

Photo by   Meriç Dağlı   on   Unsplash

Many years ago, I picked up a life-changing nugget of truth from a leadership conference I was attending. The instructor led us in a powerful simulation whereby the winner ended up being the one who'd taken the most risks as we played. The rules unbeknownst to me, I did what felt natural and right. I won.

 In much of my adult life, I've often taken ridiculous risks because I'd convinced myself I had nothing to lose. Pessimism drove my choices and many rash decisions followed my immature beliefs to constantly choose a famine over feast mindset. Back then, I took risks for risk sake. Now I know better.

Taking risks can lead you to opportunities you can't see or imagine in the present moment. Many successful women report it was the first 'yes' that lead to the next opportunity and the next and the next and the next.

Taking risks increases your confidence. When I look at my sweet little 2 yr. old it's easy to see how this works. She tries something, she fails, she comes back stronger and more determined. You can see the confidence on her face when she succeeds.

We learn from failure. Is anything else as good a teacher? As much as this sucks, often our greatest failures come from our biggest risks: marriage, parenting, pursuit of a new career, etc. Need I say more? I can't think of one single major aspect of my life I've learned more from than my failed 1st marriage, subsequent divorce & remarriage. Experience has been one helluva teacher. 

My lessons have been costly, but they are priceless.

If you want to be a successful woman, you have to be willing to risk something. Not everything, but something.

We have to be willing to leave our comfort zone in order to grow. Even the "small" act of moving out of your family home at 18 and into a dorm can feel like such a risk at the time. Yet, it's something very few people regret doing. It's a rite of passage I never did and one of my life's biggest regrets.

We need to get over our fear of failure in order to take big and little risks. #GetOverIt. Failure is the opportunity to blow open a new door in our life. Approaching the next healthy & appropriate risk is a great way to tell failure to kiss our ass.

“Failure is not the opposite of success but a stepping stone to success. “
— Arianna Huffington

As you assess your risk, you need to prepare yourself. Do your due diligence on the potential fall-out. Figure out what you'll need to succeed. Weigh the risks + the costs. Sometimes, it's not worth it. But most of the time, it is. You'll need to act in bravery and push forward despite your fears.

I believe in you. You are capable. You are magic.