Most of us stand to benefit from taking more risks. If we never step outside of our comfort zones, we’re likely to spend an eternity at the same level, wondering why our lives aren’t more interesting. Looking to step up your game? Forego foolish risks for ones that will serve you both on and off the job.
Watch and learn. Inspiration can come from anyone, anywhere — a celebrity, a historical figure, a senior colleague, a parent, or a friend. Find someone you admire or hope to emulate, and strive to understand what actions put that person on the path to your version of success. If they can get there, you can, too.
Say it out loud. You can’t expect others to read your mind. If you want a promotion or a raise, ask for it! Taking action on your own behalf can increase your self-esteem, and the worst thing you’ll hear is a “no.” You can’t lose what you don’t have, so don’t be afraid of going after what you want.
Talk to strangers. Even social butterflies occasionally feel intimidated when meeting new people. The best way to overcome “stranger danger” is to practice. Join a networking group, or strike up a conversation while standing in line for your morning coffee. The more people you meet, the easier introductions will become — and you just might make a useful contact (or a new friend!) along the way.
Forge ahead solo. We all come up against critics and naysayers. Occasionally, even people who have our best interests at heart – such as friends, family members, and significant others – can dissuade us from pursuing our passions. Try to separate your desires from the opinions of others. How you feel about yourself is what counts.
Do the unexpected. Have you ever considered bungee jumping? What about trapeze? Dare yourself to accomplish an adventuresome feat, and set a time limit to make good on your plans. You’ll get a jolt of confidence for having pushed yourself, which will carry over into other areas of your life.
Get going, already! Every moment you spend waffling causes your excitement about an undertaking to wane. When you hit on a winning idea, just go for it! You’ll bypass the paralyzing trap of self-doubt, and you’re more likely to achieve success when motivation is at its peak. Make your goals big and bold — don’t be satisfied with “okay” when you can aim for “extraordinary.” Now, what are you waiting for?
Keep a mantra in your back pocket to call on when you feel yourself playing it safe. Try one of these examples, or substitute your own.
- Be aware of your fear, but don’t let it stop you. Know that you can feel fear and still take action.
- What if this year were your last one on earth? Would you be doing what you’re doing right now? Don’t take anything for granted, and don’t assume that there will be time later to live the life of your dreams.
- If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.