A few years back, I saw one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history when Raphael Nadal was beaten in the 2nd round by a virtual unknown named Lukas Rosol. The following morning there was much in the way of analysis and commentary about how Rosol could pull off the seemingly impossible. I believe a huge part of it was that he went out there without fear, unintimidated, and just went for it, unafraid to take chances. When you take this into account, the result wasn’t unthinkable. Playing it safe isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. The same can be said for how we approach our careers and professional goals. That’s not to say we shouldn’t spend time to thoughtfully plan and strategize. In fact, it would be foolish not to.
Think about your career up to this point and see if there are times when fear and uncertainty have held you back. Have you ever felt stuck in a dead-end job because of a fear of taking a chance on pursing a job/career that was out of your comfort zone but on the other hand would feed your passion? Or did you ever forego further education that would qualify you for a more suitable job because you weren’t sure you could handle the extra workload?
It’s important to take some chances, to push ourselves, and fight through the fear and uncertainty in order to reach those career goals and dreams. I think it all boils down to this: when all is said and done and it’s time to look back on your career, will you regret the things you did or the things you DIDN’T do? Personally, I’d rather be vulnerable, take some chances, and risk failure vs. being stuck in comfort and fear. Soren Kierkegaard had it right when he said, “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”