This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo about happiness.
The idea of taking risks can be terrifying. Still, while you’re not going to jump out of a plane without a parachute, there are plenty of other risks you can take in life that can directly contribute to improving your happiness. Many of them are things that you can do every day without any substantial danger attached to them.
But if there is no danger, is it really a risk? The answer to that is Yes, we don’t need to tackle death-defying activities to take a risk in our lives, and it all depends on who you are as a person. For some, taking a risk might be speaking up in a meeting about something you disagree with. For others, it might be quitting your job and following your passion. So how can these actions make you happier? Well, there is an array of reasons, and here they are for you to check out.
You Can Face Your Fears
Everyone has fears. You might be scared of heights or spiders, or you might be scared that you will lose your job and not be able to pay the rent. While these are all legitimate fears, they aren’t going to go away if you don’t try your hardest to take a risk and face them head-on. It is often the idea of your fear that holds you back, and you will find that there was nothing to worry about in the slightest. In turn, this makes you more confident, which boosts your self-satisfaction and shows you that you are much more capable than you imagine yourself to be.
You Learn What You Want From Life
If you feel stuck in a rut in your relationships or your career, taking a risk can help provide clarity and help you decide what you truly want from life. It might be that you decide to quit your job and pursue something that makes you happy, such as researching nursing aide degrees so you can feel you’re giving something back to the world. On the other hand, you might want to separate yourself from toxic people in your life. You may be worried that you’ll feel lonely, but loneliness is nothing compared to poisoning your mind and life with the negativity that comes from being around people who are wrong for you.
You Are More Open to New Scenarios
Once you try one risk, you’ll want to try them all. You realize that there is nothing to be scared of most of the time, making you open to doing other things. You find this with people who get tattoos. The idea of a needle will scare them at first, but once the first one is completed, they want another. The same goes for renting a motorcycle in a country on the other side of the world. The rush you get from cruising through the mountains makes you feel free, and you will want to do it all over again tomorrow, no matter how risky the roads looked when you first started.
You Realize You’re Stronger Than You Think
Everyone has some self-doubt about themselves. They do not think they can do The Thing, and this stops them from pushing themselves further. However, once you take a risk, you realize you are much stronger than you give yourself credit. After realizing this, you know you are capable of doing whatever you want. You have the confidence to take on new challenges because you know that you can do it, regardless of what that little voice in the back of your head used to say.
It Makes You Stand Out
Some people love being the center of attention, but for others, it’s their worst nightmare. They don’t like the idea of having all eyes on them, but sometimes the best thing you can do is put yourself out there and stand out from the crowd. Admittedly, not all risks will pay off, but those that do will show the world that you are a bold and confident person who is comfortable in their skin, and this means that there’s nothing anyone can say or do that will hurt you.
It Stops You Caring What Others Think
We’ve all had those times where we try out a new outfit and feel foolish for thinking it was a good look. Everywhere you go, you feel like people are staring and silently judging you for your fashion faux-pas. However, once you take one risk and own it, you will quickly realize you don’t care what anyone else thinks as long as it makes you happy. This gives you the chance to go even further next time. Think about dying your hair or ditching social norms, or wear something that reflects you, rather than what society expects of you.
You Feel Like You’re Going Somewhere
It can be easy to feel like you’re not going anywhere in life, especially if you spend time on social media scrolling through pictures of friends and strangers who are all having adventures. But even if you take just a small risk every day, you’ll feel like your life is going somewhere. With every risk, you open yourself up to new opportunities, which can dramatically boost your happiness and remind you that you, too, are going somewhere.
It Raises Your Standards
You don’t need to have super-high standards, and you shouldn’t expect to come into millions of dollars the next time you walk out of the house. However, taking risks will help remind you that there is always more to life, and you have the agency to explore what more is out there. This is why a bucket list is so useful, and you shouldn’t stop trying once you achieve one thing. Instead, cross off your highest priority, and then look for more. The more risks you seek out, the more you will crave, and this keeps you on your toes, always looking for the next thrill in your life, whatever that might be.
It Teaches You Something New
Whenever you experience something different from what you’re used to, you learn something new. This could be about the world or yourself. Whatever it is you learn, it’s something you should cherish. If there is a meaning to life, you would expect that it is something to do with knowledge. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should hole yourself in the library reading through all the books; where’s the risk in that? Instead, the constant search for knowledge enables you to feel better about yourself. You will be more confident, you will be more satisfied with who you are, and if you aren’t, you have the chance to change that.
You Appreciate Life More
Life is here for you to live it, and with every risk you take, you will come to appreciate life more. You might risk living in another country, which introduces you to a whole new culture that shows you there is no definitive way to live. You may go for the adrenaline junkie route, and when your heart is beating in your throat, you’ll find that you love life more than you ever realized, even if you know the activity was entirely safe.
Take The Risk
Taking risks may be terrifying to some people, but that’s precisely the point. If you stay in your comfort zone for too long, you will miss out on what the rest of the world has to offer. If you’re going to grow as a person and finally be happy with you who you are, taking risks is one of the most liberating ways to go about this, and you’ll soon realize that trying something terrifying isn’t so terrifying, after all.