Saturday, 1 March 2014

Taking Risks

     How good are you at taking risks? Do you drop everything to change plans at a moment’s notice? There are some people who can handle change very easily, taking sudden developments in their stride.  Some people exact these changes on themselves, by taking risks or doing something dramatic. People who will quit their job, with no back-up alternative, or who set off travelling with no plans or arrangement whatsoever. I think the main reason for doing this is to make yourself happy. These are people who don’t want to waste their time doing something they don’t love, and feel like they are missing out on something better, so they are willing to take a risk to make this happen.

     But not everyone is like this. If you’re like me, you like plans and security. I’m not adverse to change by any means, I just need a little time to prepare and adapt to it. Spontaneity is great sometimes, when it’s last minutes plans for a day trip or something of the sort, but anything too dramatic starts to stress me out. Sticking with my earlier examples, I’d only quit a job once I had something better lined up next, and I want to travel a lot, but I need to have a plan before going. I think it’s good to take risk, but I feel far better about it when I have some sort of safety net in case things go wrong. I’m definitely a worrier, but there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t stop you from being happy.

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     Everyone has a different meaning as to what is comfortable for them, and it’s up to you how far you want to stretch beyond your own comfort zone. I do think it’s important to get out of it now and then though, otherwise you could miss out on some great experiences. Take small steps though, if you need to – perhaps if you’re shy, start by hanging out with a just one or two people, rather than diving straight into a huge party. Finding the right balance for yourself is what’s most important though. For example, I’m currently living abroad which is utterly terrifying, although has gotten easier with time. On the one hand, I want to go out and see more of the country, so I’ve been making the effort to go on various trips, but I always have them planned out in advance. And then, although it may be a poky little place in student halls, my flat is sort of like a sanctuary for me, so I can relax when things get a bit too much and I need to retreat for a while.

     Life is short, so make the most of opportunities when you can, and try new things. But it’s also ok to feel nervous or worried sometimes, to back out of the more extreme changes that others may embrace. As long as you feel comfortable and happy in your choices, that’s all that matters.

     So, are you a risk taker, or do you like having a safety net just in case?

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