Sometimes, when it comes to making a change, to take a chance, we hold back. Many people are risk averse, fearing failure, rejection, sometimes fearing success because of that might bring. In some instances, we don't enjoy or celebrate our successes because we expect something bad will follow.
We are hard wired to see negatives. From an evolutionary perspective our brains have not evolved in line with the shifting landscape. The brain's perception of risk goes back to the dawn of time when man was not the top predator and there were tigers and other beasties hiding in the bushes. Danger lurked around every corner and the dangers were life threatening. Now those dangers aren't present, but the brain doesn't know that. It reacts to situations which it perceives to be risky as there is an immediate threat.
Perceived risks in the modern world are telling someone you love them for the first time and waiting for their response. Handing your notice in after 25 years of working in the same industry and going off to travel the world before it’s too late. Attending your first trade show to sell the products you have made from your hobby, going beyond just selling them to family and friends. Doing your first ever Facebook Live, opening yourself up to criticism and judgement whilst also connecting with your tribe and potential future customers. Finishing off the book you have been writing, letting others read it and sending it off to a publisher.
Moments like these can generate fear and anxiety that our brain is trying to protect us from. But, if we're wanting something to change then we must overcome these fears, we must get the primitive part of the brain to calm down and focus on reality. We need to ask ourselves, what's the worst that's going to happen? It's time to get your thinking, rational brain into gear.
What IS the worst that can happen? If you change careers, you might not like it? There are other jobs to apply for. Set up your own business and you make a loss? You're not going to be a success straight away and if it doesn't work out, you close it down knowing that at least you tried. Ask someone out on a date and they say no? Not every connection you make is going to end the way you want. Yes, it might hurt but when you find the next person you like, this moment will be forgotten.
If you're held back by fear of what might happen, keep asking yourself, what's the worst that can happen? You won't be able to come up with many things that you don't have the skills or strength to be able to deal with. That's the thing, we don't have to believe all the negative things. It is easy to lose sight that we are more than capable and adaptable to deal with what life throws at us. If something doesn't work out how we want, the sky won't fall in, it's not the end of the world. You have the ability and the skills to create a new path. Be flexible and keep at it. When you were a child learning to walk, you didn't give up the first time you fell, or the second, third... Why would you do it now as an adult? Even if aiming high, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is scary, do it anyway. If you don’t try, what will it cost you in the long run?
We no longer live in an era where there are life threatening risks everywhere. Whilst life choices can be uncomfortable at times, you're not in immediate danger with the decisions you make. You choose what to or not to believe so pick something which will serve you and move you forward in life. Don't choose to believe something which isn't real, and which will hold you back. Take the risk of living the life you want and enjoy it.