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If You Always Play It Safe, Are You Really Living?

If You Always Play It Safe, Are You Really Living?

In life, we have to make many decisions. From what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear, what we are going to do today and sometimes we have to make a decision that can impact our lives drastically. We may need to make a crucial business decision, choose whether we stay or leave a certain relationship or even have to make a decision that could impact someone else’s life. We reach a crossroad and whichever decision we choose will put us onto an entirely different path.

Today, I found myself at a crossroad. I wasn’t really given much time to think about it and had to come up with an answer on the spot. I had a choice between keeping my 9-5 or jumping on a plane to Cambodia. I didn’t even give it a second thought, I quit my 9-5 job. Now some people may think that quitting my full time job was reckless. I am not telling everyone to go ahead and just quit their job, but before you judge, hear me out.

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Learning from your past

One thing I learnt while I worked in Recruitment, was that if you are great at what you do, make sure to make yourself known. Even if you aren’t looking for another role, you never know what could happen around the corner. If other recruiters/headhunters know about you, when a role pops up they feel you would be a great candidate for, you will be the first to know about it. If your company’s competitors know who you are, when they are looking for quality staff, guess who they’re going to contact first?

In saying this, I wasn’t particularly looking to jump ship. I had actually turned down multiple job opportunities this year alone. I was however always open to hearing about what was out there. This worked out in my favor big time. I am a firm believer of the law of attraction. You attract what you think. If you have good thoughts, good things and good people are drawn to you.

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Funnily enough as the words ” I am resigning” came out of my mouth. My phone had buzzed with a job offer. I was just thinking to myself, I really shouldn’t resign if I haven’t got anything secure lined up. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Synchronicity is the universe showing signs, guiding you in the right direction.

Making a decision

I could’ve played it safe, kept at my secure job and helped make someone else’s dreams come true. I won’t get into the logistics of it all, but bottom line is that I used to love it. I used to be motivated and passionate. Lately, it literally sucked the life out of me. It ate at my soul.

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I think I would much prefer to jump on a plane, go and meet the Buddhist monks, awe at the beauty of the temples, wander through the rainforest and soothe my soul by doing yoga and meditation everyday. Get away from the rat race we find ourselves in and be centered.  Ground myself, feed my soul and nourish my happiness, so I can come back and kick goals again. This trip is much needed. I believe it is important to take time out to do things that soothe your soul.

I think back to past relationships, when I was indecisive about whether I should stay or go. I was comfortable, it was what I knew. Leaving was so scary and unknown. I couldn’t imagine life without them. You know the drill. Do I regret leaving any of my exes? Hell no. To think of the opportunities, the growth, the experiences I have had that I would not have otherwise experienced, if I had stayed with any of them. It definitely rings true, when they say that life begins outside of your comfort zone.

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Look at anyone successful in business, do you think they got to where they were without taking risks? They took a risk to start a new venture, they took a risk to follow their dream. Do you think they played it safe? Now there is a difference between being reckless and taking risks, but I truly believe that if it gives you a chance at happiness, you should take the risk and just go for it.

Don’t have regrets

Life is short and happiness is priceless. If you fail, well you actually didn’t because you learnt something along the way and maybe next time you know better. And if you succeed? Oh, imagine that. So if you stay in the job that you hate just so you have security, if you stay in the relationship that doesn’t bring value to your life because you are scared to be alone, if you continue to do what is easy instead of starting that awesome business idea you have because you might fail. Is that bringing you happiness?

So the real question is, if you play it safe, are you really living?

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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