Risk is not a dirty word.

When you think of risk, what comes to mind? The stock market? Gambling? A start-up business? All of these things involve taking risks.  What about trying a new restaurant, speaking to a stranger or trying a new class?  Don’t all these things also involve taking risks?

There are some words that we think of as negative words.  They carry with them negative undertones, when in fact they are really just words.  Words themselves are not negative or positive, we, as humans give them these connotations by the feelings they provoke when they come up in conversation.  The word risk usually carries with it negative associations.  When we think about taking risks the adrenal starts pumping a little and our mind races.  It can physically make us uncomfortable to think about “taking a risk”.

The topic of taking risks came up in a group I am in, and it amazed me the emotions that were evoked when the subject of taking risks came up.  The majority of the group looked at taking risks as scary, hard and uncomfortable. (Also words that tend to have negative associations).  While I agree that taking large risks such as changing a job or starting a new business can be scary and uncomfortable as they push us out of our comfort zone, I also want to point out that there are small risks we take every day that we don’t think twice about.

When we try new restaurants and read new books we don’t think of these tasks as being scary.  But aren’t we taking risks when we do these things?  We are taking a chance that the food and atmosphere in this new eating establishment will be enjoyable and that we won’t mind paying the bill at the end of the meal.  We are taking a chance that this book we purchased will fill us with new knowledge or open our imagination or let us escape from our own reality into a fantasy world for a bit.

So, I challenge you.  Make it at point to take a risk today.  Try something new, a new restaurant, a new show, a new book. . . talk to a stranger, buy a new item at the grocery store.  Stop seeing taking risks as something negative and scary and start thinking about it an awaiting opportunity.

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