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Risking it for a Better Life

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By Lisa Jo Barr


Do you long to do something with your life? Do you feel it’s out of reach? That dream? This profession? That great work? It’s only as out of reach as we believe it is. And we always act accordingly.

We play mind games with ourselves. To the degree that we don’t believe in ourselves, is the degree that we won’t take a leap-of-faith risk to move toward our dream. When we don’t believe in ourselves, we stay frozen in a place we don’t want to be. We live in fear. Our mind and our limbs don’t even know what a positive risk is. It’s too frightening. We cannot fathom taking a leap of faith. It feels too life threatening. We are scared of where we are and also scared of where we will land up if we take action. So we remain stagnant.

A positive risk is DOING something to move toward our most longed for goal. We jump out of our heads and climb into our bodies to take action. To DO gets real results. Just thinking doesn’t. When we take positive risk through action, we surrender to what we want in life and let go of the fear of failure. We begin to brainstorm the paths to get from where we are to where we  want to go. We are guided by our most creative selves.

There are all kinds of little stepping stones to move toward your dream and away from settling. For instance, a budding artist going to the art museum or buying a sketchbook and a pencil is moving in the right direction—or rather—in the direction of the dream. They all add up and there is a tipping point. Soon, all of you is geared toward the change, and you move toward it with pleasure and courageous boldness.

One way to collect your ideas of a better life is to get things on paper. What can you do to get closer to your goal? Is there a class you can take? A certain type of mentor you can hunt down? ALWAYS ask. Think: the sky is the limit. Is there somewhere you can work that would hone your skills? Would going to the X-Games inspire your sought after skateboard career? Think: inspiration. If you want to be a key note speaker, do some spoken word at a storytelling night in the back of a bar.

When you take action, really put yourself in your future role. Dress the part. What do you look like? Act like? If you use role-play in the present, then life will come alive into a dress rehearsal for your big change to manifest.

Take the risk. Ask for help. Look at yourself as willing to learn. Be humble. Look at life through a child’s eye. Bathe in all possibilities. Be curious and explore the life that you really want to live. Let go of the fear and step into the immense strength that lies inside of you. It’s already there.

If fear is preventing you from taking positive action, don’t worry. Be gentle on yourself. Visualize yourself in a different place—in a safe place that expands into your dreamscape. Imagine yourself laughing and moving around in your new world where your dream has already come true. Agree to let yourself be where you are. If you’re afraid, just say “I feel fear.” Don’t deny anything.

Start a dialogue with your negativity. Give it a voice. Talk back and forth or write down the dialogue if you feel shy. The best way to communicate with yourself is to talk. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy, even if you answer back! Ask yourself: What’s holding you back? What’s the benefit of staying where you are? Do you want to live a boring life? Do you think your life will be satisfying by being a slave to fear? If the answer is no, then you will need to do something about it. You can’t just sit still any longer.  

The benefits of positive risk taking: Life becomes much more interesting. Shades of grey, black and white turn into three-dimensional color. You are challenged in new bold ways that put your old fearful ways to the test. It’s thrilling  like a water ride. It can feel like a free-fall drop—but have faith—you will come out ahead living a much more fulfilling life.

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About Lisa Jo Barr

I am a Social Media Director and freelance writer. My articles and columns have been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide. I've done copywriting and technical writing. Poetry and personal essays. Et cetera. I am a lover of art. I am a very visual person and love to do collage art. I love art in all mediums and have created a virtual art gallery on Twitter ( @ABCcustomframe ). Swimming, volunteering, meditating, traveling, dancing, I love the art of conversation. The art of creative writing. The art of storytelling. The art of leadership. Great customer service. Great theatre. Great people. I dig these. I love to have fun, to laugh, to inspire. Life is an adventure. Love conquers all. Be who you are.

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