If Risk Knocks At The Door. Will You Answer It?

Posted on 03. Dec, 2013 by in Career, Change, Goals and Success, Lead From Within, Leadership, Leadership Development, Life Balance, Life Skills, Personal Development, Purpose, Self Help, Trust, Workplace

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 10.29.24 AMHe sat across from me and he looked miserable. He hated his job and he was going through the motions automatically, with no heart.

He felt that the large corporation where he worked was not interested in change or growth. Everything was about checking off the box, just following a process without meaning.

When he first arrived there, over 12 years ago, he was ambitious and enthusiastic. He thought he could change and inspire his organization.

But now the company had taken away part of his inner drive.

“Why don’t you leave?” I asked.

“For many reasons,” he replied. “It’s about safety and security. I have a nice salary, great bonuses, fantastic stock options. I have a family a wife and children I must support.”

“So how does it feel to come to work every morning?”

“Painful.”

“And how does it feel when you go home?”

“I just go into my study and check out.”

“So your home life is suffering and you are miserable at work. Why not make a change?”

“I’m scared.” He said almost in a whisper.

When struggle is present, life is asking us to open the door to risk and face our fears and answer it with courage.

When we don’t allow risk in we allow fear to reside within us. But if we live with the knowledge that risk can be our constant companion, then when it comes knocking we can welcome it as a friend in spite of our fears.

When we close the door to risk we spend our life narrowing our perspective and we are diminishing our possibilities.

When we don’t allow ourselves to risk, we settle.

We settle for mediocrity: we allow ourselves to believe that sameness will give us what we want, when what we are really doing is closing ourselves off to possibility and significance. Mediocrity keeps us simple and small.

We do not learn by doing, we learn by risking.

 

We settle for fear: To risk is to take ourselves into unfamiliar territory, and it is frightening for many. We need to look fear in the eye and face it with courage. People who live life in fear of taking risks settle without living.

Fear itself for any of us is inescapable if we are looking for significance in our lives.

 

We settle for safety: Being safe and feeling comfortable doesn’t mean you won’t be sorry, but it does mean that you’ve decided that you don’t want to grow and learn anymore.

 The desire for safety stands against every great and noble cause and purpose.

 

We settle for discomfort: Many of us are struggling and are feeling the discomfort of our lives. We tell ourselves we can live with the pain and the struggle, but can we really? Or are we so afraid to take the steps out of our comfort zone that we make ourselves numb to our reality, pretending we are OK?

 No one is free of fearless life. We all face fear whether we want to or not. 

 

We settle for mistrust: When it comes to trust, trust starts with self. When we settle for mistrust, we are mistrusting ourselves. By settling we are disempowering ourselves, disappointing ourselves, and creating our own discouragement. If we think we wont suffer if we stay, our lack of self-trust leads to injustice against ourselves.

When we settle for mistrust we are at risk of losing out on the rewards of our life.  

 

Life is about attempting to find simple answers to hard questions, and the only way to find our meaning is to risk and to completely stay open.

Being open means we might fail.

Being open means we might get hurt.

Being open means we might make mistakes.

But the simple act of opening the door puts us on the other side of courage.

The investment you make in yourself is huge and priceless.

When risk comes, will you open the door wide and make it your ally, or will you stand there in fear not answering?

Lead From Within: Avoidable risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing. To help with risk management, Make a plan and follow through with passion, persistence, and perseverance. Each of us must learn to open the door to risk until there is nothing between ourselves and our purpose.

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact me.
© 2013 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.

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46 Responses to “If Risk Knocks At The Door. Will You Answer It?”

  1. Jon Mertz

    03. Dec, 2013

    Lolly,

    Unfortunately, this story is more prevalent than we may be willing to admit. What we need to realize is small steps of change can lead to big shifts of change. Instead of settling, we need to begin working on things that excite our soul and then continue to do more and more in this area. The result may be a new job, a new direction.

    Jon

    Reply to this comment
  2. lollydaskal

    03. Dec, 2013

    The result was he is looking for a new job. (with courage)

    He is looking to create a new life (with hard work)

    He is looking to not be so afraid (with faith)

    Thanks Jon for stopping by and commenting. It means a lot to me.

    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  3. Alli Polin

    03. Dec, 2013

    I’m reminded of the time my colleague and I had just accepted jobs working together as VPs in a new division. Turns out he was beyond miserable and hated every moment. Each week we met at the airport to board the plane I could see the quiet anger beneath the surface matched by his sadness. Finally, just six months in, no new job in hand, he told me he was going to resign. I saw him many times during his job search and even though money was tight and he had the stress of the search his joy, and hope, returned.

    We all spend far too many hours at work a week to choose misery because of “golden handcuffs.” Not every change has to be radical but it always involves some risk. Is it really worth risking our happiness, health or life to stick with the status quo?

    Important post, Lolly that will strike a chord with many people and hopefully spark the courage inside of them to make the leap to a better tomorrow.

    Alli

    Reply to this comment
  4. lollydaskal

    03. Dec, 2013

    Alli

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It sounds like this will resonate with many but what the “many” do with the opportunity is where the risk is involved.

    Fear can keep us from moving forward.

    Struggle can keep us playing small.

    …. lets support those who seek our help and guide them to happier spaces.

    Thanks
    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  5. lollydaskal

    03. Dec, 2013

    The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely wide open!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Simon Harvey

    03. Dec, 2013

    Sad to think how many people are out there doing just what your example did. Once energetic and full of life, they listen to the hype, big home’s, a perfect future guaranteed, fantastic salary, and stock options to boot. Happiness, all seemingly wrapped into one, all awaiting them at the end of their journey.

    But where does that journey end, and what happens if you get there, and how do you know when you have got there, if you don’t really know what happiness is for that is what you thought you were seeking? What happens when you get to the top of your everest and find no golden key.

    The issues as you so well point out are all all within ourselves. The prize is not the goal, the prize is within the journey, it is within yourself already. If you miss the fact that the journey is the prize (it seems in his case a family wife a children), you may well get to where you thought you needed to get and find yourself with just the company of desire.

    Everyone has their own speed, each of us our own ways. We will all make mistakes, have falls, see success, even if you are lucky, have points in your life when you feel like you are standing at the top of everest and feel giddy just standing there. Life is all about the journey, and it is a journey that has no set expiry date. It may end today, tomorrow, next year, or in 50 years, there is no guarantee how long each of us will live.

    Find yourself within, find out what happiness is within your heart. Look around at what you have, friends, family, the beauty of nature. What is alive is important, what is alive is what can energize you, give you strength to look fear in the eye and say thanks for that, I needed that kick, and say goodbye to it.

    Risk is all perception, it is everywhere and nowhere. What is a risk for someone may not even get a blink from another. I think the important point is to open your heart and mind to what can be. Take the risk that what you thought, may well not be.

    Open your heart and mind to what can be, see what is, stand still for a moment and let happiness surface, it is already there waiting within. Let go, trust in yourself for as you say in your book:

    “Trust is contagious. Most our problems come from not telling ourselves the truth about ourselves. and. Before I can do, I must be.

    See you tonight.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      03. Dec, 2013

      Love your insight and wisdom Simon!

      I always look forward to what you say, for it makes me think and feel.

      Open your heart and mind to what can be, see what is, stand still for a moment and let happiness surface, it is already there waiting within. Let go, trust in yourself for as you say in your book:

      “Trust is contagious. Most our problems come from not telling ourselves the truth about ourselves. and. Before I can do, I must be.

      thanks for quoting from my book..
      ADORE you.
      See you tonight!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  7. Sharon Reed

    03. Dec, 2013

    Brilliant post, Lolly. And one that touches my heart strings.

    You are correct — far too often we cling to the illusion of ‘safety’ at the expense of taking risks, settling for lives of mediocrity instead of the fullness of our authentic potential.

    Thank you, as always, for your wisdom and inspiration.

    Sharon

    Reply to this comment
  8. Sharon Reed

    03. Dec, 2013

    Brilliant post, Lolly. And one that touches my heart strings.

    You are correct — far too often we cling to the illusion of ‘safety’ at the expense of taking risks, settling for lives of mediocrity instead of the fullness of our authentic potential.

    Thank you, as always, for your wisdom and inspiration.

    Sharon

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      04. Dec, 2013

      we cling for safety, but life takes away our safety net anyway. No one is passed over in the risks of life. we all have to face them…. how we face them that is the difference.

      Thanks Sharon for your thoughtful words and your insightful wisdom.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  9. Bijith

    04. Dec, 2013

    Hmm…
    Lolly, your story remind me of Alchemist. Not about it being copy, but the essence of taking risks and following dream…

    I need to read it again :)

    Reply to this comment
  10. Panteli Tritchew

    04. Dec, 2013

    Hi Lolly,
    I love how your posts almost always trigger themes from music or movies that have resonated powerfully for me in the past and place them into a new, more meaningful context.
    In reading this post on Risk Knocking At Your Door, two things came up for me, simultaneously: Marlon Brando’s iconic scene from On the Waterfront and the British film, Sliding Doors.

    Brando’s character (Terry) laments to his brother (Charley) that Charley ruined his life by forcing Terry to take a fall in a mob-fixed fight. “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Charley”.

    In Sliding Doors, the film alternates between two parallel universes, based on the two paths that Gwyneth Paltrow’s character could take depending on whether or not she catches a train.

    Most of us don’t have brothers who are connected with the Mob, but I wonder how many of us carry our own alter-ego-Charley’s within us, using fear, creating excuses, sabotaging courage and “fixing” our fights by sabotaging the courage to take the risks that would take us out of our “coulda been” zone?

    There is also the element of chance at play. I wonder how many “sliding doors” moments we have, how many trains missed, and how many paths not taken that might have significantly changed our lives, but for a chance encounter, missed or caught?

    When Risks Knocks At The Door and “life is asking us to open the door to risk and face our fears and answer it with courage,” …ignore Charley. The doorway just might be a platform to a train that we don’t want to miss.

    P.S. Sorry to miss #leadfromwithin yesterday—in transit all day from China to Vancouver!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      04. Dec, 2013

      I love the idea of SLIDING DOORS what a perfect vision of what this post is speaking about. SO CLEVER!

      I always look forward to how you view my thoughts, I like the places you take them to, I always adore the movie connections.

      You were deeply missed last night, and I am happy we are now more or less on the same time zone!

      Cannot wait to meet you IRL!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  11. Kent Julian

    04. Dec, 2013

    Solid post! Life is not really life without risks.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      04. Dec, 2013

      Thanks Kent.

      Love the strength of your sentence:

      Life is not really lie without risks!

      Brilliant!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  12. LaRae Quy

    04. Dec, 2013

    Great post and a very important topic, Lolly!

    This thought really resonated with me: “We settle for fear: To risk is to take ourselves into unfamiliar territory, and it is frightening for many.”

    So true, and I think one of the reasons is that we’re afraid of failure…somehow the fear we know is more comfortable than the fear we don’t.

    It takes a strong mind and mental toughness to move out of mediocrity and into our discomfort zone so we can stretch and grow…

    Reply to this comment
  13. lollydaskal

    04. Dec, 2013

    Dear LaRae,

    You are so right, it takes mental toughness to move us out of our mediocrity.

    Thank you for stopping by, I always apprecite your wisdom and insight.

    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  14. Terri Klass

    04. Dec, 2013

    Risk is a funny thing because it means different things to each of us.
    Over the years, I have met many people who stay complacent because risking any change is beyond fathomable. I have also met people who thrive on taking massive risks, even if they turn out poorly.
    The most important part of risk is that it must make sense to a person to do. One must balance the risk of never knowing how things might turn out versus the risk of upsetting an entire family or group.
    A very complicated topic, but one which you tackled beautifully, Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
  15. Karen Jolly

    04. Dec, 2013

    What a perfectly timed post Lolly! My son is going through this with his job. He is young and facing this fear of taking a risk for the first time when he has a good job, but is miserable.

    I told him that in truth, there are no real risks, we just make it up in our minds. It is the mind that throws fear at you – when your heart tells you to leap forward.

    As Simon said “risk is everywhere and nowhere.” It is not real, but ohhhh how our mind makes us believe it! I loved Alli’s reference to the “misery because of the golden handcuffs.” We have to realize that in not listening to what our heart is guiding us to do, we take a far greater risk by shutting down our passion, our hope, our joy. That is the real risk!

    Thank you Lolly – this post really stirred up some strong feelings in me – I LOVE that! :)

    Reply to this comment
  16. agus

    05. Dec, 2013

    Oh,..this article so resonate hehehe… I really understood no pain no gain, no risk no…….(bla bla bla)…( actually I wonder Your article mostly so resonate, how could it be xooo..).

    Sometimes we have to face condition like,.. do what you love to or love what you do?… which one?

    Doing what we love is easy, but when we have to face and doing what we do not love with so many reason we still have to do it, it needs greater soul. So many meaning lies here,..You knew it didn’t you.

    Life is taking the risk, we knew it and we feel it.How long people (employee) can stay with the condition as stated above (this article) depend on some reasons.

    Risk and pain are real, like happiness, joyful, and grievance also real. As real as our body. We can feel it can’t we?, like we can think what we have to decide what we have to do,…for our life(work, job, etc)

    We have cognitive aspect while in other side we have intuitive one (feeling, insight, etc.).

    Within the fate there is freewill, and within freewill there is fate. How can we drive our soul?, and the answer is within each of US.

    Thanks for sharing for the REAL article.

    Blessing.
    Agus Safudi

    Reply to this comment
  17. Daymond Lopez

    06. Dec, 2013

    If we don´t dare to risk first, then risk will come to us in an unexpected way, it will get us unprepared.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Dan

    06. Dec, 2013

    I’m not sure we are capable of the deeper reaches of self-honesty without drawing on love. The full potential of our courage cannot become real without it. This is one reason our care for one another is so important: we model the candle for each other that only we can light in the intimacy of our own heart. This post seems to me about passing that flame.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      21. Dec, 2013

      what a beautiful image of words Dan

      one reason our care for one another is so important: we model the candle for each other that only we can light in the intimacy of our own heartrt.

      Thank you for this!

      I needed to hear it.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  19. Ali Anani (@alianani15)

    07. Dec, 2013

    Lolly- I think a major point in this post is being open to risk or closed to accepting it. Closed systems, no matter what, lead to disorder. The system becomes chaotic and loss of direction results. Therefore, I am in full agreement with this post. The longer this closeness is, the more difficult it gets. Fifteen years of closing oneself even at home. is not only isolating oneself; more it is “disordering” ones’ life.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      21. Dec, 2013

      I agree CLOSED SYSTEMS do lead to disorder.

      And I appreciate that you are aligned with the post and I appreciate your sharing of thought and wisdom.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  20. Takis Athanassiou

    07. Dec, 2013

    Risk is the value we put in changing our current way of thinking and doing things. Is the price tag we put in our discomfort. the living outside our comfort zone, but for many reasons is an acceptable price since if you don’t accept it either

    a) life, many times, would lead you to other paths when the old ways have been exhaust their power (sic [!]) or

    b) when your current status is not more satisfying (acceptable, rewarding, etc).

    c) when you have outgrown your previous objectives, expediencies, etc

    Either way, your present status (experience, skills, etc) and lifestyle would demand a change! So it is better to accept the risk and direct your move according to your objectives.

    Excellent post Lolly and beautiful story. I believe that most people are not willing to take ownership and accountability of the personal and professional life and that is the root of the problem! If you live, you risk, Simple as that.

    Thank you for sharing Lolly! It was very rewarding to reading your thoughts (and an inspiring reading too). Thank you for sharing.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      21. Dec, 2013

      You are so right, life is always changing and its best to accept the risk and direct ourselves accordingly. Really nice sentiments Takis!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Reply to this comment
  21. Sanjay Rakecha

    07. Dec, 2013

    Whole Life is risk. no pain no gain, no risk no rewards

    Reply to this comment
  22. Walter

    08. Dec, 2013

    Thanks for continuing to retweet this message. I have seen it several times over the past few weeks but finally decided to read it today. Very uplifting!

    Reply to this comment
  23. Karin Hurt

    09. Dec, 2013

    Stories like this are everywhere… and the risk is not just for the leader, but for the teams they lead. Scared, settling leaders don’t inspire. Of course, sometimes, it’s also a brave move to stay and create the needed change in the culture. Either way, it’s about facing adversity and leading authentically toward the greater good. Not succumbing to just get by. A thought-provoking post.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Cindy Tomcak

    09. Dec, 2013

    Thank you for this article, you so wonderfully put words to what needs to be seen and said in todays world.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Bryon

    09. Dec, 2013

    This is great encouragement. I’m struggling in taking some risks myself. I’ve always lived a very stable life and had a great job….

    Reply to this comment
  26. Lauretha Ward

    21. Dec, 2013

    I just opened my e-mail and saw that you had followed me. Truly divine appointment to then see your article about taking risks. The words resonated so strongly with me as I was thinking in the shower about going after my passion with writing…to stop putting it off. Thanks for your powerful words of encouragement to #bemore and not settle for mediocrity, knowing that the Greater one lives on the inside of me. I can do all things through the help and strength of the Lord to be an inspiration to many. Blessing to you and Merry Christmas!! :)

    Reply to this comment
  27. Chery Gegelman

    22. Dec, 2013

    Lolly – This post danced off the computer! I LOVE IT!

    (I’m sure you are not surprised that it resonated!)

    I think we need to get someone to write a song using this quote from your post,”When we don’t allow ourselves to risk, we settle.” What a great theme for 2014!

    Big hugs to you!

    Reply to this comment
  28. Sameer Goel

    04. Feb, 2014

    Lolly
    It is a brilliant way to elaborate the complicated things in the simplest of the ways. I respect and appreciate your blogs. Highly commendable.

    Reply to this comment
  29. Beth Granger

    26. Apr, 2014

    This is just perfect Lolly. I’ve shared it with an entrepreneur class I’m taking and it really fits for all areas of life. Reminds me of that song or poem about dancing like no one is watching and loving like we’ll never get hurt.

    Reply to this comment
  30. Dawood Chishti

    20. Jul, 2014

    “If risk knocks at the door, be open and answer with courage” it’s a right advice.ar right time. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment

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