A wise man once said, “Opportunity does not come gift wrapped. You must take risks.” It is safe to say that life’s greatest lessons come when we shift our focus out of our comfort zone. We grow tremendously when we take the road less travelled, creating our own trail, making our own choices and freeing ourselves from the biggest question – “what if?” Playing it safe is imperative but it only gets you so far. However, change is scary and the fear of the unknown usually gets the best of us. Everyone likes feeling secure and in control of the direction of their life, and it often makes people uneasy to think about a future that is undefined. Our minds are wired to think of the worst- case scenarios. Not all risks guarantee success and the thought of rejection pushes people away from taking chances. Nonetheless, failure is an essential part of success. Contrary to the negative connotation attached to failure, it is often defeat and rock bottom that teach us the importance of resilience and never giving up. It forces us to re-evaluate our strategies, rewire our beliefs, rethink our goals and pull up our socks to try again. We only develop our full potential after facing difficulties and still persisting to reach the brighter side. Moreover, the lessons that failure teaches us are far more insightful than following a straight road to success, which in all probability is a myth. The path to success is not linear. Life is a process of continuous learning and failure is truly just an opportunity to grow. Almost all of us have a template of what we want our lives to look like – everything we want to achieve, to do, and to be. This could be anywhere from completing a degree and pursuing a dream career to changing the world. Regardless of what it entails, we all have a checklist of things we would like to accomplish before we die. However, in all likelihood, life gets in the way and numerous obstacles arise that push you further away from your ideal reality. This is exactly when it is important to remember that dreams do not fall into your lap. Life is an endless cycle of pursuing them and working hard until they come into existence, despite countless setbacks and failures. It is imperative to become comfortable with the fact that you may not be able to see reasons for your struggles now but what is meant for you will not pass you by.
Risk- taking is also essential to find our path and develop ourselves. A large part of who we become comes from understanding who we don’t want to be. By opening our lives up to new opportunities and experiences we will be delving into a journey to not only understand what works for us but also the things that don’t align to our principles or resources. While this will be beneficial to know ourselves better, find meaning and maximize our potential it will also be instrumental in comprehending the fact that all of us have a unique mission. Our journey of success does not have to look like anyone else’s for it to be validated, and we all have a very distinct route to take. This will reduce the pressure of social comparison and the false idea that you will succeed only if you do what someone else has done. We get only one shot at life, so we might as well live it in a way we enjoy, cherish and make our own rather than trying to follow others’ footsteps. Before any great thing happened to you, you could barely even imagine its existence.
Many of the right set of circumstances come out of nowhere, from places we did not even believe possible. Another advantage of taking chances is that it will open doors for opportunities that you cannot even comprehend in the present moment. With greater exposure and fresher prospects, believing that your miracle is right around the corner and all you have to do is take a leap of faith which can be a very rewarding experience. Even if you miss it, you can get wise to the fact that trying has got you further ahead than remaining stagnant and not progressing at all. Ultimately, the foundations of success are only laid when you become comfortable with risk- taking. Our past experiences with taking risks are what determine how likely we are to undertake more of them in the future. If our risks pay off and work to our advantage, we are more likely to favour risks in the future, as compared to when it does not benefit us. This is crucial to understand because you cannot become comfortable with taking risks overnight. Once you start taking smaller well- informed risks in daily life, it will create a positive pattern and motivate you to take chances on larger, more significant things to achieve your greatest goals. Take every risk and drop every fear because we only regret the chances we don’t take. If you win you will be happy, and if you lose you will be wise. Either way, it’s a win-win, so what are you waiting for?