Playing it safe is the riskiest of choices. It does not create security…it stifles it.
I realized that I had stopped growing and learning when I played it safe. I also realized that by playing it safe, I remained stuck for decades…too afraid to find out what lay on the other side of “safe”.
My MO was to do something interesting then stay there for YEARS. I’d convince myself that I was happy, comfortable, content…whatever. I might have been at the beginning, but I know it didn’t stay that way for long. I maintained things and situations that I had no passion for, things and situations that didn’t inspire or motivate me. I did this for years…decades in some cases.
Eventually (and thankfully) the stagnant state of my life became unbearable. I was unfulfilled, miserable, and bored. I became destructive and combative. I hated everything. There was an undercurrent of seething rage just below my surface all the time. I had caused all of it. It was my own doing that I was in this wretched state of existence. I knew that the only way to become “unbored” was to take a chance, to risk something.
It was scary, but I did it anyway. I had already lived the alternative and, nope, I wasn’t staying there.
From the outside, it might have looked like I had done it all at once. Some might have thought it was a knee-jerk reaction to events happening in my life. Not knee-jerk but I was aware of my life changing (for good or bad) with each event. I felt myself getting more uncomfortable with the status quo. Rather than accepting it as I had previously, I began to lean into what I was feeling. In a bizarre way it almost felt good to feel something other than resentment and fear. What I had considered “safe” was not safe at all.
The first step was letting myself feel and recognize the discomfort, misery, anger, loss, and pain that playing it safe had caused. It was difficult admitting and accepting that I had gotten in my own way and had sabotaged myself for years. The hardest part was forgiving me.
I’m a work in progress. The last few years have been a cornucopia of risk, change, progress, setbacks, and growth. I’ve had spectacular highs and crushing lows. Even though I’m currently dealing with some personal difficulties, the major difference is that I’m taking risks and accepting the consequences (good or bad) of my choices rather than being paralyzed with fear of the unknown, the hypothetical, and the non-existent “but what if…?”. I’m living the life I should have been living all along. Most importantly, I have something that I never had before…hope.
Take the risk to blossom. Each day.