Stop Playing it Safe

Have you ever heard a successful person describe their path to success in terms of taking the safe route?

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t.

If playing it safe has not allowed you to achieve your goals, perhaps it’s time to adopt a new strategy. Don’t get me wrong, playing it safe in some areas makes sense, but only taking the safe route for everything in life is the quickest path to mediocrity.

If you’re not going to step out of your comfort zone now, when will you?

People tell themselves stories all the time about why they shouldn’t take action, and it all boils down to fear.  

I don’t have the money.

I don’t have the time.

What if I lose everything?

Stop it! In one form or another, these statements and questions all stem from fear; and they are inhibiting your ability to take action and achieve your goals.

Safeway is a grocery store, not a way to live your life!
— Greg Bell

Let’s examine some of the overused stories we tell ourselves.

  1. What will others think?

    No matter what you do, people are going to judge through their lens—whether they like it or don’t; so get used to it. The best form of feedback comes from within. So get your mind right, commit, and take action. 

  2. What if I fall short and don’t make it?

    It is true you might get rejected or not make it, but if you are telling yourself that story, then you haven’t made it yet anyway. So what harm is there in trying and being rejected?

If you’re struggling to overcome fear, here are three steps you can take: 

  1. Reframe fear. Fear and anxiety are living in the future. Think about something you fear, like spiders, losing money, death, etc.; whatever you come up with, it’s probably not present as you read this post. Fear is about a future event happening. In reality, you don’t fear spiders; you fear being bitten by one.

  2. Bring your heart and spirit to things you want. When your heart and spirit are genuinely committed to achieving your goals, fear will fade into the background because of what it means to you and how you will feel once you get there.

  3. Have a strong “why.” Why is this goal important to you? What purpose does it have? If you can’t answer either of these questions or your “why” isn’t strong enough, you will likely quit when it gets hard.