Taking Risks in Relationships ~ A how-to guide for the faint of heart
“If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul.”
I’m a big risk taker. I’m not talking about reckless risk taking, like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. I’m talking about emotional risks, feeling the fear and doing it anyway. In college, I risked looking like a fool by taking gymnastics for the first time. I was in a class with students who had been gymnasts since they were toddlers. I may have felt incompetent, but because of that risk, I learned how to stand on my head on the balance beam. I stretched, literally and figuratively, and was able to get through a scary situation. In turn, that increased my self-confidence.
Same thing happened in my career. Each job I applied for was way beyond my level of experience, but after I was hired, I stretched to that next level. That led to a better job with higher pay, because my self-confidence increased with each success and each risk I took.
And so it goes for relationships. A good relationship involves a level of emotional risk. Some people are willing to risk and some are afraid. Are you taking risks in relationships, or are you playing it safe?
Taking risks in relationships: a how-to guide for the faint of heart
1. Date up. Just like the jobs I applied for that were out of my reach, date people who are a bit of a reach, just not way out of your league. For example, when dating online you see someone you find attractive, and you’re thinking ‘He probably has so many choices, why would he choose me?’ Think again. Believe in yourself and the special unique qualities you possess. Write him anyway. If he’s a guy with integrity and you’re really a good match, he might write you back. And if you end up in a relationship, you’ll be glad you took an emotional risk. Your self-confidence continues to increase with each risk you take.
2. Don’t settle. If you stay in a bad relationship because it feels safe, you can snuff out your soul, to paraphrase Drew Barrymore’s quote above. Don’t give up bits of yourself in order to keep the peace. Don’t keep the pain you know for fear of the pleasure you don’t yet know. The personal risk is too high. Take an emotional risk and leave that failed relationship. You need to close one door in order to open the next door to your future relationship. It’s worth the risk.
3. Play the ‘worst that could happen’ game. When you’re about to take a risk, it’s easy to imagine the worst possible case scenario. And then you shut down. I welcome you to take it a step further. Go to that worst place. And then go further.
The worst that could happen game: You see a cute guy in the grocery cereal aisle. But you’re afraid to approach him.
You: What if he rejects me?
Your conscience: Okay, what if he does reject you?
You: I’ll probably blush.
Your conscience: Okay, and then what?
You: I’ll recover. I’ll just find my favorite cereal and move on.
Your conscience: That’s not so bad. And what if he is interested?
You: I’ll be nervous, but we can start a conversation. That would be cool!
Your conscience: Exactly. You risked, and it wasn’t so bad, was it?
So, get out there and take some emotional risks. Try to do something scary every day. It takes the heat out of the bigger risks you’re going to be taking next.
When have you taken an emotional risk that paid off? When have you been afraid to risk and regretted it? Please comment below.
And remember, if you want to immediately turn around your online dating success, sign up here for my FREE report. Happy dating!