Have you ever watched a show with this wild, risk-taking adventure guy, Bear Grylls?
He has a show on TV called, Running Wild with Bear Grylls. On this show he brings “pampered” celebrities into the wild for an overnight adventure. Their surroundings are certainly not pampered…this goes way beyond “roughing it”.
The particular episode I watched had actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. You might remember him from 3rd Rock from the Sun. He seemed pretty daring hanging from a helicopter until it came to climbing and repelling down some mountain faces. You could sense his hesitation, his fear. He said,
“All your instincts are saying, Don’t do this…Don’t go over the edge.”
He felt the fear and did it anyway. He had a look of determination and went over the edge.
Ok so it’s not every day that you or I will be in Kenya scaling mountains, facing our fears and taking a risk as he did.
But what if you weren’t afraid to go over the edge?
Can you name the times when you faced your fears and took a risk? When I look back on my life I saw very few instances, if any, where I took a risk. I get it now. I was afraid to make a mistake, fail, seem foolish, have people say, “I told you so”.
When you peel back the layers you discover what lies beneath the fear.
You'll find self-doubt, lack of belief in yourself, and an unwillingness to trust yourself. You end up going round and round and repeating the same patterns living in that comfort zone. Even if that comfort zone makes you miserable.
What I realize now is that my aversion to risk-taking and the unhealthy self-doubt was based on a lack of direction and purpose for my life. I was always waiting for my life to get started. “When this or that happens, then I’ll be happy.” With all that waiting, life became something I got through. It was not living.
I started to trust myself to “go over the edge”.
My desire to have a fulfilling life, far outweighed the risks. I began to trust that even if I made a mistake (and I did), I would survive. I would get to know my true self, grow, and live a life that brought meaning and happiness. I wouldn’t be writing to you right now if I had played it safe!
Trusting yourself to take a risk so that you can live a life on purpose allows the space for courage, faith, trust and embracing change.
What’s one thing that scares you? What if you took the risk so you could feel freedom? Go ahead and go over the edge! I'll see you over there.