What happened from the time we were learning to take our first steps as a baby and carrying on till we started walking and never looked back? Think about the risks we took with our baby steps and the times we had our setbacks by those first few steps. As a baby, we were determined by some unknown force to learn to walk and did not give up till it was done. We did not just start walking right away, it was a gradual progression from crawling, to standing up, holding a table to letting go and taking that first risky step. We fell down a lot! Children just keep going till it is done and in my case, now I am chasing my little guy every where!
As we get older, we get used to walking but something happens…we slowly lose the risk factor. Fast forward many years where we are now in a company and we get settled in our ways and we no longer take risks. I am not talking about the dangerous foolish risks but rather those growth risks that pull us to the edge and put that nervousness in the pit of our stomach. We have opportunities to step up and do things to challenge us; however, sometimes we don’t have a great experience and we pull back or decide it is too much trouble. 20+ years ago, I did my first public speaking opportunity and I messed up terribly. I had a choice to make at that time. I could say that I tried this and did not do well and never do it again because I did not enjoy it or say to myself that it could not be worse than this and try it again…which I did and slowly got better and better at it. I kept pushing myself and got to do a TEDxSFU talk which made me feel accomplished as a speaker. I am a risk taker but not a daredevil. I kept learning to walk till I got to running.
I sometimes ask myself why I risk. I am presently trying to pull a graduation banquet with a group of dedicated graduating students. This is something people have wanted and I thought this was going to be an easy one to pull off. For all that we have done, there has been a challenge getting ticket buyers to attend and the numbers I thought of are no where near the actual numbers registered. Sometimes you ask yourself why you put yourself into this situation and then I see the opportunity and the possibility of building something of significance and it pulls me back to reality and we move forward. I will continue to challenge, grow and learn from my experiences.
Could you imagine if we as babies, tried to walk, let go of the table , take a step and fall down…then rub the bum and tell yourself that you tried walking and it was not a great experience and you know what it feels like to have a setback and decide to crawl the rest of your life. We do this when we are in our respective careers…we forget to take risks. We stop trying to walk. When was the last time you risked? When did you challenge yourself within the environment you are in or to look to try something new? Let go of the table and start taking those first few steps again. I can guarantee you will fall down but keep getting up and keep trying.
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