Today I checked a considerable item off of my perpetual to do list. It would have been easy to say no, I’ll do it next time, or why not wait until the new year when things quiet down? I could have worried (as I’ve done before) about it being perfect, about what people might think and whether or not they would even pay attention. It is easy to reach a point in your planning and list making where you realize that nothing has led to action - and that is a dangerous place to be. So, I saddled up, hit record and finished my first-ever Facebook Live for Klas squared and boy, did it feel good.
I was reminded this week of the power of risk taking: its ability to help you discover who you are and who you want to be - something that is central to my mission as a blogger, influencer and partner at Klas squared. I was in the middle of a discussion about career development when the idea of feeling “stuck” surfaced. A feeling all too familiar to many, it really made me think about what being stuck meant and how it had fueled much of my personal development. Too often we see stories that begin with “I quit my job and…” that tell tales of overnight success and instant gratification. Though I’m a firm believer in pursuing your passion and entrepreneurship, I don’t think that it’s every person’s answer to getting “unstuck”. Is it possible that it isn’t your job at all but rather something missing in your life that is causing you to feel this way? Many associate the notion of risk taking with financial risk but what if there was a way you could keep your financial stability while finding more meaning in your every day?
It was a few years ago that I learned to separate myself from my work, to understand my job didn’t define who I was. It began when someone asked “So, you’re not a dancer anymore?” In that moment I felt like I had somehow lost my identity having spent most of my life dancing, but it led to two revelations: 1) being a “dancer” will always be part of who I am and 2) it was time to find a new creative outlet. Though my job was challenging and my career continued to be a priority, I learned that it wasn’t enough. As a result, I started on a journey of risk taking that has empowered me to uncover new strengths, talents and interests, ultimately leading to a more fulfilled live. Or, in the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, I’ve found Big Magic in the world of creative living: “...the hunt to uncover those jewels… the universe buries deeps within us all”.
As we approach the end of the year, I can’t help but reflect on 2017 and the small wins that have led to my best year yet. They all began with an action that required overcoming fear, discomfort and vulnerability: I launched a new blog, joined forces with my mom’s jewelry brand Klas squared, attended networking events solo, asked for mentorship from women I admire, published my writing to public sites, and started my journey in public speaking. It takes courage to challenge yourself and take risks but it only helps you discover what you want in life to answer the million dollar question: “If money wasn’t a factor, what would you do?” I bet you wouldn’t feel stuck.
What's the biggest risk you've taken? Share it in the comments below!