Home > Achievement and Perfectionism, Uncategorized > Is Getting What You Want Worth Risking What You Have?

Is Getting What You Want Worth Risking What You Have?

What I love about risk taking is that it is how great work comes about—greatness doesn’t come from playing it safe. ~Tim Gunn

I sometimes find myself thinking how clean and convenient it would be to get what I want, while not losing what I have. I know this usually cannot be the case, however, because most times getting what I want involves letting go of something else.  In order to reach my current state of health and fitness, for example, I had to let go of some habits that I really wanted to hold on to . . .initially.  Like most people with eating disorders, I did not want to give up using food as a way to cope with problems or challenges in my life.  However, I was also so sick of feeling that I lacked control over my body and life and I wanted more than anything to feel in control of me.  I had to risk the former in order to get the latter, and that’s exactly what I did.  I no longer use food for anything other than for fuel. I have learned that challenges require solutions, not cake, and most of the time I am able to find the solution.  Even when I don’t resolve a challenge to my 100% complete satisfaction, food never factors into the equation for me anymore. In this case, achieving my goal was well worth the risk of losing a poor coping mechanism that I had used for many years.

When you imagine yourself having the thing or situation you really want—you imagine that you’ve already taken all the risks and put in the leg work of getting it—how much better off do you believe you will be?  Do you feel good, neutral or bad thinking about the outcome?  If you’re not completely excited about the outcome, abort the mission—you don’t really want it.   Put the time and energy you would have wasted pursuing that dead end goal into finding out what you do truly want, the goal that is worth taking a risk for. If you feel good about the outcome, the risk of losing what you have is beyond worth it, because you are ready to trade up—you can do better and deep down in your guts, you know this. It’s a no brainer, really.

Taking risks can be exciting when you are going after what you truly want, but it can also be scary. One of the first things I did when I decided to conquer my eating disorder was to sit, for fifteen seconds, with all my anxiety and stress without raiding my pantry or fridge.  It was one of the hardest and longest fifteen seconds of my life, but it was also one of my proudest moments—it was the first time that I realized how much power I actually possessed over my choices. It was the beginning of the end of my eating disorder.  When you get scared pursuing what you want, just remember that you are being given an opportunity to practice bravery.  Without fear there could be no courageous acts. Without courageous acts very little would get accomplished (especially the most amazing accomplishments). Find out what you want and use your courage to go after it.  Do one risky thing, no matter how small, that will move you closer to your goal. I promise it is worth it.

  1. October 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    thanks emiko for reminding me. i do like that picture above too for it looks like somebody’s jumping from the the head of giant to anotherone’s

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