I'm a reasonably cautious person, in many aspects of my life. I need financial security, family security, order at home, and I have (almost) always worked in jobs for long periods of time. I was with my previous employer for 15 years, and have been with my current employer for 5.5 years.
I recently took a leadership assessment, and it was so helpful in understanding how some of my primary traits & motivations impact my leadership. There were lots of work takeaways that I'll be putting into practice, but many of the takeaways also were relevant in my "real life". One was around risk taking.
I spend a lot of time talking to our kids about having a growth mindset, and not being afraid of risks. I talk a lot about trying things you don't know if you'll be good at, or making a new friend, signing up for a sport you've never played. Just generally putting yourself out there. I know intrinsically how important this growth is, but I've shied away from it so much in my personal life.
I've done a lot of self reflection on what drives this lack of risk taking, and I've decided that 2019 is a year where I'm going to embrace more risks. I'm going to try things I'm not sure I can do. I'm going to lean into things that are uncomfortable. I'm going to ask for help when I need it. Admit when I'm wrong, even when I'm scared. Gracefully accept feedback and REALLY try to listen to it & accept it. Do things that scare me. Set an example for the kids. And myself.
This has been on my mind for a while, but here are a few things I've done lately that are trying to put this into practice:
- I decided to take a sabbatical. As someone who has always been conservative at work, this is and was a huge risk for me. But, worth it.
- I decided that when I come back from my sabbatical, I will be comfortable with my managers putting me up for promotion. This is *the* promotion, and I've had a lot of self doubt about this. While my long term career future is unknown, this promotion will help lock in future levels inside & outside the company, giving me flexibility for the future.
- I signed up for a half marathon. Next weekend!
- I also signed up (myself & the kids) for an obstacle course race.
- And, in a very uncomfortable (for me) move, I agreed to run a relay the first week of June with my sister. I'm big into not letting other people down, and not feeling fast enough, so this will be quite a test for me, especially without a lot of prep & training
I've noticed that I'm getting more comfortable with physical risk/athletic challenges, but there is an entire world of things out there that I still haven't tried yet. I've enjoyed so many things that I was at first afraid of, and really, isn't that where growth comes from? And, I want to embrace those things, try things I've never done before. Be okay with not being great at things. It's terrifying, and kind of exhilarating.
What are you afraid to try? What would you like to try if you knew you couldn't fail?