Are You a Risk Taker?

After finally deciding to stay in America last summer and not go back to Europe to prolong my professional basketball career I’ve decided another thing: In order to learn you have to risk things, you have to DO things.

I’ve always been pretty careful about everything I do, for some reason this doesn’t apply to everything I say… but… anyway.  Before I make any decision I like to look at all angles: I imagine the best outcome, the worst outcome, and everything in between.  I also tend to ask EVERYONE and their brother their opinion about it: What would you do?  What do you think I want to do?  Is this a good place to be?  A good thing to do?  Do you think I’d like it?  And on and on.

I often consult books, take tests, and interview everyone.  But, I’m finally starting to learn that life is about risks.  I can never anticipate how I’m going to feel after I do something.  Whether it’s go for a six-mile run or quit my job in search of something else I won’t know if it was the “right” decision until I’ve actually done it.  Even then I won’t know what would have been had I chose a different path. 

I’m slowly learning you have to risk something to discover anything.  You won’t know unless you DO.

Risk is an interesting word to me.  I consider myself a very practical/realistic person and “risk,” to me, used to be something like climbing mountains or flying or living in another country.  Notice that these things severely challenge my fear of heights which makes me consider them death-defying risks.  Also notice that these are all things I’ve done.

Huh.  So I am cautious but I’ve done all these so-called “risky” things.  While they are amazing feats, I guess risk, like anything else, is in the eye of the beholder and I’ve yet to take my biggest risks.

Remember when I used to read all kinds of self-help books, self-discovery books, and short essay books about how to discover what I really want to do in life?  I’ve had less time for them because I’ve actually been out doing things but…

Well, I’m still reading those.

I just got into a book I had wanted to read called, I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What it Was by Barbara Sher.  And, mostly, she is affirming what I have already discovered: DO.  She writes, “The truth is, most of us don’t really know why we’re so cautious.  If there ever was a reason, it’s long gone.  And we’ve overlooked something even more important: When you play it too safe, you’re taking the biggest risk of your life.”

*Next I’ll write about my favorite chapter so far, the one in which I completely identify with: Chapter 6 I Want Too Many Things; I’m All Over the Map.  Be sure to tune in!

Danielle Clark

About Danielle Clark

I am 28 years old and for 5 years out of college I played basketball for a living. I was a professional basketball player in Europe so I spent most of my years there and came back to Maine for summers and a couple weeks at Christmas time. I thought my years there would open my eyes to what I want to be when I "grow up." That didn't happen. I have discovered, however, that I just have to try something. Just do things and toss myself into them. I have currently tossed myself into being a college basketball assistant coach and one on one reading tutor. I grew up in Corinna, Maine and have been a resident Mainer. I love sports, reading, writing, cooking, baking, watching movies... everything. I have lots of hobbies and not enough time in the day!