Risk is scary. No, actually it is terrifying. For example, writing blog posts is risky. Will the post speak to people? Will it be helpful? Will anyone read it? Well, what is the worse thing that could happen?
I don’t know about you, but even the word “risk” elevates my anxiety. The word ‘risk,’ unassociated with any action, elevates my heart rate and leads me to take shallow breaths. Risk is terrifying.
Merriam-Webster defines risk as “the possibility of loss or injury.” No one wants to lose things or get injured. Loss and injury hurt. So it makes sense that I have a tendency to avoid risks.
But here is the thing I am slowly learning, there is another side to risk that is not often discussed - the possibility of gain.
What if, on the other side of risk is not only the possibility for loss, but the possibility of gain?
It is definitely a different way of thinking and for me, brings forth a level of excitement. But excitement and anxiety feel similarly in my body, so even thinking about the possibility of gain my breath is still shallow, and my heart is beating fast. Even though my body is reacting similarly, thinking about the possible gains of risk makes risk a little less terrifying, and even the tiniest bit more palatable. It makes the things that I want in life seem possible, and I don't know about you, but I could always use a little more hope.
It is not my default to consider that risk can result in gain. My default is to believe that risk will result in loss. I am so focused on the potential hurt, and avoiding potential hurt that I have missed out on opportunities. And as I walk into my current stage of life, I am longing for opportunities - opportunities to create the life I want. And that is going to involve risk. This might very well come with loss, or even a lot of loss, but, it also might come with gain, or even a lot of gain. No one can predict the amount of loss or gain - you, and I, just have to jump.
"What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”