Growing up I was taught to be law fearing and to do right by others, to stay safe and not to take risks.
However I was also taught to live life to the fullest, recognise life is short and that stocks and shares can be fruitful.
What on earth am I talking about this week?
What is a risk?
- a situation involving exposure to danger.
- possibility, chance, probability, likelihood, threat, fear, prospect
- expose (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.
- endanger, put at risk, take a chance with, put in jeopardy, hazard, gamble, bet, wager, chance, venture
The risk I am talking about is not the kind of risk that gets you arrested or harmed. See the definitions of risk taken from the internet defining the meaning of risk and the bold italic words could mean something quite different to the ones in normal text.
So What Do I Mean Exactly?
Think about a time when you took a risk…
…often we end up thinking of our childhood, when we had no fear and we maybe sped downhill on our trike, with the wind in our faces and squealing away blissfully unaware of the hazardous traffic flying past the bottom of the hill. How did that feel?
Now try to remember the feeling of a risk you took that also had the feeling of fear attached to it…
…this is more likely to be when you were older and wiser like a roller coaster ride. When you knew that getting on that ride would deliberately increase fear in you due to the movements, the heights and the speed. How did that feel?
Taking Risks Can Feel Scary AND Fantastically Stimulating
With the arrival of 2019 we generally start to (or at least hopefully) ask ourselves questions about where our life is going having maybe reflected upon 2018, right!?
This is a healthy process of understanding our goals, how far away we are from them, how much closer we are to them than we were and maybe we can then analyse the gap between here and now and that end goal.
It’s like what we do with our clients programming. They seek our help in achieving a goal, we ask questions and assess their body, mental state, general lifestyle etc and calculate those SMART goals to help them understand the gap. We do a gap analysis.
Well this can also be applied to our life goals, desires and those big dreams. Without taking risks I know I certainly would not be where I am right now. Yet we get so comfortable and lost in our day to day, million miles an hour lifestyles that we can forget about throwing off our clothes and dancing in the rain like no one is watching (hopefully they weren’t anyway!!)
Without risks are we really being true to ourselves?
Ok I guess some people are happy to ‘go with the flow’ but I KNOW many of us have dreams of a different life, one with more TIME, less rushing around, less stress, maybe less work, more freedom, better health and certainly more sleep – am I right?
So How Does All Of This Relate To Taking Risks?
Well look risks don’t always have to be HIGH risk kinda risks. But the higher the risk usually means the bigger the return (particularly if you have ever studied the stocks and shares?)
Let me try to give you some examples of risks I have taken that I didn’t KNOW would work out, some that didn’t work out and what they meant to me.
Bike Ride Disaster – yes that was me aged 11yrs flying down the hill on my bike. I flew splayed across the centre of the road with my mates and siblings shouting and running towards me. Much worse than the near death and bloody cuts over my body…I had torn my best khaki dungarees! To this day I adore feeling the wind in my face.
Horse Riding Disaster – aged 14yrs my first experience of riding a horse resulted my being bucked off the back and feeling the draft of 2 hooves (almost in slow motion as I recall) skim upwards inches from my face. I did NOT get back on and have since never felt the urge to either.
Travelling & Working Abroad – aged 21yrs I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and had felt for much of my youth pretty unintelligent, useless and uninspired. I was in fact going down a pretty
damaging route that involved me seeking fun in ways that my parents would not have been proud.
Then in 1991 I got a phone call that required me responding with a decision that either I wanted to take a big risk or simply stay in this drudgery of low self esteem and confidence. With my parents encouragement I took the leap and went away for 3 months to work a cabaret dancer in Greece. This risk was profound in changing my entire outlook, perception of what I was capable of and self esteem. So much so I came home some 6 years later having travelled to live and work in Tokyo and Hong Kong too.
Buying A House – returning from my travels I had saved enough for a deposit for a house (back then £8k was enough and my house was only £50k!!). Once again this was a huge risk and commitment for me in terms of settling down with a huge investment and promise to me mortgage lender that I would pay them each month. Doing this alone felt far more risky than I imagined it would be with a partner also contributing 50% of the promise and funds.
Joining Martin – in 2006 one my gyms members approached me to help him develop some education from the 25yrs of research he had done. I took a risk and said “yeah, sure”…totally unaware at the time how much this gamble would pay off. Honestly I had no idea what he was talking about in the beginning, I just turned up, took part in the bits I understood and found myself investing a lot of time into learning more to uphold this man’s perception of what he seemed to think I was capable of…which was waaaaaaaay beyond what I believed I was capable of.
Choosing To Close A Company – this was probably the single hardest risk decision I have had to make in my entire life. It tested my character and belief in doing the right thing. The decision to take this risk of closing a company we had committed blood, sweat and tears to for 7 years meant I was choosing to potentially lose everything I owned. The home I had taken a risk to buy and the job I had joined Martin to do that I loved. However the risk meant I maintained my integrity for any future relations I had in the industry.
This was also one of the best decisions I have ever made for all it taught me.
Choosing To Set Up Biomechanics Education – this decision was also a huge risk. It took me several weeks to make but in my gut I knew I didn’t want to do anything else AND I also knew I had learnt some big valuable lessons from the previous business closure.
You never fail unless you give up.
Investing Into The Biomechanics Education Academy – Last month this opportunity appeared and once I had seen the venue, I knew there was no option but to take the risk.
For the life of my work in intrinsic biomechanics I have dreamed of a venue. Over the last 9 years I have probably looked at around 12 different locations, none of which were appropriate for one reason or another.
Then a brand new gym opened in my village literally 5 minutes walk from my house. A gym exactly like one I would choose to train in. The owner, Matt, is also a super nice guy who took a risk in setting up a gym in a small village with 2 other gyms.
He invited me to join his vision and so the Biomechanics Education Academy was born!
What’s The Point?
Behind the risk taking is passion, dreams and drive. Yes there is fear and anxiety at times to but this risk taking always brings me back to what is my life about?
The fear I feel when things don’t go to plan or I take another risk drives me to improve all I do. I also remind myself of what my mum used to say to the painfully shy, low self esteemed little girl I used to be, as I was about to go onto the dance floor for a dancing competition….
”What’s the worst that can happen..? Just smile and enjoy yourself”
This has stayed with me and comes to mind each time I chose to gamble. I have got comfortable with losing everything because when I was living off cheap food and no luxuries to keep my house, I realised my quality of life did not change. I actually became extremely productive, inventive and imaginative.
The worst times gave me access to the best times and some self exploration of my capacity for enduring certain eventualities.
So this xmas why not consider taking some risks in 2019?
….I certainly am!
What You Can Do To Set Yourself Up For Success In 2019?
Ok grab a pen and paper, you could open a word document or open your phone to ‘notes’ but I am a big believer in the act of physically writing this kind of thing down. In fact grab your moleskine notebook!
First write down what you feel you did really well in 2018, the successes you experienced and where you felt you achieved things planned or unplanned.
It’s important we acknowledge success and I learnt this when I was setting up Biomechanics Education in 2014 because I wrote down my goals in my moleskine goas book and added to it for months. Then work/life took over and my moleskine notebook was left aside.
When I came across it in 2016 having felt I needed to make some goals again, I read back and was surprised to see I had in fact achieved everything I had written down. I would not have been able to acknowledge that had I not written the goals down so precisely. It gave me a HUGE sense of success at a time when my confidence had dropped again and I felt things weren’t going as I had hoped. This massively boosted my drive and confidence to do the same again.
Had I not written those precise goals down I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy the successes that had occured!
Now write down short, medium and long term goals with dates, deadlines and absolute clarity.
This doesn’t need to only relate to work, it could be taking risks like last minute travel, turning up on a long lost persons door step, investing in something, approaching someone or a company to make an offer or ask for their support, changing from the office desk job to your dream job of being a self employed manual therapist. You might even choose to buy some stocks and shares!
Convert each of the goals into a list of jobs with deadlines that would enable you to take the leap.
Add these deadlines to your calendar and then be committed!
HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE!
Happy Holidays Juicefans!
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