Are you a risk taker or would you consider yourself ‘risk adverse’?
Do you love stepping out and taking risks? Or do you think the idea of this is ‘crazy’ and ‘why would anyone think of this as fun?’
The reality is that all of us take risks in some areas and have other areas where we would not even think about it. In the places where we are practiced at taking risks and continue to do so, others often look on and think we are incredibly brave. Yet even whilst being considered brave by many, there will be other areas where we cower at the very thought of taking a risk.
Risk can look like changes in our career, setting up a new venture, moving job or location, starting a new relationship, training in a new skill and the list goes on.
Although there is no rule saying that we need to be risk takers in everything, it is necessary to take risks in order for us to reach our full potential. Being ready to do this and developing your own personal strategy to make this process easier, is super helpful. It helps you towards living in the fullness of your calling and destiny.
Fullness of destiny = risk taking!
Having coached many different people for years, I enjoy coaching people through the process of having to embrace change. I love helping them to learn to take risks and grow their faith to the next level. We can tend to put ourselves in a restrictive ‘category’, to box ourselves into thinking we are only capable of expressing our bravery in certain ways. This results in us missing the opportunity to grow and reach our potential because of the fear of changing things that seem risky.
I’ve had to work with many people to help them gain the courage, the conviction and the belief to step into things that feel scary and risky. The results of stepping into these things are that people end up walking into more of the fullness of what God has created for them. This is an incredible outcome. Those that find the courage are rewarded with feeling aligned and fulfilled and having an exciting purpose. And of course, I have had to work on myself in all of this too!
None of us are immune to fear of stepping into something that carries risk, something that will change the status quo, something that carries a very real chance of ‘failure’, of not working out.
The problem I find in coaching many people is firstly, we tend to consider that once our lives are settled and comfortable and everything is working well, we no longer ‘have to’ or ‘should’ take risks anymore.
This is evident in the way we sometimes counsel and advise people with big, potentially risky ideas and dreams. As parents, as friends, as pastors sometimes we encourage people to not ‘rock the boat’ or ‘to get all their ducks in a row’, before taking any risky decisions. We sometimes warn people to not expect that it will work out or to not put all their hopes in something that is not a ‘sure thing.’
The underlying message we are giving out here is, ‘don’t take a risk, doing something that is not guaranteed is foolishness.’
I remember being against this mindset myself when leaving my corporate career to become a coach. Many could not understand why I would give up ‘success’, a good salary, favor and recognition, to go into a completely unproven field for me.
Many of my clients come up against this same resistance, when they are contemplating a big change. Family and friends advise them against it, as it is ‘risky’. The underlying mindset that is in our culture and purveyed by those around us, is that risks are stupid and unnecessary. I remember people, in a loving way saying to me, ‘you’re crazy!’ So really what they were saying is that I’m crazy to step into doing something that brings me alive, uses my strengths and gifting and changes the world in an incredible way that makes me happy!
How useful is this to us when we are created to dream big dreams, and to change the world bringing God’s glory into whichever sphere he has called us to?
This attitude towards risk taking affects people, in having a dream in the first place, but also in giving up on that dream too quickly when things don’t work out. As soon as something does not go right, it can feel like circumstances are confirming all those voices that warned you about doing this.
This is not helpful when you need encouragement and support to live out the bigness of the call that God has on you. Most people I coach get more discouragement towards their vision than encouragement. So, one area that ends up being super important in the coaching is for them to change up the script of those voices in their lives. This often means stopping talking about their venture with certain people and finding new friends that will be avid supporters. We cannot do big things alone we need community!
I thank God that I am blessed with a community of fellow coaches that are all avid supporters and encouragers!
Personally, I love to stretch myself, to grow, to increase my capacity and my skills. I love change.
A lot of people would consider me a risk taker and yet I find myself again and again coming up against areas where I don’t want to take a chance.
It’s the same for each of us, there are some areas where we feel confident to take risks and other areas in our lives where we act more cautiously and can become risk adverse. None of us are immune to becoming risk adverse and therefore ruled by fear.
Here’s a quick check to monitor how well you are living your life right in the fullness of who you were created to be, without fear.
Answer this one question.
What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail, if you had no fear if there was no risk?
For me – I would do exactly what I am doing now. Not one thing would change.
Can you say this?
If you can’t, you are allowing fear to stop you stepping into your fullness.
The reality is you don’t need to be held back.
God has not created us to have a spirit of fear. If you crave being released in some way you can be.
Read the next article (coming soon) for a coaching exercise to help you step away from fear and find your internal warrior:
Finding your internal warrior and stepping into the fullness