YOLO - stay safe or take risks?Let’s be honest, this is a spectrum and most people sit either side of the mid point, and there’s nothing wrong with that if you are living the life you want. If you are not, if you know you are playing too small a game, or you secretly believe you could be so much more, then you need to shift your position on the spectrum.

Risk taking is an interesting concept – many people equate risk to something foolhardy, financial or adrenaline fuelled. In reality risk is anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone!

A very personal example is my recent trip to Nolton, in Pembrokeshire. I went for a riding weekend by the sea. Cool, but what many people don’t know is that I broke my back a few years ago falling off a horse. It took a long while to recover physically from the injury, and my core muscles and balance are still not what they were before. The real lasting damage is psychological not physical, I lost my nerve as far as horses were concerned. Yes, I started to ride again, I enjoyed a sedate walk / trot in the country etc, but cantering across the beach scared the s**t out of me, although I really wanted to do it again.

So last weekend, I was faced with a choice. I got the opportunity to go for a canter with someone I really rate & trust as a riding instructor, Penny Owen from Nolton Stables . Inside I was terrified; heart pounding-I can’t do this-terrified – I’m sure you’ve experienced that feeling sometimes? Out of my mouth came, “yes ok, I’ll have a go”. It was a now or never moment for me and I grabbed it. After my first short canter I was grinning like a child, shaking from adrenaline, and so pleased with myself words can’t really describe it. Most importantly, a rule I’d created for myself – I can’t canter anymore – had been broken.

This isn’t about horses or even fear, it’s about playing a smaller game in life or your business than you actually want to.  I could have settled for being back on a horse, walked and trotted and still enjoyed myself, justified that I was being sensible etc, etc. But I would always have known I was missing out, I’d sold myself a vision, and subsequently a reality, short of what I really wanted.

Settling for less than you want or believe you might be able to achieve saps your confidence, your energy and your resilience – it keeps you playing a small game.  You are worth more than that!

This week’s challenge is to look at some of the things you want to achieve, but are holding back from. They don’t have to be big things, they have to matter to you. It might be making a phone call to someone you want to do business with, it might be something physically challenging, making a stand about something you believe in. In many ways it doesn’t matter what you do, it matters that you push the boundaries of your comfort zone, you play a slightly bigger game, you get into the habit of taking risks (big or small) to achieve the things that matter to you.

Remember, we all sit at different places on the risk spectrum, do what feels right for you, just don’t cheat yourself out of something you really want because it’s too scary.

I’d love to hear about your challenges and successes. Go break some self imposed rules….