risk-taking: sunday ritual

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”
— - Thomas A. Edison


It's the official/unofficial end of summer. A bittersweet end in sight. Even with warm weather, the seasons charge and so do our priorities. To most, and to me, the beginning of fall and end of summer feels more like a ‘new calendar year.’ It is a time to re-align goals and intentions as we settle down after fun-loving summer months. Of putting in motions new challenges and ambitions.

What better way to do that than step outside our comfort zone? Many of us know our dreams and aspirations and see them as these unattainable clouds in the distance. We live in fear from acting on it, fear of failing, fear of moving out of our comfort zone. What’s something you’ve always dreamt about and never pursued? Small or large? Anything you felt you ‘missed your boat’ on? We tend to have a negative association with risk-taking. Why is that? Fear.

We spend so much time doing what we think we should be doing. And most of that is true. But what is inherently you that you are holding yourself back from being or doing?

Are you holding yourself back because of the fear of what negative outcome could come of it? Of unknown changes? Of the unknown itself?

Taking risks allows us to build confidence by standing out, by taking the lead instead of following. By stepping into what makes us unique.

And, even though risks are scary, start with baby steps and think about it, what is the worst that can happen? If it doesn’t lead to death or serious phsycial injury, doesn’t it just lead to a memorable life-changing experience? By realizing the worst-case scenario is really not that bad, its take a bit of the pressure off.

When we can see live in a more light-hearted lens, then the weight of our daily lives and burdens somehow gets lighter.

You ask for a raise even though you don’t feel they will say yes?

Worst-case, and far-fetched is you get fired for it. And really, in the grand scheme of things thats not so bad. You get another job and you get to leave a company that fires you for simply asking for a raise. Good riddance! Best case you get a raise. Good case you demostated confidence and competence, that your employer will remember (you at least get an opportunity to share why you deserve it and remind them (and you) of your talents and contributions.

What’s the worst that could happen?

You go on a first date and get an upset stomach, maybe you even shit your pants on a the date (ehem, not saying if this is based on reality…). As devestating and mortifying as that is, years later you have a story to tell and its simply a moment in time that doesn’t effect the rest of your live.

What’s the worst that could happen?

One of my dearest friends has had a more challenging upbringing than most. Growing up with a mom whose mental health involves delusions and pyshosis, and has led to street drugs and challenging characters showing up to their grandparents home regularly, and a younger sibling who got into the wrong crowd at a young age, to say the least she has more on her plate than the average person. She is a beautiful soul with the kindest heart, carries the responsibility of her extended family, caring for her grandparents, while raising her younger sibling and her younger siblings kids and still always has a smile on her face.  In university I used to call her, anxious and stressed about whatever seemed so paramount at the time, whether it was about a boy, or a class I couldn’t get into, a roommate dispute or an essay I had to write. I would be so stressed and turning to my friend to console me, to sympathize with my challenges. But, she would just start laughing at me at whatever situation I was in. At first, of course it would throw me off, but then I was able join in laughing at myself. All the sudden, it was a non-issue. It was comical and I could let it go.

When we can see live in a more light-hearted lens, then the weight of our daily lives and burdens somehow gets lighter. And, of course, I have no idea what insignificant thing I was so stressed about. All I remember is my friend lightening the burden by making light of the situation.

Whats the worst that could happen?


Risk-taking + SO WHAT?

Pick a risk you can do and practice asking yourself “so what” for the worst case that could happen.

To overcome anxiety, a tactic used in cognitive behavioural therapy is to ask ‘so what?’ For this long weekend, think of a risk you want to take. Whether small or large, whether over the weekend (trying a new food) or short-term (start blogging); or long-term (go back to school/move cities, etc). Simply in your head, think about a risk you want to take. Now, notice if your fear kicks in, telling you what could happen if you do. Challenge each “why not” to do it with a “so what?” Continue doing this, and notice how it minimizes the fear.

For example, deciding to do yoga teacher training, these questions came up. Will skip the why I wanted to do it, and just go to where my mind tried to stop me:

  • “I won’t be able to do anyting for 8 weekends straight.” - so what? I have all the rest of my weekends for the rest of my life.

  • “Its a big financial investment” - so what? I’ll likely spend that money on something else if I didn’t and this is a personal development investment in myself.

  • “What if I don’t teach, I don’t know if I want to teach” - so what? It’ll be for my personal development and a skill I’ll have forever.

  • “What if I do teach and no one likes me and I’m terrible?” - so what? Part of me isn’t even sure if I want to teach!

  • “What if I’m the worst one in the class?” - so what?

  • Etc., etc.,

Now, looking back even though I didn’t have all the answers and wasn’t even sure why I wanted to do it, I am so happy I did. I didn’t plan to teach yoga, I was doing for myself and my life has been transformed. I absolutely love teaching yoga, but didn’t need to know that to take the ceritifcation. The investment I put into it has paid itself off with the summer outdoor classes I’ve led my first year, and I have tools to help myself feel better mentally. I was quite depressed before I took it and this was my therapy. I now see the world with open eyes and ok having less control over my life. I have less anxiety and have the confidence to ask more ‘so what’ questions.

Imagine if I didn’t take the risk? Worst case is helpful to imagine to know its not even bad. And then the best happened instead.

What’s the worst that could happen?

have a wonderful sunday and wonderful week

join us for our collective ritual 


Join us Sunday, Sept 9th for our collective sunday ritual on intention setting. I will be leading meditation and workshop on setting an intention for the fall, and you will make a bracelet so you can be reminded of your intention while you wear it. Hope to see you there!

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