Taking Risks is Still Hard and Still Worth It

Posted September 16, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in Life After Five

I sell vulnerability for a living.

I spend much of time trying to convince people that vulnerability and risk-taking is worth your time and investment (because it is) and that you can do the work of whatever shows up in front of you with enough support (because you can).

I’m so convinced this is the way to get what you want in your relationship with yourself and other people.

I’m signed, sealed and delivered on the idea that showing up in my life despite fear is the way to do it.

Just so you know taking risks is still hard for me.

Like really, really, really hard.

Being vulnerable still gives me a vulnerability hangover and screams at me to abort mission, stop everything, crawl under the covers to never re-emerge.  Ever been there? One of my friends calls those her “Oreo cookie moments.” Lots of Oreos, lot’s of milk, lots of sleep.

Sometimes it really blows. It’s way too scary. And it really feels not worth it.

One of my best friends and I have been working on a project together.

She’s one of the people who has seen me in my ugliest, worst times.  I’ve shown her the parts of me that I think are shameful, the ones that I’m embarrassed by.  She’s seen me make major, huge mistakes. I’ve made major, huge mistakes with her.

And she’s loved me any way.

Never failing. She’s never stopped showing up for me.

Have a friend like that? Gosh, let’s get you one if you don’t.  They’re amazing to have.

And still, in this new project with my friend, I’ve struggled to be vulnerable.

  • I don’t want her to see that I might not be as confident as I want to appear.
  • I don’t want her to think I’m not smart.
  • I don’t want her to think I can’t, that we can’t.

So I told her.  And I felt better. And I still felt vulnerable. And she loved me anyway.

This is just a little reminder for you.  Everyone struggles with taking risks in their own way.  Maybe it’s personal for you, maybe it’s professional for your best friend, maybe it’s a lot of ways for both of you.

Sometimes we struggle the most to show up in our closest relationships.

But, for the sake of the relationship, we show up any way.

Then we can retreat and self-care like crazy.

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”