What is Your Risk Quotient?

 “And the day came when the risk (it took) to remain tight in the bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom.” –Anais Nin

 Work as a coach encompasses helping people to take calculated risks that will move them outside of their comfort zones, in an effort to discover what may be possible that they could never see before, usually because they were too close to the subject at hand.

How many of us have stayed in an unsatisfactory job or relationship that was not fulfilling because it was too risky to make a necessary change? One very important fact that we forget to realize is, that change does not have to be all encompassing. Change can be in steps, we do not have to quit our job and struggle to find the next path. We do not have to throw away our relationship and look for a new partner. Taking the steps can feel risky but can open doors to satisfaction and success.

When an unsatisfactory job is at stake, we can begin to evaluate what it is that is causing the dissatisfaction. We can fashion a discovery process in which we create various tasks to gain clear insight into what is working and what is not. We may discover that the company is one in which we place value, but the position is too limiting. Change, in this case, may be a matter of discovering what avenues there are to a more responsible position. The answer may not be simple, perhaps more education or training but at least we can then plan to make it happen and create a time line. Suddenly our old job is a stepping-stone to the next level, not an unsatisfying ordeal. The first risk is to be willing to look at the whole picture of our dilemma, and figure out what smaller steps (risks) we can take to begin to move the situation into a better light.

What about an unsatisfactory relationship? In this case it may be mustering up the courage to communicate with our partner from a more loving place. We may have to put away our need to be right and be open to being a better listener. We may have to make a pact with our partner to have conversations, where we each get time to say our part (lovingly and without blame) and then hear the others as well. We may both have to give up being defensive, feeling victimized and begin to create a safe place for each to speak their mind, in a loving manner. The risk is always rejection and hurt, but without the risk there is anger, discomfort and unhappiness too.

Coach’s Challenge:
Do we want to stay in bud where it is dark and restrictive or bloom? To bloom it takes courage, honesty and the willingness to sometimes fail. The pain of staying where we are has to be greater than the pain of taking a risk. Take a look at where you are in your job and relationships. What small risks can you take to begin to move them in a direction of blossoming?

By Kate Steinbacher

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