Taking Risks in Life One Bite at a Time

Would you like to HAVE all the courage in the world to take those “risks” that have those nifty rewards tied to it?

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I could remember taking risks in life at a very early age. It seems all kids have all the courage they need. However, over a short period of time we’re told we “shouldn’t” do this or we “shouldn’t” do that. We find ourselves holding back and not fully understanding why. All we did understood was if we’re ever going to get that nifty reward then we’re going to have to build up enough courage to take that risk.

And that’s exactly what I did as child and up to now. I wasn’t afraid to try new things and treat life as an adventure. I saw the reward one could have if they were just willing to take that risk.

Would you like to have the courage so you can start taking risks in life?

In this post I’m going to share with you how I developed my courage over the years in order to take calculated risks.

Are you ready to get started???

Well..when I take risks, I do them one bite at a time.

Let me explain.

When I think of all of the great things I want to do in my life, I add them to my dream board. (Do you have a dream board?) Before you know it, my dream board is cluttered with a plethora of goals and things I want to have and achieve.

Since I have all of these goals waiting to be reached, I’m reminded of them every day I walk into my office. Rather than worry about all of them, I hone in on one goal in particular.

As funny as this may sound, I would get so laser focused it would be like there were beams of light coming out of my eyes. There was some high level of seriousness and that’s exactly what we need.

Perhaps you have something already like this but you’re not reaching any of your goals like you thought because you lack courage. Well, this is were it gets really interesting. Now I must admit, I was talking to my brother about this and I wasn’t really aware of what it was I did that gave me courage but all I did know was it worked and it still does to this day. I’ll share what that is in just a minute.

WARNING! WARNING! This is going to be a longer post than usual, so you better cancel your plans for the next 15 minutes because we’re going to explode those risks into bite size pieces anyone can follow.
I assure you, you have never heard anything like this before. Especially when it comes to taking risks in life. I haven’t shared this with very many people before, so not very many know this – except for now.

With that, here are four bites you can chomp into so you too can have the courage to become a great risk taker in life:

1. The first born syndrome

Being the first born in my family, I came out of the womb with a checklist of things I was implanted with in order to make this world a better place.

When you’re the first born who later turns into big brother/sister, suddenly you feel a sense to rise up by setting a very good example. This doesn’t always work for everyone, but most do experience it at some point.

Let’s be honest now, if you love your family, then you definitely want to see the best for them. Well, the only way that is going to happen is if you do the very thing you would love to see them do.

For me the first born syndrome has served me very well. I’ve been able to set a very good example for my family. Not to mention, I’ve taken this philosophy with me my whole life.

Now I’m distilling it into my children so they can have the courage to do just about anything.

2. Double vision

No, I’m not talking about the song here. Although, that would be interesting to write about. Wouldn’t it? The double vision I’m speaking about is seeing life through two different set of eyes.

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One set of your eyes sees endless opportunities to do just about anything.

The other set of eyes sees limitations.

With the two different set of eyes this gave me a beautiful way to look at life. My primary set, the one who sees endless opportunities allows me to dream and make them a reality for me. I dream as though I’m experiencing the very thing I want.

With my secondary set of eyes, I see what other people are going through. You have this too, but perhaps you just don’t realize it.

Let’s say I come into a room full of people and all of a sudden as I enter, everyone becomes silent and stares at me. Awkward feeling, right. Well, what feeling are you experiencing as this is happening? You’re feeling everyone’s energy levels focusing in on you and it’s sucking the life right out of you, right?

With this experience you can now use to your advantage to now look at with your other set of eyes. What was it that made everyone become silent? Did I happen to mention that I was wearing a bright red suit with a yellow hat on my head?

What you probably were thinking was, what is wrong with them? I encourage you to not think this way. Instead, use your second set of eyes to understand why people were acting the way they were. Get into their minds by asking them why did they act that way. You may be surprised how different the responses would be.

Having double vision is an awesome power and it also allows you to have bulletproof courage.

3. The Sixth Sense

Ever get a feeling something isn’t right or something is pulling you towards something or someone but you’re just not sure what to do?

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That’s your sixth sense calling out to you.

Did you know, despite what society and rules think, there is no wrong way. We let outside forces tell us what we can or can’t do. [By the way I hate that word can’t.]

Trust your sixth sense because it’s most likely telling you something you need to do. If you don’t do what you feel you should do, then that’s only going to strengthen your lack of courage.

When I was a teenager I was working at a local store as a stock boy. I did it after school to make a little bit of extra money. However, I didn’t listen to my sixth sense because it was telling me something was not right about this job. On the surface everything looked fine and that’s all I saw, until I got started.

After a few weeks of working, I worked for a complete jerk who was hung up on his position. Definitely not a leader according to John Maxwell’s standards. All this person did was belittle me and boss me around like I was a moron. I felt like a fool even though I knew I wasn’t.

It was about a week later where I felt an urgent need to trust my sixth sense. It told me to quit that job and to not even give them the luxury of knowing I was quitting. My manager, the business owner,  was not raising me up or encouraging me to be great. If anything he was going to hold me back.

That was the best decision I ever made as a teenager when it came to work. Although, I’m not the one to not show up and let the other person know what is going on, this time around this was the best thing for me to do. I never regretted it, one bit. I learned that when my sixth sense is telling me something, I trust it and act on it immediately.

Acting on it will also help you build stronger courage.

4. Be the change

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When I was in my mid-20s, I faced a challenging time. I was contemplating quitting college because I was struggling big time. Attending a 4-yr university was a lot harder than a 2-yr college.

Right about this time I met my sweetheart, who is now my wife. We went on our first date. It was an amazing night. I felt so drawn to her. I felt this even more so when I told her about how I was going to quit college.

Being the visionary that she is, she saw the kind of person I was and that was not a quitter. She gave me the strength I needed to dig deep within myself to not quit. As I was going through this difficult time, she gave me the confirmation I needed – to persevere.

My date was that confirmation. It was exactly what I needed to get. The whole other side of me that was telling me to not quit was, if I want to have a different life then I have to go through the change period.

That meant being very uncomfortable.

I always knew this, but I lacked the external sources that gave me those words of affirmation.

With the combination of being the change and getting words of affirmation, I had the courage of a lion.

These four very special ways have served me over the years.

As time goes by I develop new and exciting ways to build up my courage. However, no matter how many new ones come into my life, I always come back to these four.

If you have read all the way through this post then congratulations. I’m glad you’re still with us. If you liked this post would you be so kind and tell us what you thought about it by commenting below. I would sure appreciate it.

Courageously yours,

Jerome Ratliff

4 comments to Taking Risks in Life One Bite at a Time

  • What people have also discovered on overcoming fear for taking a step forward is how thinking that in the future, it might become the regret that will linger for a lifetime. And instead of regretting how things could’ve turned out this way or another, why not do it at the present time.

    • Jerome Ratliff

      Yes…those who continue on are the epitome of dedicated leaders.

      Thanks for the great comment,
      Jerome Ratliff

  • No gain without pain, I like your article. Keep blogging

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