In the past month I have done a lot of thinking about what it takes to initiate large-scale change – and how completely frightening this can be. However, as one of my favorite writers and historical personalities, Anais Nin, once wrote: “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
And, as I am 51 this year, I am here to tell you that this need to change and evolve even at great risk can happen at any age, and multiple times in one lifetime.
Here is a list I worked on, to support myself and anyone else who may be taking on some daring life or work changes and challenges:
1. Think of yourself as an athlete in training. To be daring is hard. Get ample sleep and exercise. Eat a healthy diet. Cut back on alcohol and sweets. Meditate.
2. Surround yourself with friends and colleagues who are supportive and admiring of your choice to be daring.
3. Let go of commitments that would hold you back from being daring. Let go of habits, lifestyle choices, or an overload of possessions that would hinder you from being truly daring.
4. Make a choice that is daring; then make another. Do not get hung up on the results of your daring actions.
5. Dare to do those things that really matter to you.
6. Once you have done something daring, revel in the feeling of boldness and being alive that daring actions give us! When we are children and doing everything for the first time, this is our natural state of being – when we are older, more comfortable, and less willing to give anything up we stop being daring and forget what this feels like to be so fully alive.
7. Treat yourself with compassion when being daring suddenly feels scary. If you have just taken a daring action, give yourself a chance to rest, breath.
8. Create a space or time frame that will serve initially as a container in which to allow yourself to be daring. Sometimes jumping off the deep end is so scary that you want to climb right out of the pool immediately. Give yourself a little time – 6 month, a year – to get used to this new deep water you’ve jumped into. You might like it. And it is also OK if you don’t.
9. Massively celebrate each step forward.
10. Picture the person you will be, when you have fully blossomed into the daring person you know is inside you. Make a drawing, have a photo taken, cut a picture out of a magazine, and stick it where you can refer to it often. So that you can say: that’s ME – I am a person who dares!