If You Aren’t Scared, You Aren’t Taking Chances And If You Aren’t Taking Chances, What Are You Even Doing?

Paolo Raeli

At 21 I was caught somewhere between the life I knew and the life I wanted which was so far away.

Physically, I was present but emotionally I left so much of myself in a foreign city full of cobblestone streets.

My friend sat with me as I told her my plan.

‘It’s going to hurt me to see you go and not be with us,’ she said. ‘But it would hurt me more watching you stay here.’

‘A lot of people don’t understand why I have to do this,’ I replied.

‘A lot of people don’t need to understand.’

So I left.

If it were easy it wouldn’t scare you. If there wasn’t a risk involved, you wouldn’t have a single doubt. But you do because often times, that thing that scares you is what you need most.

When you do something unorthodox or outside the realm of normal, people are going to question you. People might wonder have you gone crazy? People are going to try and convince to live your life accordingly to some plan.

But what you have to remember is life isn’t supposed to go according to some plan. The fun part is figuring it out along the way.

Sometimes we find ourselves paralyzed with fear of the unknown, we don’t do anything at all.

But you have to do that thing that scares you.

Whether that’s leaving somewhere you know, telling someone how you feel or quitting a job. The most important thing is to make steps towards what will bring you happiness and trying to figure out what that is.

I think there are some questions in life you need to figure out on your own. And the only way to get there is through experience.

You can look at someone who is full of knowledge and wisdom and respect what they have to say. And maybe they’ll be right. But until you figure that out for yourself, you’ll always be left with that empty feeling wondering what you’re missing, if you don’t go after it.

Don’t ever live your life wondering what if or what could have happened?

So there I was a senior in college wiping out most of my bank account with a plane ticket in hand. I knew there were people who didn’t agree with my choice but for the first time in my life I was being selfish and I wasn’t going to apologize for that.

And maybe I had gone crazy but I truly believe it’s only when you do something that scares you, are you truly living your life to its full potential. It’s only when you step outside of your comfort zone do you grow as a person.

It’s only when you risk it all, do you have something to look back at smiling. Yes, you can lose but you gain so much more in the long run.

If your heart is behind every choice you make, you’ll look back and remember, ‘at one time, that was everything I wanted.’

So I advise you to follow your heart, regardless of where it might take you. Do something that makes you happy, even if people don’t understand. The wonderful thing about it is it’s your life and how you live it and what you do is entirely up to you. You have no sense of obligation to live according to someone else’s agenda.

I challenge you to live a life you’re proud of.

Live without regrets.

Do something that scares.

Put yourself in a situation where you might make a ‘mistake’.

Learn. Grow. Don’t just stand there, make a choice.

And when you look back, you’ll know the reason you’re where you are, is because you were the one who didn’t let fear or someone else control you.

“If you’re not scared then you’re not taking a chance. If you’re not taking a chance then what the hell are you doing anyway?” – How I Met Your Mother

Writer living in Hoboken, NJ with my 2 dogs.

Keep up with Kirsten on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and kirstencorley.com

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