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Seven and a Half Chances You Won’t Regret Taking In Life

Seven and a Half Chances You Won’t Regret Taking In Life

What are the chances you WON’T regret taking in life?

Everyone comes to a point in their life when they face a decision that involves risk. Perhaps it’s having a baby; starting or ending a relationship; or perhaps changing careers, changing cities or changing their entire life.

What if it’s you? Do you twist or stick?

You look at all the money you could lose; the humiliation you could face; the pain of having to start all over again with another person, or another job, or perhaps another country.

Is it going to be worth it?

If you’re facing such a decision, this may make it easier for you; here are six and a half chances you won’t ever regret taking.

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1. Taking the chance to fail.

No one ever regrets trying and failing, not afterwards. If you gave it your best shot and came up short, at least you won’t die wondering. Yes, you could look dumb in front of your friends when that beautiful girl says no to a date; you could lose money if the business venture goes wrong; you could come back with your tail between your legs if you couldn’t stick out that new life in Spain or Thailand or Vladivostock. But what if you win out? And even if you don’t, suddenly you’re a risk taker and you’ll look different—to yourself and everyone who knows you.

2. Taking a chance on yourself.

You can’t go to your grave thinking you’re not old enough or young enough or smart enough or good enough, not if you want to live a life well lived. No one ever regretted taking a chance on finding out they were more than they thought they were. No one ever regretted backing themselves to try—even if you fall short of your goal you will find out along the way that you’re much more than you think you are.

 “I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.”
Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care

3. Taking a chance on feeling afraid.

Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s soiling your shorts and facing the fear anyway.

Why would anyone run with bulls, dive with sharks, or jump off 250 meter bridges? I did all those things in the span of one month a few years back and I have no regrets. Was I terrified? You betcha. But I found out I could face and beat my fears, and that’s the most important lesson of all.

But you don’t just do it for fun; your fears stand in the way of your success—you’re afraid of letting that guy you love into your life; afraid of striking out on your own in business; afraid of giving up your day job to following your passions full time. Feeling afraid and risking all anyway is one chance you’ll never ever, ever regret.

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4. Taking a chance on love.

Yes, you could really end up hurt here; but if you wait to find the perfect man, the perfect woman, you may find out that they don’t exist or that they’re a perfect bust when you do find them. Your job isn’t to find love, but to find out the walls you have built against it.

“A ship in harbor is safe—but that is not what ships are for.”

John A. Shedd

5. Taking a chance on your dreams.

I worked on an ambulance for many years and took many people on their last ride. Some of those folk knew what was coming, and so we had some interesting conversations. I can’t reveal much of what they said to me but I can tell you this; the ones who had followed their dreams had no regrets whatsoever, no matter how things turned out; the ones who didn’t mourned the waste of it all deeply.

6. Taking a chance on your own worth.

This may mean you need to fight for what you deserve—or it could mean being strong enough to let you go of what you don’t deserve, especially in relationships. In some cases, you risk losing the relationship or perhaps losing your job or your promotion. But if you also gain your self respect, that’s a chance you won’t ever regret taking.

“It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don’t. They sit in front of the TV and treat life as if it goes on forever.”

Philip Adams

7. Taking a chance on feeling

The biggest risk of all: many of us close off big parts of ourselves because others could hurt us, or betray us, or leave us. We don’t think we could stand it.

But feelings of deep loss, inconsolable grief—these feelings only result from loving deeply. But if we never know what love feels like, what grief is, then we have not lived a real life.

So taking a chance on feeling—however it comes out—that’s not something we should ever regret.

… And taking the half chance.

You know the moment when you have to say “yes” or “no” and you don’t have time to think; the man who asks you if you’d like a drink, but you’re late for an appointment; the friend who rings you and says there’s a big job opening in London but you have to get to the interview across town in an hour; the house that’s just come on the market at a bargain price and you’re not sure if you can afford it.

These are the half chances that you look back on later in life. Can you trust your instincts? If you can, then follow them. You’ll never regret it.

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“First you jump off the cliff and you build wings on the way down.”

Ray Bradbury

So go ahead. Take a chance. If it’s one of the seven and a half chances above, then what do you have to lose?

Because there are just some chances you won’t ever regret, no matter what the gods decide.

Featured photo credit: Geralt via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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