How often in your life has an opportunity crossed your path that had the potential to change your life? Did you jump at the chance and see where it took you or did you shy away?
Recently I was watching a show and one of the characters asked if the other had ever thought of leaving their tiny town. He responded that it was safer to stay in the place he knew then venture into the unknown. How often have you found yourself held back because venturing forward would put you into unknown territory? So often we don’t venture too far from what we are used to unless we are forced. We may also venture out if the pain and discomfort of the known is unbearable and we have the impression that the unknown could not possibly be worse. Neither of these scenarios starts off a new stage in our lives on a very positive foot.
It is normal to be resistant to change. So far, we have been surviving doing what we are doing. We know what to expect and who to expect it from. So why try it? Well, think of this. Think of your favourite dish or drink. How much you enjoy it and savour it? Now think about the time just before you tried it and someone offered or suggested it to you. In that time before did you know what you were missing? No. After you have enjoyed it can you imagine not being able to enjoy it again? I am sure you don’t want to imagine that. Before we experience something, of course, we don’t know what we are missing. Afterwards, we have always gained something. It can be the knowledge that, yes I tried it and I will tell that story to the end of my days, or that you have added something new to your life that brings joy and has expanded your horizons. It could also be both!
Now, this goes well beyond food and drink. This applies to anything in our lives. I remember a new director coming into one of places I worked, and he asked why we did something, and our answer was because we have always done it that way. He would then challenge us to find some other ways to do it. This was to flip us out of our comfortable boxes that we found ourselves in. It challenged the ways we were doing things. That didn’t mean that we scrapped everything and went with something new for the sake of doing something new. What it did do was allow us to expand our thinking and the way we saw the world. From there we could see where we could add or change things to provide more to our staff, volunteers and clients.
Our personal lives need this too. When we Take a Chance, we are opening to new possibilities. Yes, when we do this it brings on disruption and the need for adjustment, but what is gained? You gain a new experience that expands your thinking and who you are. It gives you a new perspective that may be beneficial in solving old problems. It allows you to challenge some of your deep-held beliefs and thereby start testing those other beliefs that still exist. It can give you the wiggle room to move closer to who you want to be and where you want to go in life.
One of my strongest experiences in this was a trip to Costa Rica. There were so many chances that I took on that trip and literally took a leap forward for myself. I had always told myself that I was afraid of heights and that any sport or activity that involved heights was a hard stop – NO GO – for me. I was on a business development retreat and our coach created an activity day that would challenge each one of us in some way. As coaches, we challenge our clients to move figuratively into scary territory, so this was a way to experience this literally. The activity was Ziplining over the tops of the rainforest. It wasn’t just one run; it was 7 runs that equated to several kilometres. I must tell you the first run was a blur. I was terrified! I was quickly attached to the second run before I could protest. By the fourth run, I had the courage to be present and really take in the view of the valley and the rainforest below. It was magical! I would have never seen the volcano from that vantage point, and it was like I was flying over the treetops! What I have now is the confidence to challenge those things I tell myself and try something new when the opportunity comes available to me. I also know that I will always come away with something amazing even if it is something I choose to never do again. Now, will I Zipline again? Yeah sure! Will I be scared? Yep!
So how do you know when something is worth taking the chance on? The guidance I was given requires answering two questions. Does it excite you or pique your interest? Does it scare you? If you say yes to both then it is most likely something that will have a lasting impact on your life if you choose to do it.
If you would like to have help to take a chance on any area of your life contact me for a Free Strategy Session to discuss how we can work together.