I was at a Dude Ranch deep in the heart of Texas with some gal pals a while back when Cowboy Larry said “Come here, Little Lady. (It’s all perspective!) Are you willing to stand on a horse?”
What?! Why would anyone over the age of 10 want to do that? Let alone at my age. I had three upcoming speaking engagements, and if I hurt myself there was no way my mortgage was going to pay for itself! Absolutely not!
My fears and frustrations at that point in my life remained physical. Growing up I was knocked down by a pack of mangy, homeless dogs, got thrown from another horse at six years old, and physically attacked in an alley by an older boy as a pre-teen. After years of being the Pizza Delivery boy’s favorite customer, I still struggle to say no to tempting foods, yes to physical activity, and maintain my 50-pound weight loss. Most days I do it anyway, but it’s not an easy-breezy choice.
Where are YOU in your journey of taking healthy risks? What does your inner committee say when an uncomfortable opportunity shows up? Many of us do not stretch our comfort zones because we are afraid of falling, failing, looking like a fool, or not being perfect. We are comfortable with some risk categories (physical, emotional, professional) but still fearful or stagnant in others.
Now if Cowboy Larry said, “Colette get up on stage and hilariously entertain everyone while you train us on leadership, empowerment, and assertiveness,” I’d jump right up with no hesitation. Why? That’s a risk I’m comfortable with taking as it plays to my strengths. That doesn’t mean I don’t have nerves now and again, but I believe I’ll succeed because I’ve done it so many times before. I’ve already stretched that comfort zone.
Perhaps you may feel completely comfortable speaking your truth professionally at a meeting or with a coworker, yet with family or friends you bite your tongue because it’s not worth the conflict. You may risk asking for the sales order in business, but you won’t ask your colleague to lower their voice or honor their deliverable timeline.
A few years back, motivational speaker and friend Kelly Swanson and I were up for a television show called Jack of All Trades: Dirty Jobs meets Celebrity Apprentice. I didn’t know if I’d be searching for toads in a Louisiana swamp or milking cows. And while I wouldn’t be eating any bugs, the physical element was still my own fear factor. So I thought: standing on a horse is MY next step to stretch my comfort zone. I may never get this chance again. Plus if I fall off it will make a great story! So, up I went.
Where do you need to risk? Whether you need to get up or get back on that horse, stop horsing around and start risking.
By the way, we didn’t get chosen for the TV show. Doesn’t matter. We risked.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.