Okay, I’m not talking about robbing little old ladies (or men for that matter) or doing anything illegal but I have noticed how so many people (myself included) tend to live too safely. We worry constantly in the hopes that we will prevent future problems, procrastinate when it comes to decision making and tend to live fearfully, waiting for the axe to fall. Our thoughts help us to imagine all sorts of awful catastrophes and as a result we become paralysed by over analysis and stay in our comfort zones.
I say, enough of that… some sort of risk assessment is advisable and a good dollop of common sense is always helpful but apart from that, you really do have more freedom and choice than you allow yourself to believe. Ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen. I often get clients to fill in a “fear form” with the following on it:
1) What’s the worst that can happen?
2) What’s the best that can happen?
3) What is most likely to happen?
4) Even if the worst does happen what can you do to deal with the situation?
5) Is there anything you can do now to feel more empowered and capable in your life?
What have you been putting off doing? You know what it is, your inner wisdom has probably been prodding you for ages but you have ignored it. We function, get used to the routine and stop challenging what is no longer working for us. When we ignore the paths to true happiness that present themselves, we shut off a little more, become that little bit more thick-skinned and unplug from the energy of life(see my post on being unplugged written yesterday). So, the BIG question is – what are you afraid of?
Is it fear of the unknown? Fear of making a bad decision? Fear of regretting your choices? The truth is that most people regret things they didn’t do as opposed to the things they tried, even if the things they tried didn’t work out. There are no guarantees in life although it is almost a certainty that if you live a life that is too safe, you will not really be living at all. See each day as a chance to test yourself, to experiment..look forward to making a fool of yourself..it’ll give you something to laugh about later when you get home..or it could make a great story at a dinner party (not that that should be your motivation!). Do it for you. Do it because you are on this earth, living and breathing..do it because you can. You don’t need a reason.
This quote from Steve Jobs says it all:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
So, get out there..try something new.Take that overseas trip you’ve been thinking about, talk to the stranger in the lift, tell someone how you really feel about them..risk it and pat yourself on the back every time you do (even if the results are disastrous). Don’t take life so seriously, keep that sense of humour. Life is all about trial and error not staying safe and wondering.