A risky business this thing called life

Game pieces

I’ve been mulling over the word risk this week. There are many things in life that require an amount of risk and I’ve discovered that it’s actually everything! Getting out of bed in the morning there’s always the chance of stepping on a randomly discarded toy, eating breakfast can result in the breakage of a tooth, walking children to school does occasionally end in dog poo on the shoe – everything we do has an element of risk associated to it. So why is it then that when we look at the big decisions in life the risks seem to frighten us so much?

They talk about us all being either risk takers or risk adverse and I did a little study with a group of 5 ladies this week and there was only really one who would call herself an all out risk taker. I think I probably verge on being a risk taker – when I look back over my life I know that I’ve taken some huge risks – some have paid off and some haven’t of course and some you never know the outcome as they are ongoing like having children….the risks are never ending!

I’m about to go to hospital this afternoon to have a general anaesthetic to have a wisdom tooth taken out – now that’s a risk. Something we know hospitals doing hundreds of a day all over the world but you still think about all those horror stories you’ve heard about how wrong it can go. It’s only natural to worry about things that you’re actually told have risk associated with them. I remember when my husband and I learnt to scuba dive – it was classed as an extreme sport and it made it slightly harder to get insurance, that added to the nerves when submerged under water – it didn’t however detract from what an amazing experience diving is.

So one thing I have realised this week about risk is that it’s everywhere and in everything we do. Relationships particularly are a risk – should I be myself with this person? How fragile is this relationship if I say how I really feel will it all crumble? If I step out and challenge someone at work what will be the outcome? If I made the leap and really committed to someone will I get hurt? Well yes you probably will at some point. But the other thing I realised this week is that you can’t  experience great adventure and growth if you don’t take a step, a leap of faith into the unknown. There are many people who play it safe all their life, and that’s fine, but for me I want to be able to look back and say I really did live.

Being an adoptive parent is a challenge at times, heck being a parent through any means is a challenge sometimes, but if we don’t teach our children how to fail as well as succeed they may never step out and take a risk. If they don’t then they could find themselves bored and unfulfilled in life. My children particularly struggle with friendships – which are riddled with risk. I just hope they can continue to step out and make a move towards others, that even when they feel unwanted and lonely they will find the strength within them to take a risk and reach out.

So whether you’d say you are a risk taker or risk adverse have a think about all the risks you take each day and if you didn’t take them you’d never get out of bed (not a bad thing somedays!) – if you never took a risk what would your life look like? And if you did take that huge risk that’s staring you in the face today – what difference would it make to your life? How much more fulfilled and happy might you be if you could take that step towards something that could be the turning point for you?

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