Positive Risk-taking: A Branch of Mental Fitness
“If you risk nothing,
then you risk everything.”
- Geena Davis
Like a fledgling learning to fly from its nest, the positive risk of taking the plunge makes all the difference in its ability to live its potential and socialize with its kind. And unlike negative risk-taking, the risk is not dangerous or antisocial, for birds are meant to fly...just like YOU are meant to enjoy living!
If you've ever started a new career, planned a big event, tried new recipes, competed in sports, or spoken in public, then you've taken risks...positive risks. You've stepped out of your comfort zone to try something new or challenging, and the potential benefits are strong.
I'm sure that not all these risks turned out like you hoped, and future risks will not necessarily produce what you expect; BUT there are always lessons learned that will help you grow no matter the outcome.
Sometimes, though, our mental roadblocks keep us from taking risks that we know we should. Mental resistance comes in many forms: fear of failure, discomfort, social pressure, and the unknown. These are all common reasons that make many people avoid the things needed to grow, learn, and better themselves. This makes it even more important to provide more encouragement toward taking positive risks.
So, what is it and why should you try positive risk-taking?
Positive risk-taking is about learning new things and exploring unfamiliar territory. The risk is positive because, while it still evokes a feeling of uncertainty or fear, you develop a new skill or there’s a possibility of a positive outcome.
Positive risk-taking is identifying behaviors that can lead to opportunities, growth, and benefits to your life.
Risk-taking not only exposes you to dozens of positive outcomes you never would have experienced before, but it also boosts your confidence and helps you let go of the fear of failing.
Plus, the more you take risks, the more confident you'll be to conquer more in your life!
Some of you may be struggling with a decision to do something different, to make a change in order to improve your life. Perhaps it's regarding a job, a relationship, your physical or mental health, or an unhappy situation. So, what is this big change you need to make? What's the one thing you can do that will benefit you and others more than anything else?
Here are some tips to help you break though your mental roadblock to taking this positive risk.
How to Break Through your Mental Roadblock.
First, look at the long-term consequences of the risk you are considering. What will you gain (opportunities, growth, benefits) or lose from each action or lack of action? Compare the potential positive outcomes with the negative ones. Write them down so you can review them and even talk them over with others.
Then, take a look at the short-term consequences for yourself and others. You may have mild discomforts such as anxiety or butterflies in your stomach...or maybe even some limited pain, say, if you are lifting weights for the first time, need surgery, or need to take a shot at the doctor's office. You may need temporary help from others or an adjustment in their routine and daily activities. Reinforce the idea that these are temporary hurdles and that the long-term benefits outweigh them.
Next, consider what others will gain from your actions. Will your new actions help build or maintain positive relationships or help others around you? If so, then the risk goes beyond just yourself...it becomes a selfless act with potential to benefit many others.
Finally, consider the failure...for, there is wisdom in failure! Think through the possibility that things may not go like you want or expect. Yet, still be comforted to know that you (and others) will grow and learn in some way from the experience.
When the risk you are considering provides positive, meaningful long-term consequences to yourself and others, and you can push through temporary discomforts and be open and accepting to potential failure, then you have just busted through your mental roadblock.
It's time to take action.
P.S. It makes me happy to see so many people come to our gym to make big changes in their health and fitness. That's a BIG RISK! But so is taking no action at all and staying the same in a not-so-healthy body and lifestyle. Congratulations on starting, restarting, or continuing your fitness journey!