I have often been one to take risks, even though taking risks sometimes means getting myself into Curious George-like trouble. For example, I recently had the best intention to help a friend when I discovered that her idea of helping was not to help her at all! Making messes and remembering to humor myself as I clean them up holds the potential for easeful enjoyment of invaluable life lessons I still need to learn (sigh).
The social blunders of my past do not stop me from taking chances in the moment which could end up being fruitful for me and others involved. They do, however, teach me to discern situations with greater sensitivity and finesse. The successful experiences that result from taking chances are now reference points to which I can turn when I contemplate taking calculated risks.
One such reference point is from my early 40’s when I was fresh from graduate school. I was exploring the best ways to both be of service and to provide for my family. With my son launching off to college the next year, salary was more important than ever before in my work within the non-profit industry.
When attending an open house for a local research and development firm, I surmised that this new company had not yet hired a Human Resources Director. Schmoozing with the leaders at this social event, I had the audacity, albeit tactful, to suggest that they needed to hire an HR Director and that that person could be me! In response, the hiring manager told me he wanted someone who thinks outside of the box. My response was sincere when I said, “What box?”, to which we both laughed.
A few weeks later, I landed and created the HR position for what is now a thriving, international business. While I do not credit myself for the company’s success, I applaud all the collective risk-taking it took to get there.
For me to have taken such a chance required trusting in my self-confidence and knowing that, regardless of the outcome, I was in my integrity and had nothing to lose. In truth, we can always perceive of what we may lose by taking risks, speaking out and stepping up. Focusing from fear is a sure-fire way to keep us within the limited security of our “safety zone”. To get out of that zone, we can call on our wise fools or a more mature version of Curious George.
Being able to discern between healthy risks and being plum crazy can make all the difference. Sometimes we just leap blindly and hope for the best and other times we can steer for a gentle landing. In my colorful life, there are myriad examples of how I find myself approaching the edges and stepping into the void of new frontiers.
A recent risk I am taking is by investing in and embracing a coaching niche which has, in actuality, found its way to me and now resides in my heart and in my passion filled work. You can see from the new design of my website that I am venturing into the field of film, theater and television to coach professional performers. As this new blog evolves, my posts will more clearly speak to folks in those fields, while not excluding those who are not.
Since I shared a risk I took with successful results and a present leap into the void, please let me hear yours. When did you dare to take a chance, and how did it end? How does that memory serve you now?