Without risk you cannot grow. That statement provokes so many thoughts in my mind. Many people tend to act in the least risky way possible, but are they just taking a variation of a risk? Other people believe that there is no reward without risk, but is this mindset just a justification for making risky decisions?
When I think of risk, I automatically think of something that is scary, that I have something to lose and that it’s generally best to stay away from it. However, I wonder what has been lost because of this thinking? Also, is there anything truly to lose from risk because regardless of what decisions are made, you’re inevitably going to learn something from it, right? At least that’s what most of us would hope.
Whenever we are faced with making an important decision, the risks of that decision should be weighed out by asking certain questions like what is gained by taking the risk. What is gained by not taking the risk? What are the consequences by making each side of the decision? What is the end goal and does the risk really accomplish this goal? Will the risk result in a growth experience?
Weighing out the pros and cons of taking a certain risk can also become troublesome because it is often difficult to really know what the consequences of the risk will be. For example, if a couple is making the decision on whether or not to have children, the pros and cons are difficult to weigh because there are so many unknown factors. It would be hard to really say how having children will affect your life until you’ve had children. It would be even harder to know how not having children will affect your life because the repercussions can be so vast. The couple could choose to have children and end up having a multiple birth, which was more than they could handle. The couple that chooses to not have children could feel a great loss because of it. Or they won’t and there in lies the risk.
I’m learning more and more to take risks as I’ve gotten older, which seems contradicting to society. I took risks when I was young that resulted in me being a young mother. Because of that experience I took fewer risks in the years that followed. The main risks I’ve avoided taking where those involving school or my career. I didn’t have a set plan on what I wanted to study in school or what career I wanted to have; I’ve felt that I have too many interests to pin down just one direction to go in.
Because of my fear of making a bad choice for my family, I didn’t make any choices. I continued working in a job that I didn’t love, but making a decent living for my family. I did that for years until I was shaken to my core by my husband leaving me. As many people do, the divorce propelled me into taking a risk I was avoiding because I no longer had a choice in the matter. I decided to go back to school and try for a better career.
That didn’t exactly work and I have been stuck in the same type of jobs that I had before, not making any more money. Because that risk didn’t result in exactly what I thought it should, I’ve decided to risk in another way. I’ve chosen to take the risk of doing what I’ve always wanted to do, which is become a yoga instructor. I have been so scared to take this path because I knew it would unravel feelings that I haven’t had in awhile or may not be ready to have yet. But, I haven’t been happy by not taking the risk, so now the risk becomes not following my dream.
The result of taking this risk so far has been positive. Even if I stopped at this point, which I won’t, I have already gained so much. I’ve found a better way to think and a better way to look at myself. I handle stress more easily, although I still have a long way to go.
I have come to the realization during this semester that it is true that without risks there is no growth. I have grown so much in the last four months and I am so grateful for this growth. I am going to continue taking risks because I want to continue to grow. I want my children to take risks so they grow. I want to continue to take risks so that I will continue to learn about myself.