Around two years ago, I took the biggest risk of my life. Instead of looking for a regular job related to my education, somewhere in the middle of my maternity leave, I started looking for a freelance writing job.
Now, this may sound like it’s the same thing, but it’s not. In essence, I started building my own brand, client base, my own company. I wasn’t a trained writer – unless you count years of writing for myself – I had no experience and no understanding of the industry.
Still, I happily skipped away into that journey.
After a few bad gigs and a few good ones, I finally found a long-term, steady job that paid all the bills and more. It wasn’t super amazing – I was aware of that – but it was good enough. It made me feel safe.
However, what used to be a big risk for me, slowly turned into a comfortable life.
It wasn’t exciting, creative or fun, but it was work. I didn’t learn much or grow. It was a steady, still lake.
For some time, I was okay with that.
What more could I ask for?
But then I started feeling restless. I started hating the job and writing and the world. Mostly, I hated myself for hating writing. It was my dream ever since I was young. It’s all I ever wanted to do.
So, how could I hate it so much?
Ignoring my own instinct, I stayed.
Things only got worse. The staleness almost drove me away from writing completely. Add a few horrible life events to that, and I had a full-blown depression. I reached rock bottom, where I was barely working and the little work I did was not that great.
However, I was too afraid to take any risks. I was too afraid to leave my comfort zone.
Now, I’d love to tell you that I heard an inspirational quote or that someone said something inspiring and I turned my life upside down. But that’s not the truth.
The recovery from that dullness and becoming brave enough to take a risk took a really long time. It wasn’t easy.
But I did it.
And from that, I grew. I’ve changed, I’ve become better at what I do.
Without the risk, I wouldn’t be able to do that. It pushed me – catapulted me – out of my comfort zone and straight into something better.
Taking risks placed me in challenging situations, where I had to learn and adapt quickly. Of course, I failed sometimes. And I would allow myself to be bummed out by that. But then I would get back up again and continue.
Risk is not natural to humans – but without it, would we even be here? Risk ultimately means change, and humans are programmed to hate change.
However, change is necessary.
And when you think about it, some of the best things in life are risky. Finding love is a risky business – you never know what can happen. Getting married is a risk. Having children is a risk. Doing what you love is a risk.
So, why do we avoid it? Why does it take us so much time to act?
I don’t know.
But I do know what I will do from now on, and what you should do.
If you feel comfortable to the point where it’s uncomfortable, if you feel like something is missing, if you feel restless for any reason, it’s time to move on. Take that risk, grab that chance.
This life is too short to live in a world that’s not making you happy. So, do your best to risk it and create the perfect world for you, the world you want to live in.