Is there something you’ve been meaning to try, but you won’t try for fear of messing it up? If so, you’re one of about seven billion other people in the same boat.
We are afraid of making mistakes. We don’t want to fail. So, we play not to lose. In playing not to lose, we look for safety. We avoid risk.
Ultimately, by trying to avoid risk, we risk the worst failures of all: We don’t learn new things, we don’t enjoy the confidence that comes with growth, and we stay stuck in old patterns.
I am not a big risk-taker myself, so I’m preaching just as much to myself as to anyone else on this topic. One thing that I’ve found helpful for me, is to try small risks. For example, I’m taking a Latin dance class. It’s fun. Do I nail every move every time? No, of course not; I’m just learning. But nobody else in that class is perfect, so why should I be?
The Ego tells me that if I mess up, something catastrophic will happen. My Ego just doesn’t want to look bad in front of other people. It needs to be perfect. It’s all part of the little games it plays with guilt, shame, blame and self-righteousness.
One way of releasing the Ego’s stranglehold on us, is to step out and take a safe risk. Be willing to make a mistake. Risk looking a little goofy. Try something new and fun. Let yourself out of your cage for a bit. Enjoy life.
You may find that, after a couple initial missteps, that you will learn something new, and instead of getting embarrassed, you’ll experience a new level of confidence that comes with new skills.
And one more thing: Applaud other people that take risks, even if they don’t do it “perfectly.” If you can give others permission to try, then you can give yourself permission to try, and you’ll probably win supporters for yourself in the process.