Friday, April 2, 2010

Willing to Risk

Dearest Readers,

I'm in Dawson City, AKA Dodge, and the sky is clear, the air is fresh and the water tastes a little bit like sweet nectar. It's a great place to be for the long weekend.

Recently someone was asking me if I'm still leading the Cultivate Your Courage workshops and generally, when someone asks, it's because he is hoping to take the workshop himself. This person in particular was struggling with the fear of expanding his business practice to new heights. We had a good chat.

One of the things he asked me was, "How do you cultivate the willingness to take risks?" What a great question!

The only thing I have to offer is my own experience. As I always say, "I'm an expert on that." So how have I cultivated the willingness to take risks? As is most often the case, I've taken a deeper look at the underlying fear.

Why am I afraid to take risks in the first place? Is it fear of failure? Fear of success? Both? Fear of making a mistake? Fear of exposure/being discovered (I'm really a fraud)?

Once I understand which fear happens to be driving the bus I can then begin to work on walking through it, which will eventually lead to its decommissioning and my freedom.

For example, if I am afraid that people will find out that I am, in fact, less than they think I am (which, in itself is a LIE, so best to fire positive affirmations at that one ASAP, i.e., I AM GOOD ENOUGH etc.), then what is perpetuating that Old Belief System (Old BS) in the first place?

Perhaps I am carrying around some shame from my past. Something that I did, something that was done to me. So we gotta exorcise the demon! Get rid of it. Let it go for F&%$ sake! It is time.

I've had a few crying/letting go sessions that have led to my finally releasing the shame burden(s) and what followed, not surprisingly, was a greater willingness to be seen.

By "seen" I simply mean known. I'm not talking about exposure in the sense of going on a reality TV show to air dirty laundry. I'm talking about expanding my personal playing field, in business or socially, to encompass a wider spectrum.

Today, I am able to "put myself out there" in a bigger way because I am no longer ashamed of myself and I am no longer afraid of being "found out".

If shame is not the issue and just-plain-and-simple-fear-of-making-a-mistake is, then I can look at that, too. Taking risks means making mistakes. I know mistakes will happen if I take a risk. It's a given.

So can I become willing to live with the feeling that comes when I make a mistake?

Can I allow myself to be imperfect?

Can I allow myself to feel uncomfortable/vulnerable/powerless?

Can I do these things knowing the excruciating turmoil that comes from change will not last, it will not kill me and I will not die?

Can I trust that I will come through the other side of this change with a greater sense of confidence in my abilities and a whole new (radical) level of self-esteem?

Say "yes" and then stand back and prepare to be amazed.

None of this stuff is easy, BTW, but all of it leads to greater and greater freedom. The freedom from fear is worth the pain of change.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I don't have to change the Old BS in one day. I just have to become willing to be changed. The rest will come through opportunities that arise as a result of my willingness.

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