Life is all about taking chances. You start when you’re very young, taking those first steps. You would still be crawling on your hands and knees if you didn’t take any chances. Luckily, you decided to take that risk. Even though you fell or stumbled, you kept going. Look at you now; will you continue to take a chance?
It can be difficult to take a chance. There is that fear, deep down inside, that you will fail. What if you can’t handle it? Well, let me suggest taking some advice, not just from this cookie, but also Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. The author and speaker said, “What if there is no such thing as failure?” He goes on to explain that failure is a judgment that humans place on a given action, and that instead of judgment, you should consider, “You cannot fail, you can only produce results.” After that, all you need to do is determine what to do with the results you produce.
This results-driven attitude can give you a new lease on life when it comes to taking chances. It takes that “Russian roulette” feeling out of risk taking and makes seem more like a roll of some dice. You see, chances should be more cause and effect, not do or die.
When to Take a Chance
You’re probably wondering whether you should take more chances in life. Well, unless you’re Bear Grylls, you’re probably playing it safe. So, here are some signs that show you should consider taking more chances:
- You find yourself saying, “I will be happy if I just ________.”
- You’ve used any of the following words or phrases when referring to yourself: “stuck,” “can’t,” “shouldn’t,” “should,” or “This is just how I am.”
- You’ve used any of the following words or phrases when referring to your situation: “wish,” “Yeah, but,” “benefits,” or “This is just how it is.”
- You envy YouTube stars.
- You envy your friends of Facebook.
- You envy your cat/dog.
- You sigh more than 10 times a day.
- You count how many times you sigh each day.
- You have a weekly menu for dinner, and it hasn’t changed for six months.
- You worry about upsetting your parents.
- You worry about upsetting your friends.
- You worry about upsetting your cat/dog.
- You look forward to getting mail…any mail, even junk mail.
- You answer the phone after the first ring, and everyone in the house is awake.
- You are more interested in your horoscope prediction for the day than the weather forecast.
- You envy the life of Sheriff Deputy Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead), because he has an active lifestyle.
Does this sound like you? If so, you might want to put your failure fears aside and consider getting some results.
Chances You Can Take
Now, taking chances doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in a life or death situation. You can take things simple, but not too simple. Some people think hitting the snooze button, and decreasing the amount of time they have to get ready in the morning, is enough risk for them. I suggest you take it up a notch, but slowly.
What are some chances you can take? Well, here are some suggestions:
- Take a class in a new subject.
- Get a different haircut/color.
- Listen to a different station on the radio.
- Introduce yourself to new people.
- Learn a new sport.
- Try a new food.
The list goes on, and you can take bigger chances as you get more comfortable with the little ones.
Not too long ago, I chose to try a new food. This is where I love to take chances. In fact, I will try any food at least once. On this occasion, my son and I were eating some sushi. I’m sure to some; eating sushi is taking a chance in itself, but not for me. I love all of the variety, and unique dishes. We went to one of our favorite restaurants and ordered Uni (Sea Urchin) for the first time. I figured it’s a good establishment, the fish was fresh, and I had a full glass of water, in case I needed to wash the taste away.
The dish arrived with two seaweed wrapped dollops of squishy, orange goop. I put the appearance aside, picked it up, and took a quick sniff. There was no smell, so I raised it in a toast and popped it into my mouth. What transpired was not failure, but results—results that tasted like a never-ending combination of shoe leather and crayons. No amount of water was able to rid my mouth of the flavor, and I quickly put Uni at the top of my list of foods that I didn’t like. For the rest of the day, I had the misfortune of reliving the experience every time I burped. Oh, and my son didn’t like it either.
I hypothesize that those who like Uni directly correlates to those who cannot taste the bitter compound phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), on those tiny strips of paper in Biology class. I haven’t done any scientific studies on this, but that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. If there are any science majors out there, looking for a good research topic, you’re welcome to this one. I just suggest you exclude yourself from the experimental test subjects.
How to Take a Chance
When it comes to taking chances, there are a few things to consider. The first is risk assessment. Any financial consultant worth their salt will tell that you always need to consider the risks. You don’t want to be too reckless, and knowing the possible outcomes can reduce the chances of unfavorable results.
Secondly, you need to put failure aside. I know I mentioned it before, but I feel it is important enough to state it again. There is no failure, only results. Trust me; you won’t disappoint your cat.
You also need to get out of your comfort zone. There may be some anxiety from trying something new, but you need to learn to feel more comfortable with uncertainty. Consider your new situation as an adventure. If you always play it safe, you will never experience all that life has to offer, and you deserve all of the wonders of the world. Which leads me to my next point, self-affirmation.
The best way to rid yourself of anxiety is to affirm that you can do it and that you are worth it. If the Little Engine can, than so can you. Oh, and don’t forget to praise yourself along the way. Every step you take in taking a chance is a step forward.
Lastly, you want to trust your instincts. Everyone has gut feelings; you just need to listen to them. You can’t approach every situation rationally, even after researching all your information. If you have some unexplained good or bad feeling about a situation that feels like a sense of “intuition” then listen to it. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
If you think you’re still not comfortable with taking chances, then you might want to remember that not taking risks is also a risk. You make a choice when an opportunity comes along. If you look at an opportunity and think, “next time” or “later,” consider this: do it now. Sometimes “later” becomes “never.” Sure, taking a chance can be scary, but do you know what’s even scarier? Regret.