Today, I want to share some thoughts on risk-taking. This is the last “official” installment of my deep dive into the GLOW Method and its principles, but certainly not the least of the lessons.
Risk-taking is something we all do every day whether we acknowledge it or not. Saying I love you is a risk. Getting in a car and driving on the freeway is a risk. Raising your hand in a meeting is a risk. So, we all do it, but we all also have our own upper limit when it comes to risk-taking.
Think about it: Are you willing to look silly in front of your family, but not your colleagues? Are you willing to speak up when you know you’re right, but not if you’re unsure? Are you great at risk-taking in your professional life, but not so much in your personal life?
Most of us all have some metaphorical line we aren’t willing to cross because “that” risk seems too, well, risky.
Drill down into your reluctance to take a risk and you will find one root - fear.
Now, some fear is absolutely warranted and should not be ignored. I mean, free swimming with great whites just isn’t advisable. But usually, the fear is not of imminent death, but of something else.
There’s nothing wrong with letting fear hold you back if you have no interest in going anywhere. If you are content with your life just as it as and don’t feel the need to do anything outside your comfort zone, then good on you. Most of the women I talk with, however, do want change in some area of their life - more time, less worry, better health, etc.
One of the fundamental mindset shifts to creating change is to act With Love, not fear.
What Does Act “With Love” Really Mean?
There are basically two categories of thoughts: those that spring from love and those that spring from fear. There’s a lot of evolutionary reasons why we tend towards fear-based thoughts, but I’ll leave that for another day.
Here’s a brief description of each:
Thoughts rooted in love are expansive, see abundance, compassionate, allowing, open, kind and full of possibility.
Thoughts rooted in fear are constricting, see scarcity, critical, judgmental, closed, unkind with limits on possibility.
You can feel the difference just reading the words, can’t you?
How Does This Work?
Our results begin with our thoughts. Put another way, what we think impacts what action we take, which affects our results. Thoughts >> Action >> Results.
If I think that I can do anything I set my mind to, then I’ll try to get a new executive position. If I think that I’m not ready and that others don’t see me as “executive” material then I probably won’t.
Here’s another one. If I trust that I have all that I need, then I won’t hesitate to donate money or goods to someone in need. If I’m worried that I don’t have enough for myself, then I probably won’t.
Our thoughts impact our results.
So, if we’re constantly letting fear-based thoughts run the show, then we are unlikely to reach our goals if those goals fall on the other side of our risk-tolerance line.
How to Change From Fear to Love
- Identify something you want or want to change.
- Free-write all the reasons you can’t or won’t pursue it.
- Circle every thought that is based in fear. There’s probably more than one :)
- Pick the fear-based thought that has the strongest hold on you, that feels like the best reason not to try/start.
- Write down that fear-based thought on a new sheet of paper on the left side. Drawn a vertical line down the middle of the paper. On the right side, brainstorm all the ways you could flip that thought to one that’s based in love. Reference the descriptions of love and fear above if necessary.
- Circle the love-based thought that feels most believable to you.
- Now, imagine what you might do if you believed the love-based thought. What first step could you take? What might you stop doing or do differently?
- Commit to one small action that feels absolutely doable then do it. When you’re done, pick the next smallest step and so on.
- Keep your sheet of paper with you to reference when you feel the old fear-based thought creeping in and feel free to repeat this exercise with as many of your fear-based thoughts as you want.
Back to Risk-Taking
Risk-taking isn’t easy by nature, but it gets easier the more you do it. Risk tolerance is like a muscle that gets stronger with use, so start pumping some risky iron! That will be easier to do if you think with love, not fear.
At a minimum, just begin to notice which thoughts running through your head are based in love and which are based in fear. When all else fails, here’s how you know if a thought is based in love or fear. Love feels like freedom and fear feels like confinement.
Freedom . . . all the yes.
Have a beautiful week,