Want something different from life? DO something different.
Think back to a time in your life that you consider a period of self-growth. Was there a risk involved? Chances are there was.
The price of greater wisdom, confidence, inner strength is usually a risk, and taking conscious risks can be a powerful catalyst for inner change. A conscious risk involves making a choice to do what's true, despite what the cost is. On the other side of any conscious risk is the realization that who you really are has nothing to fear. But, in order to make this self-liberating discovery, you must willingly face those fears, whatever they may be.
The most common occurrences hide within themselves secret bridges to new self-esteem and greater inner strength.
If you want to know how to be happy, take the following 10 conscious risks and watch your life change:
1. Learn to say no without explaining yourself.
The first step toward having your own free life begins with daring to refuse the demands of others. Saying "yes," because fear of saying "no" is a recipe for resentment. Risk walking away from fear. Say no.
2. Stop trying to fill that emptiness with things that don't matter.
Giving yourself unsubstantial things to do can't fill that emptiness you feel inside. So risk leaving that space empty. Allow it to fill itself, which it wants to do, with something you can't give yourself: the end of feeling empty.
3. Stop defending yourself.
It's only when you consciously risk laying down your armor, shield and sword — your quips, retorts and criticisms — that you discover who you really are can't be hurt. Risk letting others win.
4. Don't worry about looking stupid.
Pretending to understand something that you don't, for fear of appearing stupid, only ensures that you'll remain a fearful pretender for the rest of your life. And that's stupid. Risk asking all the questions you need to ask. That's smart.
5. Bare your own burdens.
The weight of any trouble is determined by how much you fear it. But the only weight any fear can have is what you give to it when you try to push it away. Risk not "sharing" your burdens. Stop pushing them onto others. You'll be amazed how light they really are.
6. Don't be afraid of rejection.
"No" is just a word; the fear of it is a prophecy self-fulfilled. Be bold. Risk asking for what you really want. Reject the fear of being rejected by daring to say "no" to the fear of "no."
7. Stop yourself when you realize you're being dramatic.
Your life can't be both a show and be real. Catch yourself in the middle of some self-created drama and just drop it. Risk bringing the curtain down on yourself. Life is real only when you are.
8. Take the lead.
You can never know the true pleasure and spiritual satisfaction of having your own life until you take the risk of finding it for yourself, all by yourself. Followers fear to tread that higher inner road called "My Own Way." Risk going out in front.
9. Learn to let go of control.
You've been trying to run your own show and, so far, it's pretty much been a nightmare with entertaining intermissions! Risk letting something higher have its hand at directing your life. Let your show go.
10. Be OK with not being GREAT.
Everyone wants to be seen by others as being great. This makes that kind of greatness common. Be awake to what is common in your life and then risk doing the opposite. Real greatness follows.
The moment of real conscious risk always feels like a tunnel with no light at its other end. But each time you'll choose to enter it, that tunnel will turn into a bridge spanning the space between your past fearful life — and your new fearless one.
Guy Finley is the author of more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization including his international best-seller, "The Secret of Letting Go." Find out how you can be free of fear forever with the help of Guy's seminar, Stop Being Afraid Once and For All.
This article was originally published at GuyFinley.org in Guy's book "Design Your Destiny". Reprinted with permission from the author.