Learning How to Take Risks

By Heather Bunting

A little while ago I did something which I didn’t ever think I could do – I gave a talk in front of about 80 people!

I prepared well, I knew what I was talking about and I took note of and managed my nerves! I was happy that I challenged myself.

However, there were times before the presentation when I thought I had risked going too far. I mean me, the quiet shy teenager that I had been – much older now of course!

The one who’s headmistress said ‘this year level aren’t very bright, I would encourage you to think of doing other things and not think of university’. I believed her of course, don’t we always grasp on to the negative, especially when told by someone in authority?

So for me it’s been quite a long journey from that shy and believing-myself-to-be-not-very-bright teenager, to standing up in front of 80 professionals and talking their language!

I’ve been thinking about the risks we take all the time – we risk driving at 60 or 80 km/hr with only a white line between our car and a car coming the other way at the same speed. We eat food prepared by people we don’t know, in kitchens we don’t know. And so on.

These may seem like small risks because we do them every day.

To grow as a person and work towards fulfilling our full potential requires not only that we take small risks from time to time, but that we do challenge ourselves to leave the old negative patterns behind and step out into new territory.

As T.S. Elliot says above, only when we do take those larger risks can we get a sense of how far we can go.

I will not be talking to groups of 80 people on a regular basis. But having done so this weekend I now know that I can – and that’s the important thing!

I tested the waters and found I could swim! I hope you will try something new too and see how far you can go.

I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve said here. You can give me your feedback, ask a question by email or post a comment below.

If you or someone you know would like a support as you summon up the courage to take risks in your life, please contact us.