Wednesday, September 10, 2014

9/11/14—Discovering My Inner Risk-Taker

I recently learned something new about myself and it's kind of a boost to my self-esteem. 

See, I've always viewed myself as not much of a risk-taker. Sure, I've taken risks. Self-employment is a risk. But I don't take risks often and try to avoid them best as possible. The way I see it, navigating life itself requires enough risk. No need to go all crazy. 

In fact, I've been accused of being a fraidy cat, before. Two ex-boyfriends told me I needed to find myself a nice banker when we broke up...haha. I was never sure what that meant, but always assumed they meant it to mean that I can't handle rebels such as themselves. If you were to replace the word "rebels" with the word "assholes" in that last sentence, they were probably right. But the point is, I always took comments like that from them and others as being critical of my low-risk preferences. 

But recently I've come across things on social media that have me re-thinking where I stand in the risk-continuum. Like someone posted a picture of a scary roller coaster and everyone was saying they wouldn't ride it. But I would. And someone mentioned the Grand Canyon Skywalk. I'd do that, too. I even posted something myself about doing a lock-in at a haunted location and was surprised at all the people who said they'd never do that. 

Of course, all of this is theoretical. I say I'd do it. But in the moment? Yeah, I think I'd do it, but who really knows? I'd be scared, but I'd do it. All of those things are fairly low risk in my mind, though. I mean, how often do people die or are maimed on roller coasters, skywalks or by ghosts? Sky diving or those wing suits? That's a whole other level of risk and not one I'd take. 

So, based on the reactions of others to things that feel fairly safe to me, I'm more of a risk-taker than I think. One day you think you know yourself and the next day things are different. It's not often you learn something new about yourself. Or maybe I'm just learning that society is more of a wuss than I think...haha. Either way, it makes me feel better about where I stand in the continuum and might even mean I'll be more likely to take risks in the future. When you perceive yourself differently, you behave differently. 

And, see, nothing in me has changed but the perception. I spent too much time listening to the people who wanted me to *think* I was a wuss simply because I didn't follow their plan for me. So I thought I was a wuss. I bought it hook, line and sinker because it was plausible enough. It's not like I'm any kind of a daredevil. And, to me, sitting at the edge of a cliff isn't a huge risk when there's half a mile of rock underneath you and little chance of falling from a sitting position. But it turns out that would terrify a lot of people. 

All of this makes me wonder what other self perceptions I've adopted over the years that are off base. And not just the ones where I under-estimate myself, but the over-estimates too. And since we can just as easily fool ourselves that we're smarter than we are, why aren't we taking advantage of that? If the power of perception is that strong, why aren't we all perceiving we're hugely popular and desirable? What if we used our talent for delusion to believe we're good enough and happy enough and just plain "enough"? What a shift that would be for mankind!

So, if you could choose to delude yourself, what delusion would it be?

1 comment:

  1. Ha, I think this post expresses why, for me, the Eight of Swords has often been a deal-breaker in whether or not I like a deck! Self-perception is so key to life :)

    And an interesting question, too, what delusion would I choose? Love your suggestion - that we are all just plain "enough"!