Warning: Emotional risks can change your life!
An emotional risk is one that involves emotional discomfort, perhaps some social anxiety, and often means reaching outside of our comfort zone. What does an emotional risk look like? It looks like accepting or creating an interaction that is not a part of our daily routine. It means going out of our way to create an experience we wouldn’t normally have, with the goal of creating a new connection.
What’s the pay off?
I could simply tell you that 99% of our life is about connecting with others, and that is reason enough to take an emotional risk, however some of you will need to know exactly what the “ROI” (return on investment) is for taking such a risk. Emotional risks are what get us new jobs, salary increases, find us partners, ignite new friendships, and much more. Already settled in your dream job, with your perfect partner? Maybe? But probably not for long. Not because the grass is always greener, but because when we are at our best we are expanding our ideas of what makes us happy. If you found your dream job or amazing partner, it’s because you once took an emotional risk and likely will need to continue to take them in order to continue down a path that excites you. As humans we are wired to improve, accomplish, seek. Your job will always need tweaking and your connection with your partner will require constant tune-ups. One of the easiest ways to stay engaged in your life is to continue to take emotional risks. It will make you a better partner, a better worker, a better friend, and as I am learning, a better parent if you are one.
What does an emotional risk look like?
It might be as simple as meeting a friend who you haven’t seen in a long time, inviting a new family over for dinner, grabbing a drink with a colleague you don’t know well, asking someone with more experience than you to set a time to discuss how they found their success, playing golf/tennis/hiking with someone new, asking a stranger if they need help…and so on.
When is it time to take an emotional risk?
When we feel stagnant in our job or relationship
When we are yearning for something unknown
When we are feeling lonely
When we want to change careers but don’t know how
When we are bored, sad, angry, or despair
Emotional risk taking increases our network of people we can call on in times of need and increases our overall resiliency in life. In addition, the law of physics is at play in the sense that ‘for every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction.’ In this sense, one emotional risk will inspire another resulting in a more creative and connected world. But if that’s to heady for you…just remember in order to make more money, fall in love, have friends, and connect… an emotional risk is your gateway.
Cheers to you and your risky life!