On Risk-Taking

I have been taking some risks this week. I’m someone who likes to take risks because I can see that without risk-taking it is hard to grow. As an avid risk-taker, I’ve noticed that the more risks I take, the bigger risks I feel like I can take.

Are you afraid to take a risk? I get it. Every single time that I take a risk I feel scared. Even if I know that the risk is a relatively safe one. Some of the fears that come up within me include fear of failure, fear of incompetency, fear of ridicule/embarrassment, fear of financial loss, fear of making the wrong decision, etc. These fears cause me to spin, get paralyzed and not take action, and to return back to what feels “safe”.

The thing is, I get bored when I’m not setting goals and working toward them. How about you? Do you feel stuck in a boring life when there’s nothing you’re working toward? I am somewhat envious of people who are completely content in their simple lives. That’s just not me. I have worked on being content no matter what, but there is something inside of me that knows there is greater potential lurking around the next corner. I get big visions and know that the way to get there is to take incremental steps.

Do you want to take a risk but you’re so scared or you don’t know where to start? Let me take you through what I do to get there. First I get an idea. Let’s say I sense that the Lord has plans for me to be a book writer. I might fight it, cry in fear because I don’t know anything about that arena, or I might just ignore it for a long, long time. That, for me, is part of my process. There’s always an element of resistance. Then, I start talking about it a little bit with a few people and with God. I might journal about the idea. More than anything, I think about it an awful lot. Like, a lot.

Before I even started writing my first book (which no one will probably ever buy, but it was part of the process of improving as a writer and building my confidence that “I can do it!”), I thought about it for about three or four years.  In the mean time, I journaled every day and I did a lot of inner work. Then, one day, I was annoyed at clients at the fancy rehab I worked at and I just started writing about the difficult personalities and the drama that was happening all around me both with the staff and the clients. I intertwined my own recovery experience and trauma into a novel and it was incredibly cathartic. Then, I had a couple of people read it that I knew would only love on me. From there, I was able to take further risks.

After having my first daughter, I wrote chapters about being a new mom regularly during her nap time. I wrote the book I needed to read, as cliche as that sounds. Then, the following summer, with hands shaking, I posted chapter after chapter on a weekly basis. My friends followed along and I survived another risk, the risk of public humiliation. Worst-case senarios ensued as a friend called me out on including something private she shared. I learned a valuable lesson of always making sure you get someones approval before posting something they said.

Then, this year, I took another risk with writing and did my second nanowrimo which stands for national novel writing month. I wrote a self-help book for people addicted to porn and was vulnerable in a way that grew me. I took a risk then, and then five months later after accepting that I really, really hate editing, I took a financial risk and sent it to my friend Ali from high school who works in LA as a writer. Terrifying to have a professional writer read it and edit it, surrendering control of how it gets edited, and scared that now that I put money into it, I know there is another risk coming around trying to get it published. This is scary because…am I ready for the public to read these things I have written about my history? I don’t have to be ready right now, all I have to do is be willing to grow into becoming ready.

What do you know you should take a leap of faith on this week? My recommendation would be to either take one tiny little action, or pull the trigger on something you’ve been “procrastinating” doing (scared of). Acknowedge the stalling as fear. Ask God to remove the fear, or give you the courage to take action anyway. Remember 99 percent of the things we worry about don’t happen and the 1% grows us more than if we didn’t take the risk in the first place.

Another risk I took this week (it was a big risk taking week for me) was hiring another licensed clinician to come and work for me. I’m excited but also kinda scared. It’s a financial risk to get her started, and a business risk because the work that she does with clients will affect the brand of Agape. I know that God is bigger than it all though. I know we will both make mistakes and learn together, growing from the experience. Check out the “Meet the Therapists” page on agapechristiantherapy.com to read about Marianna! You’ll love her, I do! So take a risk this week, big or small. Im my experience, I’ve never regretted taking a risk, just regretted the time wasted living in fear and not taking action.

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