Have you ever wanted to do something exciting, but were too scared about taking risks to actually do it?
This year is a really exciting year for me. I’ll be finished my undergrad in about two or three weeks, and I’m just working this year. But the exciting part is that I’m working completely online. I’m a virtual assistant for my mom, actually, and I’ll be working 20 hours a week on this blog.
So although it’s all very invigorating, a lot of this year is going to involve taking risks to help this business grow. I could be working a full-time job in an office here in Ottawa, but I’m choosing to do this instead.
And although I couldn’t be happier with the decisions, it’s all kind of scary to have uncertainty about where I’ll be in two or three years.
But that doesn’t mean that making unconventional choices is bad. In fact, when you’re trying to succeed in anything, whether it’s relationships, school, or work, taking risks is a necessity for success. And here is why:
1. Taking risks forces you to get creative
If I were just to continue blogging as a hobby, there is no way that I would be able to make it grow. That’s because I wouldn’t have any reason to try new things–what I’m doing was working for me as a leisurely blogger. Now that I’m working online full-time, though, trying risky things is forcing me to step outside of my comfort zone. Most of what I’ve been doing is behind the scenes right now, but even starting my YouTube channel was a huge risk for me! Will I have enough time to juggle both YouTube and my blog? What if I’m no good at videos? These are all things that I’ve been debating as I started this huge step.
But deciding that I will take these risks has prompted me to find creative ways to manage the extra workload.
For my issue, working on juggling blogging and vlogging, the solution is mainly to make sure that my blog and my channel are compatible. So I can do a blog post on what my video is that week, or vice versa. That makes it much easier for me to continuously create content on both platforms. As well, I’ve got a lot of extra video material that I can put into my newsletters as a bit of a “sneak peek” to help spruce them up a bit. Taking risks that I deemed necessary for my business has helped me find creative ways to make my blog and my newsletters more helpful for you guys, while also expanding my blog’s potential!
2. Taking risks prompts change
It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut in life. We get used to the same routine and then wonder why we don’t see any growth. Trying new things forces you to change what you’re doing and get out of that rut.
When you take a risk, you have to reevaluate what you’re doing. You have to figure out how that new project or new goal fits in your current plan. And when you’re forced to actually look at what you’re doing, you’re able to change it for the better.
3. Taking risks helps you learn
If you never try anything new, how do you ever grow? By challenging yourself and stretching yourself you put yourself into a place where you’re open to learning new tips and tricks to help you maximize what you’re doing. If you take a risk in a relationship, you learn more about the person you’re with, and more about yourself. If you’re taking a risk in school, you’re going to learn more material and know what works and what doesn’t. If you’re taking a risk with work, you’re going to learn what was effective and what wasn’t.
No, not all of your risks are going to work out perfectly. Most of them are likely going to be flops. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t learn–without making any mistakes, you can never truly learn what works and what doesn’t. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes and get messy!
4. Taking risks reignites passion for what you do
When you get into a routine, it’s easy to become disillusioned. We get sick and tired of doing the same old thing every day. By trying new things and putting yourself out there, you break up that routine. Suddenly the job that you found so boring becomes exciting since you’re challenging yourself in a way you never have before. In school, risks help you actually have fun learning again, and to be truly engaged in the material.
Variety is the spice of life–when we open ourselves up to new ideas, even when they are risky, life becomes so much more enjoyable. You might even rekindle your passion for what you do!
5. Taking risks makes you utilize all your resources
When you’re trying something new, you have no idea what you’re doing. So you have to use every tool in your possession to tackle the problem. That problem-solving behaviour means that you have a chance to engage your knowledge, problem-solving skills, connections, and abilities to solve the problem in front of you.
I always find that when I try something risky on here it opens up tons of opportunities to connect with other bloggers. And that community is a valuable resource that I rarely have a chance to put to use. (So, bloggers who have been an encouragement to me, thank you!) As well, when I started YouTube I had to use my video editing skills for the first time in five years. Yikes. But it showed me that I have lots of people to ask for help (mainly my sister), and that I am capable of learning new skills pretty quickly. Stepping outside your comfort zone helps you see what tools you have at your disposal, and makes you use them so they don’t become rusty.
6. Taking risks opens you up to opportunities you wouldn’t have had otherwise
I get a lot of people e-mailing me questions about how to start a successful blog, or how to gain more readers. And often what I tell them is, “Stop playing it safe–write things that YOU would want to read, even if you didn’t know you personally.” But often taking creative risks can be scary, so we stick to the safe options instead. In school, taking risks can be terrifying if you’re trying to get that 4.0 GPA for grad school applications, but it has the potential to open doors that otherwise would have stayed shut. One of the professors I worked with in my undergrad liked me because I took risks with my assignments, and didn’t just choose the easiest route. I wouldn’t have had so much support from her if I had just been like everyone else.
Opportunities come when you let yourself stand out from the crowd. Unless you are willing to take a risk to make yourself noticeable, those opportunities may not come your way. So yes, it’s scary, but don’t let your fear of failure limit your opportunities.
7. Taking risks helps you grow as a person
Perhaps the most important point is that when you take risks you force yourself to adapt to new things. Taking risks like moving to a different city for a job or asking a professor to supervise you for school force you to adapt to the situation you are in. Yeah, it can be anxiety provoking. But by the end of it, you will have learned so much about yourself, and that is priceless.
You will never grow if you never need to grow. Taking chances is how you make that growth happen.
Today’s dare: Comment and tell me one risk you have taken in the last year and what you learned from it! Did it help you grow? Did you succeed? I want to know!
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