I’ll be the first to admit that taking chances is scary. Entering into a new situation without any idea of what the outcome will be is very frightening. I have often talked myself out of taking chances by focusing on the outcome. What could I lose? What could go wrong? What will people think? What if I get embarrassed? Sure, these are valid questions. But why do I never ask myself what I could gain? What I could learn? What could go right? What if this improves me?
I think that, for reasons that I’m sure psychology explains but I’m not savvy to, negative emotions stick with us far longer than the positive ones do. Everyone remembers one traumatic time that they took a chance and it didn’t work out, so now taking chances is scary. But why don’t we spend more time focusing on the times that our chances panned out for the best? Why can’t I remember the times that I have applied for jobs on the off-chance that they might work out, and gotten the job? Or the times that I’ve invited a friend crush to hang out and found an amazing, long-term friend?
The most successful chance I’ve ever taken is to move my seat in class one day to sit in front of the boy that I had been staring at for the past five months. That boy is now the love of my life, and has been for over two years. I cringe to think what would have happened if I hadn’t sat with him that day. I cringe to think what life would be like if he hadn’t taken a chance and sent me a very ballsy Facebook message after the last day of classes. I would have missed out on countless amazing experiences, insurmountable happiness and fulfillment, and a lot of important life experience.
I suppose the thing that encourages me to take chances is this: If I take a chance and I don’t like the outcome (I get a job, but I hate it! The guy isn’t single! I don’t like this new person in my life!) I don’t have to keep it. In life, save a few things that you really are stuck with, you don’t need to hang on to things that don’t bring you happiness. Taking a chance will either bring something wonderful into your life, or simply not pan out. The short term disappointment is absolutely worth the potential lifetime of happiness, don’t you think?
What has been the most fulfilling chance that you’ve taken? Lets talk.