Take the Risk
So I recently did something slightly out of character and took a risk on something that had been tugging at me for a couple of months now. I won’t get into the details because that’s what diaries and best friends are for, but I really feel compelled to share what I learned from taking this risk because I know that a lot of other young adults like myself are faced with tough decisions every day.
I’d love to tell you that taking this risk ended in triumph and that I got exactly what I wanted, but that’s not true. To be honest, I took the risk and it flopped.
I was highly upset, annoyed even that I allowed myself to take this risk. Why didn’t I just play it safe and stick to the status quo? After some thinking and introspection, however, I realized that taking this risk no matter the outcome would be is EXACTLY what I needed.
For starters, the thought of even taking this risk was distracting me. I would play out all the different outcomes that could possibly result from taking this risk. Then, I’d snap back into reality and realize that everything was still the same and that the time I’d spent thinking about taking this risk had yielded absolutely no fruit.
This realization brought me back to a quote I had heard in a TED talk recently: “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. “ How true?! Many of us overthink things and think of the worse possible outcome. Then once we decide to make a move we find things aren’t as bad as we thought they’d be after all. Not taking this risk was frustrating me, and I needed things to change.
I realized that my stagnation in this area was worse than any possible outcome, good or bad, that would come from me making a decision. I wasn’t content with the way things were and I knew that my mind would only experience peace once the door was either opened or closed permanently.
So I took the risk, and like I said it flopped. I cried, went to sleep, woke up and felt 1000x better. I was relieved. The weight had been lifted off my shoulders. There were no more lingering questions, no more what ifs. No more repeatedly playing out different scenarios and outcomes. Reality had set in, and I was perfectly fine with it because I was free to move forward with life.
Taking the risk was so worth it.
Being a young adult is scary sometimes. Anything we do can result in a pivotal moment that changes the trajectory of our lives. But I say if there’s something that’s been tugging at you for some time now, step out on faith and handle it. Is it a job you want to apply for? A lifestyle change you need to make? A business venture you’d like to invest in? A DM you need to slide into?
Just do it.
Anything is better than being stagnant, even if taking the risk doesn’t result in your preferred outcome. I didn’t get my desired outcome, but that only showed me that I needed to do some recalculating and find an alternate route to get to my end goal. Failure isn’t an excuse to give up.
My flop woke me up. It forced me to re-evaluate some things. It snatched away a false sense of security. It allowed me to regain my focus and redirect my energy. And it’s exactly what I needed to move forward.
If the worst thing that could happen from taking a risk is regaining your focus, then I’d say it’s always worth it to take the risk. If the best thing that could happen to you from taking a risk is getting the outcome you desire, then I’d say it’s always worth it to take the risk.
Taking risks and living recklessly aren’t synonymous, however. By all means meditate. Seek God’s perfect will. Take the time to listen and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Weigh the pros and cons. Consider the costs. Then once you get to a place where you’re over being stagnant, make a MOVE.
Life is too short to sit still and wonder what if. Chase your dreams, take that leap of faith, and stare what scares you right in the face. Your time is precious. You owe it to yourself.
(P.S. I'm starting my third year of medical school tomorrow, and I'll be posting to the Med School Diaries section a little more often. If you're interested subscribe to the blog so you can be notified when I post.)