To Live Your Truth Requires Risk

Written by on July 4, 2014 in Confidence with 16 Comments

A single risk can open a world of possibilitiesOne day you’re going to look back at the choices you’ve made and there will inevitably be certain points in your life where you just can’t help but wonder about what might have been had things played out just a little differently.

What if you’d taken a chance on that relationship, or risked being vulnerable by admitting you were wrong? What if you’d followed the career path you really wanted instead of what seemed more practical at the time? What if you’d found the courage to speak out against an injustice or were a little more willing to lend a helping hand? What if you had been willing to risk failure?

Why We Avoid Risk

Building a tolerance for risk-taking is not as difficult as you might imagine; the bigger question is why would you want to? The simple answer is a better quality of life.

We stay stuck in dead-end jobs because of a false sense of security and the fear of uncertainty associated with unemployment. We have relationships with people we’re not in love with because we fool ourselves into thinking it will get better, when the truth is we can’t bear the thought of being alone. Worst of all we settle for comfort over a life of meaning and fulfillment rather than risk discomfort and failure.

The only thing scarier than avoiding risks … is finding yourself looking back one day and wondering … what if? ~Marquita Herald

The place to begin any personal growth initiative is always within you. Take some time to reaffirm the people and things that matter most to you, and decide what you want your life to stand for. It doesn’t matter who or what that may be, this is about having the courage to live your truth rather than what you believe is expected of you by others. Your family, friends, community, and society in general will all have their opinions, and some will work hard to influence you, but at the end of the day, it’s your life and it’s up to you to make the most of it.

So learn to ignore the haters, live in the present, take chances and live your passion. Don’t just eat, learn to savor and really enjoy food. Unplug and get outside, eliminate unnecessary physical and mental clutter, really feel your emotions, slow down and smell the flowers, reconnect with our shared humanity, laugh out loud, learn a new skill, and try new things every chance you get.

Risk More Adventures

  • You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little side bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. And if you don’t play you can’t win. ~Judith McNaught
  • I always do things I’m not quite ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When you’re faced with that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through it, that’s when you have a breakthrough. ~Marissa Mayer
  • Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it. ~Oprah Winfrey
  • Life is risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing. ~Denis Waitley
  • Do one thing every day that scares you. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
  • You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little side bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. And if you don’t play you can’t win. ~Judith McNaught
  • It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might have well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default. ~J.K. Rowling
  • The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. ~Mark Twain
  • The most dangerous risk of all is the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. ~Author Unknown
  • Excellence can be attained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible. ~Author Unknown
  • Take the risk of thinking for yourself. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way. ~Christopher Hitchens
  • Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when that person looks back – and at some point everyone looks back – she will hear her heart saying, ‘What have you done with the miracles that God planted in your days? What have you done with the talents God bestowed on you? You buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of losing those talents. So this is your heritage; the certainty that you wasted your life.’ ~Paulo Coelho
  • When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly. ~Patrick Overton
  • If I had my life to live over again, I’d take more risks and make more mistakes next time. I’d be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers and watch more sunsets. I would have more actual troubles and less imaginary ones. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else, just moments, one after another … I would pick more daisies. ~Nadine Stair (age 92)

If you make a habit of choosing comfort over risk you’ll never get a chance to see what you’re capable of. Risks don’t have to be BIG or scary. A single feat of daring can alter your whole concept of what is possible and change the course of your life.

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.


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  1. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    These are some awesome and beautiful quotes. It is so true that doing things we are scared of help us grow and open our life in ways we would never know. I use to live a life based on fear and then I finally gathered the courage to follow my dreams and to ask questions and talk to people about past hurts and it changed my life. I also learned to enjoy every moment I was in for what it is. Wishing you are somewhere else will bring nothing but unhappiness.
    Sebastian Aiden Daniels recently posted…The Benefits of Quitting PornMy Profile

  2. This is a very powerful article Marty. I love the quote of doing something each day that scares us. Let’s face it taking risks is uncomfortable but it definitely is necessary for growth.

    If we do not take risks we will undoubtedly have some regrets later in life, with all of the what if’s. It is best that we take risks NOW and fail than to never take any risks and stay in the same place year after year without any growth. You look at any successful person and you will find a risk taker. Tanks for sharing Marty.
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted…Frugal Ways to Save on ElectricityMy Profile

  3. Sue Bride

    Good quotes are so inspiring. They sum up an idea so succinctly don’t they? For a long period of time if I didn’t do anything scary I wouldn’t have done anything at all. Doing them didn’t make them any easier though. I had to solve an underlying problem with anxiety first. So true Jacqueline – “And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

    Yes, if I took time to think about it I would have “what ifs” but it’s never too late to change so I refuse to brood on the past. I can take some risks now – I say some because a lot of the things I thought I wanted and needed I didn’t want or need at all. Maybe I needed the failures to show me that.
    Sue Bride recently posted…What are Hashtag Chats – How to Join or Run OneMy Profile

  4. Dave

    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

    This quote is framed to the entrance of our kitchen. I see it every day. And it helps to remind me that, as you say, it is only in the taking of risks that we grow.

    I think the most difficult thing for me is validating that my fears and risks are “worthy”. For lack of a better word, many people view a fear as something that needs to be monumental, something that will have a huge impact from one single decision. But, this doesn’t have to be so.

    Something seen as a risk to you may not be seen as a risk to someone else. But, you are the only one that matters. For, it is in the conquering of that fear that you build up your internal fortitude to tackle that next risk, and then the one after that. So, whatever it is that you fear, go and do it, step by step and you will find a culmination of courage that will carry you to bigger and better things.

    I am sounding like a broken record, but thank you again Marty. I feel as though the last three to four articles from you have really touched me on the inside, each one building upon the next with this one being the final one to really shine the light on certain things. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Did I say thank you? 😉

    • martyherald says:

      You are SO welcome Dave! And being the perceptive guy you are, you are so correct about a theme and it’s leading up to a couple of important events. The launch of my Healing Lives Pets for Vets Fundraiser and later in the month my new book The Resilient Optimist. Both labors of love. 🙂

  5. Thank you for your wonderful post. One quote really stood out and I really needed to read this quote today Marquita: “I always do things I’m not quite ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When you’re faced with that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this and you push through it, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”~Marissa Mayer
    Nathalie Villeneuve recently posted…Update your wardrobe for Summer!My Profile

    • martyherald says:

      Welcome back Nathalie! So glad you enjoyed the article and I you picked out one of my favorite quotations of the collection! As a recovering perfectionist I count one of my greatest accomplishments (so far) as getting myself to the point of taking that first step before all the “i” are dotted – it was really difficult at first but now it adds to the excitement!

  6. Mark

    So very well said Marquita!

    My oh my, but you do have such an eloquent way with words!

    And I really loved all of your quotes, especially the two by Marrissa Mayer & Judith MCNaught!

    Thanks for pointing out, that just beneath the surface of what appears to be risk. Is nothing more than a lifetime of possibilities! Desperately waiting to be discovered! And explored!
    Mark recently posted…How The Ultimate Insiders Use Incentive Programs To Drive Your Competitors Crazy! Part TwoMy Profile

  7. Simone Alicia

    This was really awesome!! The bullet points were fantastic too thank you!!

  8. What great quotes and by taking risks you never know what new opportunity will present itself. When I met my wife when she moved from California to England, then 10 years ago we moved from England to Texas, then I went from the software industry to the Wind Energy Industry and now I am a full time marketer and consultant. The reason I list these is because they were all risks and all moving into the unknown. All these “risks: we have taken and never regretted. If you don’t take the risk you won’t see the opportunity. Thanks for sharing
    Andy Lockhart recently posted…4 Tips for Mastering Body Language in Business NetworkingMy Profile

    • martyherald says:

      I love your adventurous spirit Andy! The world is full of opportunities and often it’s the smallest risk that will open the door to the biggest adventure. Thanks so much for sharing your story and contributing to the conversation – always appreciated. 🙂

  9. Suzie Cheel

    I love this Marty and it is very timely for me. I read this before starting to face some of the things on my to do list and I heart my heart whisper what will you let go of. So yes let’s do it without fear even if it is scary
    Suzie xx
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…Day 3: Heart Whisper Gratitude ChallengeMy Profile

  10. Couldn’t agree more!
    Growth is so often disguised as risk but this goddess finds it’s waaaay more fun to look at it as ADVENTURE!

    This is my favorite quote …
    you can tell we think alike *grins*

    “And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom.” ~ Anais Nin

    the goddess known as Jacqui
    Jacqueline Gates recently posted…RULES ~ Know ‘Em So You Can Break ‘EmMy Profile

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