The Secret to Confident Risk-Taking
Why We Need To Take That Shot
by Regina Chouza
In the mid nineties, a junior soccer team won every championship in the county for three straight years. It was not that the girls were the most talented or surefooted players. Their dexterity was no better than the average thirteen year old. Rather, their coach insisted they take every opportunity to shoot on the goal. Seven failed attempts and two goals were better than two failed attempts and no scores, he told them time and again.
While the stakes in a childhood soccer game may appear to be much smaller than risks taken later in life, the principle still applies. If we wait for that perfect shot we may never score a goal. For a writer this could mean sending out a dozen manuscripts until they get feedback that points them in the right direction. For a career executive, it might mean changing directions after more than two decades in the same company. There comes a time when we need to follow our passions; otherwise we risk looking back on life and wondering if we sold ourselves short.
The following tips can help us take risks confidently and sensibly:
1) Trust Your Intuition
Kabbalah tells us that we each have two inner voices – not unlike the cartoons with the little angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other. One voice speaks of our fears, our insecurities and doubt. This is usually the louder of the two. The softer one comes from our soul and it tells us what we are capable, where we really belong and what can make us happy. This is the voice of our soul and it speaks through our intuition. The more we trust this voice, the louder it becomes.
2) Know Your Weaknesses
Keeping an eye on our weaknesses can also improve our chances of success. Instead of being blindsided, we can use that self-awareness to prepare for the task, seek out a coach or a mentor, and minimize the downside of the risk. Asking loved ones for constructive advice can also help us plan our next move. Some of our experience gaps will become apparent only after we have put our plans in motion and at that point, adapting is a key factor to our success.
For example, Sam graduated from school and took a finance job. A few years later it dawned on him that he really wanted his own business. So he left and opened a bakery, selling to customers and to chain stores. Baking was his strength but teamwork was not. Sam had quit the corporate world hoping to leave behind the apparent co-dependence of his team, only to realize that he couldn’t run a business on his own. He soon learned to value being part of a group and that allowed his bakery to thrive.
3) Dial Up Your Confidence Levels
The confidence we bring to situations largely determines how other people respond. Maybe we want to ask for a promotion but our new boss makes us nervous. Before going in to negotiate that new position we can practice a series of power poses, as outlined by social psychologist Amy Cuddy in her TedTalk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. These simple poses boost confidence levels on a hormonal level in less than two minutes. The following clip includes a summarized view of Cuddy’s findings.
Amy Cuddy: 30 Seconds on Power Poses
4) Commitment is King
While it is important to be realistic when setting goals for the future – and to stretch our goals with optimistic realism - once those goals are in place, we have to commit to them like crazy. Second-guessing our decisions will only take the wind out from beneath our wings. The tenacity, discipline and enthusiasm that we put into our lives will make a world of difference.
5) Ask for Help
At times, we may feel that we are in over our heads. Take a moment to breathe, reach for the phone and call a trusted friend or advisor. Ask for help, whether it’s babysitting the kids, sounding out an idea or a cheerleading session to lift your spirits again. Two minds think better than a tired or confused one.
While it can be daunting to take on new challenges, without them we risk staying in our comfort zone and eventually looking back on life, wondering how things might have turned out. It’s time we ask ourselves what we are afraid of, and what we stand to gain if we work our way past that fear.
Regina Chouza is an Energy Healer, Angel Intuitive and author of A Personal Guide to Self-Healing, Cancer & Love. At the moment, Regina is developing a healing technique that combines natal astrology, energy healing and a bit of crystal magick. Join her newsletter for updates, and to get her free ebook on Chakra Healing & Magick, due in June 2016:
*** Layout Note: If we include the clip on power poses, I would embed it between points 3 and 4 ***