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7 Uncomfortable Risks We Need To Take To Live A Better Life

7 Uncomfortable Risks We Need To Take To Live A Better Life

It’s too easy to develop a routine in your life and stick with it, but if your days are monotonous, when will anything change? When will you have any fun? It might seem scary, but it’s important to take risks sometimes. Put yourself out there more, or in a different way, and see what new doors open for you. Here are seven uncomfortable risks we need to take to live a better life.

1. Admit life isn’t all good.

This may seem like a depressing note to start off on, but it’s important to acknowledge. Too often, people think they need to be happy and optimistic all the time. That’s not realistic. Life has ups and downs. Bad things will happen whether you take risks or not, but it’s important to know that one of the risks you need to take is to admit that life can be hard. It might be difficult to go out there without a smile on your face, pretending like everything is fine when you’re actually depressed, but it’s worth it. By acknowledging that life isn’t all good, you’re making yourself more relatable. You’re making it easier for when you’ll need more help later, instead of being the happy-go-lucky one everyone else comes to.

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2. Be optimistic, but logical.

This isn’t the opposite of the first point, but rather a continuation of sorts. Don’t always get your hopes up. Don’t always assume that you’ll be the employee who gets promoted, because if you’re not, then it could crush you. It’s harder to come back from a major disappointment than it is to just keep on truckin’ from a minor setback. Be optimistic in thinking that you’re a great worker, qualified for the promotion, but be logical in admitting that you have many wonderful co-workers as well, and any of them could deserve that same promotion. It’s a risk to not assume that you’ll always get what you want, but it’s better to hold back extreme hope and instead keep focusing on the future.

3. Bend the rules.

This goes for if you’re a leader or a follower! Don’t be a stickler for the rules all the time. For example, let the kids stay up a little later if they’ve done all their homework. Sometimes just a small change in the rules can seem like a major reward. Also, don’t be afraid to bend the rules yourself, to forge a new path. So what if everyone in your office always does exactly what your boss says? Do you think you have a better way, and do you think you’ll have the results to follow up your reasoning? Then go for it! It’s better to bend the rules and try something new than stick with the same old thing and produce mediocre results.

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4. Take advantage of every opportunity.

If you met someone socially who could help you make a major career move, would you feel comfortable selling yourself to them? It might seem weird to do so at a party, but you need to be prepared to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. This doesn’t mean you need to have your business card at the ready every time you go to the grocery store, but just be prepared to talk if the chance arises. Too often people will hesitate and miss the chance, then spend far too long wishing they had reacted differently. Don’t be that person—take a risk!

5. Be authentic.

It might not sound like a risk, but it really is. How hard is it to be yourself in a major meeting at work? Or at a party where other guests might be more well off than you? You might feel like you’re being looked down on in both of those situations, but you’ll be judged more if you’re acting fake. People value honesty above all else, and being yourself is the easiest way you can be truthful. Also, if everyone was the same, we’d never get anywhere! We’d all have the same ideas and nothing would ever change. So embrace your true self and your ideas and show them to the world.

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6. Tell people how you really feel.

OK, this one is scary. It’s so easy to hurt people’s feelings, even if you don’t mean to. It’s also scary to put yourself on the line by speaking up honestly, when you could just sit back and take it. But it’s important to tell people how you really feel—about them, about their ideas, about their attitudes. This applies in both your personal and professional life. Don’t let people walk all over you or take credit for your ideas. Stand up for yourself and speak the truth; you’ll find it’s not only easier than it seems, but the rewards are well worth it.

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    7. Stand up for what’s right.

    It’s easy to sit back and expect someone else to fight the battle for greater good, but what if no one does? What if it’s all up to you? Could you do it? One of the hardest things in life is to be the only one fighting a battle, but if it’s worth it to you, then you should do it. You’ll be praised for doing something so difficult, and you’ll set an example for others who might want to speak up but don’t have the courage.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

    “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

    Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

    You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

    Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

    1. Take a step back and evaluate

    When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is the problem?
    2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
    3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
    4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
    5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

    Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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    2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

    If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

    At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

    Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

    3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

    Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

    4. Process your thoughts/emotions

    Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

    1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
    2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
    3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
    4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

    5. Acknowledge your thoughts

    Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

    By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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    Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

    6. Give yourself a break

    If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

    7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

    A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

    Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

    After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

    8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

    As Helen Keller once said,

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

    Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

    9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

    In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

    1. What’s the situation?
    2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
    3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
    4. Take action on your next steps!

    After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

    10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

    A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

    Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

    For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

    11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

    No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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    12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

    No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

    13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

    There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

    After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

    Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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