When we have nothing to lose, we have little to fear. We have a sense of confidence and surety. We are not concerned over what the result will be as the focus is on who are in the present, not what the outcome is for our future. We are completely invested in the moment, which often ultimately determines a result that is to our personal and/or professional benefit. There is a beauty in being the underdog, but what if the stakes are high? What if we allow the outcomes of our dreams to influence who we are in the dreaming? Then what? How does one cultivate an attitude of bravery and take risks when, if it goes wrong, there is much to be lost?
It’s when a lot is at stake that bravery is the most necessary.
When I first became a flight attendant, I was an unemployed college graduate living at home with mom and dad. I didn’t know what to do with myself or who to be. Being a flight attendant wasn’t about being a flight attendant. It was about a source of income. I didn’t care about the job. The stakes were low as I wasn’t emotionally tied to which job I landed. At my first flight attendant interview, I was overwhelmed by pencil skirts and excited chatter, chatter that included years of cabin crew experience and outward displays of confidence. I made the judgement that I had no chance, but told myself, “You’ve got nothing to lose. Just do your best.” Judgements aside, I used the strategy of, “Get up, dress up, show up and never give up. I got the job.
That was seven years ago and since then, the stakes have gotten higher. My dreams have grown and my reach is bigger. I am so blessed by this, but it also terrifies me. I want so much and am so ambitious. These hopes for success also include the fear of risking and possibly failing. There’s more going on now than ever before.
Like me, the stakes may be high for you. You may have a family to support, a great income to match at a horrible job if you decide to follow your passion, a possibility that you could not make it through flight attendant training if you choose to continue to grow within your career. The worst that you can imagine could happen, but have you asked yourself what really is the worst that could happen? If looking back on your life would it be the biggest regret not living the life you imagined for yourself? Not ever risking, not ever being brave. Or would it be better to know that you lived– really lived. That you risked a little, lost a little, and as Cheryl Strayed once said when writing as Dear Sugar, “loved the mother-fucking shit” out of life. If we take risks we will grow. We will surprise ourselves over what we didn’t know we had in us to do.
The more we choose bravery, the more we will be brave.
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