This is a BIG question.
Should I enter this relationship? Should I marry this man? Should I take a new job? Should I move to a different city?
What if I fail? What if I look stupid? What if I loose money? What if I can’t survive? (If you’re asking this question, it’s probably best NOT to take the risk!)
One of the biggest risks I ever took was marrying Lorenzo. I’d already had ONE failed marriage. What if I had another one? What if he were using me as an entrance fee into the US of A?
All these doubts. All these questions.
So was getting married worth the risk?
Being in a romantic relationship with Lorenzo has taken me to much deeper levels of myself. To my greatest joys and my deepest fears.
And it’s definitely been worth it.
So how do you determine whether to risk or not to risk?
1. To “Ben Franklin”? Or “Dip-Stick”?
My father always said, “If you have a decision to make, do like Ben Franklin…draw a line down the center of the page. On one side list all the advantages. On the other side list the disadvantages. Then see what you’ve got.
“Ben Franklin” is a Masculine approach to decision making. The Masculine thinks about the risk and the consequences of the choice then makes a logical, intelligent decision.
The Feminine approach is to “Dip-Stick”.
When I was deciding whether or not to marry Lorenzo, Dr. Pat Allen suggested I “dip-stick” my feelings.
If I felt like being married to Lorenzo, I’d put a mark under “Yes”. If I didn’t, I’d mark “No”.
After a week (or two) the “Yes” side won. So we got married. (I bet you thought there was more to it. Non?)
So ladies, draw a line down the page and instead of “advantages” and “disadvantages”, write YES or NO. Then check in with your feelings several times a day for a week or so.
Even if both sides start out equally, one side will eventually win over the other.
And the “crazy making” rumination between your head and heart (think, feel, think, feel, think, feel…) will stop.
2. Can You Afford the Price Tag?
If taking the risk didn’t work out, would you survive it?
If you lost your investment, your partner or the job, would the experience be worth it? (I’m not talking about just dollars and cents.)
Would the actual experience be worth it? Would you become a “better” person? Could you learn something valuable? Can you afford the loss of NOT doing it?
When you look back on your life, is this a worthy investment of your money, time, energy or life experience?
If the answer is “Yes”, do it.
I thought DUTY DATING would lead me to my next film project. It didn’t.
But DUTY DATING did lead me to my husband.
And being the “Dating Director”. And meeting many of you. And the opportunity of creating another career outside the (brutal) film industry.
I learned A LOT writing, directing and producing a feature film. The experience was invaluable. I would never trade it.
And DUTY DATING was completed and distributed internationally. (Even my in-laws saw it on Italian TV:))
3. What’s Your Plan B?
I understand many “risk takers” have no Plan B. They say it’s because there is simply NO alternative. Fine. If you gotta have it, you gotta have it, so by all means, go for it. Godspeed.
But for some of us, when unexpectedly Life Happens, it’s nice to have Plan B. If something doesn’t work out the way you want, there’s something to fall back on. Even if the “fall back” isn’t exactly your dream.
When I made the decision to move to LA, I wasn’t sure if I could handle it. After all, I was raised in a small Tennessee town. (A BIG city for me was Knoxville.)
But I knew if I fell flat on my butt…if I lost everything I had…and ended up broke on the street, I could ALWAYS go home. Back to Kingsport, Tennessee. My parents would take me in. It wasn’t my ideal choice (not theirs either). But at least I had a safety net.
And that’s a big comfort. It gives me freedom to take risks.
So I advise having Plan B. Not that you’d ever use it. But knowing it’s there can offer you alternatives. And peace of mind.
Here’s to the Risk Taker in You!