Everyone advises you to step out of your comfort zone and take risks. Even when consulting a horoscope, you read: “Now is the time to be a little fearless and go after the unknown.”
The other day, my husband forwarded an e-card from Paulo Coelho to me. It was a quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955). French philosopher and Jesuit priest, a paleontologist and geologist wrote: “Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”
Of course it’s hard! But it can be done. It’s a matter of being deliberate. If you’re focusing on the process, as opposed to constantly thinking what a big job it is, you can tackle anything. Practice endurance. See it through.
Everyone advises you to step out of your comfort zone and take risks in life because pain is a source of empowerment
To step out of your comfort zone is to explore what is possible. It’s about putting yourself out there and finding the exhilarating liberation that comes with it.
Vincent van Gogh (March 30, 1853–July 29, 1890) had articulated a similar sentiment in a letter to his brother Theo from October 2, 1884. Van Gogh writes: “If one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes. To be good — many people think that they’ll achieve it by doing no harm — and that’s a lie… That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity.”
John W. Gardner (October 8, 1912 – February 16, 2002), Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson, in a section of Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society writes: “We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure — all your life. It’s as simple as that.”
Marina Abramović (born November 30, 1946), the pioneer of performance art, reflects: “Some big part of me is thrilled by the unknown, by the idea of taking risks. When it comes to doing risky things, I don’t care. I just go for it. That doesn’t mean I’m fearless. Quite the opposite. The idea of death terrifies me. When there is turbulence on an airplane, I shake with fear. I start composing my last will and testament. But when it comes to my work, I cast caution to the winds.”
To take risks is to engage with life, to treat every day as an artwork
Everyone advises to step out of your comfort zone and take risks because wherever you are afraid to go is where it is at! It’s foolish to be safe. Stop second-guessing yourself. Commit to it. Give yourself in to openhearted curiosity. Admit to your own strength and creative purpose. Nurture and listen to your inner voice that believes in you. Any thoughts? Please send them to your DIY architect here.