YOLO. You only live once! We've all said it! The saying implies: "Do whatever you want! Life is short! Go for it!" While YOLO can be extremely fun and satisfying in the moment, like the time you decided to stick your head out the sunroof going 95 miles per hour on the freeway... YOLO. That felt great. You were living in the moment sucking up all the adrenaline! However, as we get older and time goes on we realize that we want to live a little more conservative, take fewer risks, and stay safe sometimes to the point where we never get out of the comfort zone paralyzed by the potential risks.
However, a well thought out, well calculated, feel the fear and do it anyway "just go for it" approach can be a huge asset in your life.
I really wanted to somehow say that I can be quite conservative sometimes but the truth is, I've always been a rule pusher having a YOLO mindset starting all the parties wherever I went, especially in my late teens/early 20's. I also got myself into trouble living in the YOLO mindset over the years.
Living with the consequences of YOLO, overtime led me to mold myself into someone quite insecure and conservative. My responses became a lot of “I don’t know’s” and “sure whatever you want” afraid of rocking the boat in my personal and professional relationships. I felt so much shame that I didn’t want to take up more space than necessary making myself small to let others feel better about themselves or to subconsciously let them know I wasn’t going to cause trouble. I became afraid of speaking my truth, afraid of being judged by others, and afraid causing unnecessary trouble or drama.
"...There’s something deep inside, that wants to come alive..."
I suppose these types of lessons are what youth is for, because my natural drive for action couldn’t stay quiet the minute I had an opportunity to step into a leadership role, or the first time I gathered the courage to paint myself on stage. However, now having a little more wisdom than an 18 year old, this time around approaching these bold decisions came a little differently. They weren’t reckless with a YOLO mindset, they were a well thought out and risk assessed.
There is risk in everything we do in life especially when it comes to stepping out of our comfort zones. Anytime step into the unknown and do something we’ve never done before, there is a HUGE risk that our currently reality and perception will change (that which has kept us safe and sane). Especially in business and creative endeavors, we can’t control how our audience is going to respond or what our customers are going to say. But sometimes risk is exactly what is necessary for change and evolution. Imagine if the cave man never came out of the cave or the lion didn’t hunt for his next meal? Risk is a necessary part of life.
So, being the wise woman that I’ve became over the past decade or so, I developed a new approach that I’ve used many times to make risky decisions that go as follows:
Lets break these down a tad:
1. Identify the desired outcome
What are you trying to accomplish? What’s the mission? What’s the dream? Why are you doing it? When I bought my first business, I had a dream of establishing it as a prestigious health and wellness education organization. I was excited about the outcome, so the belief in my dream gave me confidence to take a calculated risk. When I used body paint on stage the first time (or even got on stage) as an amateur performer, my dream of being a songwriter was bigger than the risk of making a fool of myself on stage. The dream must be bigger than your fear and your ego.
2. Make a pro/con list
I like doing this in the form of a T chart. Pro’s on one side, cons on the other see which one is longer. Do the rewards outweigh the risks? When I bought my first business I sat down with my boyfriend at the time and we made a list of alllll of our goals. Where we wanted to travel, where and when we wanted to buy a house, get married etc. Then, we took that T chart and wrote down all of the positives on one side and all the negatives on the other. Low and behold, the pro list was way longer than the con list. Sometimes seeing it out in front of you makes all of the difference. When I started performing with paint, I went through and compared the pros and con’s of expressing myself and how that would effect my relationships and current business. But after lots of thought and risk assessment, the pro's once again, outweighed the cons!
3. Check in with your gut
The most valuable thing I’ve learned how to do is trust my initial gut instinct. It’s usually right. After dropping my YOLO mentality, I became a very wishy washy person. I had lost all confidence in my decision making abilities out of fear of getting into trouble or making someone mad. When I was in the deciding process of buying my first business, I knew immediately that it was what I wanted to do. But after thinking for way too long, asking all the people I knew for their opinions, I initially said say no. We found a buyer who would buy the business but at the last minute I came back and said yes I want it remembering my dream. Trust your gut. Your gut is your intuition and your intuition sometimes isn’t rational but it’s usually right.
And, maybe you do the pro/con T chart list and something is STILL telling you that it isn't right. That's okay. Like I just said, sometimes your intuition isn't rational.
4. Feel the fear and do it anyway
After you’ve assessed the pro’s and con’s, checked in with your gut, and formed an emotional connection to your dream you’re most likely still going to feel fear. This is where the modern YOLO beautifully comes into play. F*ck it. What do you have to lose? If the pro's significantly outweigh the cons, you've assessed the risks, you're excited about your dream, sometimes you just gotta let go and literally GO FOR IT! You’ll always win when you trust yourself, have faith in yourself, and align your actions with your dream. You just have to do it. Once you start doing uncomfortable things they get easier and easier to do over time because you've built trust with yourself. I think that's partially why I’m conformable being an entrepreneur after 10 years even though sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and why I’ve had great success songwriting and performing in a short period of time. The dream is bigger than the fear.
I hope this was helpful, & if you’re ready to get out of your comfort zone, overcome fear, and truly start to trust your gut, join me for a FREE training December 2nd to learn how to tap into your inner wisdom to overcome fear and express yourself to the fullest by clicking here —>
All my love,
Megan Wren is a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Fitness Expert, Poet, Author, and Multimedia Performing Artist. You can find her on instagram at www.instagram.com/itsmeganwren