Tag Archives: risk

What Will You Risk For The First Time This Week?

I thought I was good at it.

Taking risks, I mean. I’ve certainly faced some fears (see my This Is Me page) and taking risks? Not a problem. Except this week…

The fear of an event is nearly always worse than the actuality, so I’ve read. I believe it’s true but I have to force myself to act on it sometimes.

I remember the waterfall in the Lake District.

We'll have to turn back

The roar of the torrent, the spray everywhere, the sheer height. I was overawed by it but somehow we had to cross over to the other side or else turn back.  I stood and stared, fear fluttering in my chest. 

As I stood there getting more and more scared, my attention was caught by a child in a red jacket, and his dog. He was running along, in front of his dad, clambering up the grassy path towards me, heading for the edge of the water fall. Then he disappeared from view and I assumed the path cotinued through the gorse bushes at the side.

I was still wondering whether we should turn back and take a different track, when there he was, on the other side of the waterfall, his red coat zig-zagging away and his dog following.

His dad was close by where I stood.

‘He’s crossed over! How on earth has he done it? Surely it’s too risky!’

He smiled.

‘We often come this way. If you go round the corner you’ll see the stepping stones! They’re slippery but it’s OK to cross if you take care!’

This week I’m taking a ‘risk’ with my blog.

I’ve decided to update this site and move on to the next stage of blogging.

Here’s how it’s going so far:

  • I decided I want to make the change.

Making the decision to make any change is often the easiest part. It’s only in your mind at this stage. No risk yet.

Writing it down can make it more real, so long as you don’t tell anyone, then you can still ‘turn round and go back’.

I did exactly this: I wrote down my plans to up-grade, but kept it to myself.

  • You seek support

If you’re scared to take the risk by yourself, look for someone to guide you.

Want to change career? Travel alone? Learn to ski? Write a novel? Talk to those who’ve’ been there, done it and got the t-shirt.’  I love this Danish Proverb: ‘He knows the water best who has waded in it.’

I did exactly this: One of my blogging friends, Arvind Devalia has indeed ‘been there, done it…’ and he is a consultant in this area. He will guide me through the whole process and I need have no fear.

  • What if?

Yes! I said it.

What if… I can’t manage the change?

OK, but what if I can, with Arvind’s expert help?

There’s always another way, just like the stepping stones that were hidden from our view that day. When we want to make a change or take a risk, it seems scary at first. But once you’ve thought it through, decided, and found support you’ll be so glad you did.

And, by the way, the view from the other side of the waterfall was stunning…

‘Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.’

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now it’s your turn.

What will you risk for the first time, this week ?

Header image by cursedthing, post image by 



Filed under action, anxious, change, failure, fear, plans, positive, progress, risk, safe, success

99 Achievements You May Have Overlooked ( Not To Be Read All At Once)

from Turkuu


Going into space.    

Our achievements seem to pale into insignificance compared.  


Bad word.  

Every achievement stands alone.  

We can all list our achievements and believe they ‘don’t count,’ if we compare them with being a successful astronaut.  

The point is, there is no comparison. It’s impossible to compare.  

On Tuesday I asked a question about achievements and one of our Spinners commented that  

she had no achievements to be proud of,  

and that made me sad.  

As a result, I decided to compile this list of  

99 Achievements You May Have Overlooked (Not To Be Read All At Once)  

Each one has been achieved by a person I know, or know about,  and some of mine are in there too.  

1.   You create a cottage style garden, from scratch  

2.   You get out of bed in the morning when you’re severely depressed  

3.   You travel to London to work when you’re blind  

4.    You take up belly dancing again after a long break  

5.    You undergo chemo when you’re 6 years old  

6.    You undergo chemo when you’re 60 years old  

7.    You choose breast reconstruction  

8.    You choose not to have breast reconstruction  

9.    You pass your driving test after 13 attempts  

10.  You travel in a lift when you’re claustrophobic  

11.  You bring up your child alone   

12.  You are a carer for an elderly parent    

13.  You give up a well paid job to care for your sick child  

14.  You keep a ‘gnome’ on display in your garden, although you hate them, because it was a precious gift  

15.  You become a regular hospital visitor  

16.  You befriend a difficult neighbour  

17.  You teach your teenage son how to budget  

18.  You read Lord of the Rings without skipping any of it  

19.  You produce a Bat-Man fancy dress costume with 2 hours notice  

20.  You keep taking driving lessons although your hands leave damp patches on the steering wheel  

21.  You lose 8 pounds in weight in time for your son’s wedding  

22.  You help a child to make cup-cakes without losing your patience  

23.  You pay off your credit card  

24.  You cut up your store cards  

25.  You take a flight in a micro-lite, despite a fear of enclosed spaces  

26.  You go snorkelling despite a fear of deep water  

27.  You go up a long spiral staircase to the top of an ancient Italian tower despite an acute fear of heights  

28.  You leave your abusive partner after years of trying to do it  

29.  You climb a proper mountain for the first time  

30.  You give a talk to a large group of professionals in your field, despite your natural shyness  

31.  You go on holiday abroad by yourself after recovering from agarophobia  

32.  You walk a marathon with a friend for charity  

33.  You walk through a field of cows despite your fear of them  

34.  You go to adult swimming classes   

35.  You have an article accepted by a national magazine  

36.  You join a gym despite not liking exercise and go twice a week for 3 months  

37.  You pick up an enormous spider without showing your fear to your husband who’s petrified  

38.  You give up alcohol for a month to show you can  

39.  You drive on the motor way for the first time, despite your fears   

40.  You take control and sort out your difficult housing situation  

41.  You help an unemployed friend to update his CV and, as a result, he gets a job  

42.  You leave your comfort zone and fly abroad for the first time  

43.  You successfully learn to play golf so you can see more of your OH  

44.  You cure yourself of your chocolate addiction (well, almost)  

45.  You visit a friend in Intensive Care despite feeling very scared  

46.  You ask a child to teach you how to skateboard in the park  

47.  You painstakingly research your family history back to 1700  

48.  You go to the dentist for the first time for years  

49.  You sign up to a writing class and discover a hidden talent  

50.  You make jam for the first time and it sets!  

51.  You learn how to take excellent digital photos  

52.  You apply for a part-time job, now that the children are at school, and you love it  

53.  You go to assertiveness classes to help with bullying in the workplace  

54.  You receive one of the largest ‘office leaving collections’ ever  

55.  You are a ‘stubborn optimist’ (you know who you are!) despite being on dialysis for ten years  

56.  You are dyslexic and achieve your degree. You’re considering a Ph D to follow  

57.  You take a risk and get your ‘purple wallet’  

58.  You start a successful antique market stall with no previous experience  

59.  You complete your promotion exam for the prison service despite being severely dyslexic  

60.  You bravely decide to drop out of your uni course after a year of doubt and despair  

61.  You choose not to wear a wig when your hair falls out after chemo  

62.  You decide  to travel abroad by yourself so you go off to China with ‘Just You’ (for solo travellers)  

63.  You undergo a 30 minute MRI scan despite your claustrophobia  

64.   You adopt a mistreated cat from Cat Rescue  

65.  You perform Karaoke at your daughter’s party in front of a room full of strangers  

66.  You  sit with your father in hospital on his last day on this earth  

67.  You go horse riding for the first time since childhood   

68.  You achieve a 2.1 degree at 43 years old  

69.  You jump in the deep end and take Copyblogger’s 7 Link Challenge  

70.  You book up for piano lessons at 60  

71.   You write your autobiography and have it published  

72.   You travel to Canada to find your birth father  

73.   You hand in your notice for the job you’ve been unhappy in for ages  

74.   You take your cat to the vet knowing it’s his last journey  

75.  You finally learn how to make a decent cup of tea for your fussy MIL, despite never drinking tea yourself  

76.  You play the piano with your feet because you have no hands  

77.  You handle an enormous python, to prove you’re cured of s snake phobia  

78.  You stand up for yourself against a bullying boss  

79.  You sign up to take A-Level Art with your daughter at her college, and you get an ‘A’  

80.  You survive a stroke at 50 with great courage  

81.   You learn how to make Christmas pudding and it’s as good as his mum makes  

82.   You bravely remove the heads and tails from a plate of prawns to conquer your squeamishness  

83.   You decide to stop being a people pleaser and learn to say ‘no’ when you want to  

84.   You decide to take control of your children’s difficult behaviour and make a realistic plan to achieve it  

85.   You set aside a whole day every week to be you and stick to it  

86.   You make up your mind that you’re not just a housewife  

87.   You decide to stop harming yourself by pulling out your eyelashes. It’s not easy but you achieve it.  

88.   You join an internet dating site with confidence  

89.   You buy Dr Phil’s Book, Life Strategies, and start to follow his brilliant advice  

90.   You press publish on your very first blog post, despite the butterflies  

91.    You  hold down a job you enjoy despite 4 hours daily commuting  

92.    You speak up at a business meeting despite worrying that you’ll look foolish  

93.    You run a successful Parenting Course, overcoming your self-doubt  

94.    You spend nearly a year writing a book, finally seeing it published  

95.    You put your child’s needs before your own, always.  

96.    You walk through a flurry of bees on the lavender path,although you’re terrified of them  

97.    You go into the anaesthetic room with your daughter without showing her your fears  

98.    You decide to start a blog to show your readers that Positivity can be found all around us  

99.    You complete writing/reading this list!  Phew!  

Still believe you have no achievements?  


When you have a few hours to spare, write your own list.  

I guarantee it will be a long one.  

Why not add your most important achievement, in the comments?  


Header image by abyreed, on Flickr 


Filed under action, change, dyslexia, expectation, fear,, goals, happiness, hope, persistence, phobia, plans, positive, progress, realistic, risk, success

Don’t Be Too Shocked… I’m A Virgin… (Well, Until This Week)

‘Mum! There’s something I need to tell you.’      

It’s my 15 year old daughter.      

‘Please don’t be too angry!’      

I scrub the potatoes hard. Very hard.      

‘Only, it’s something you told me I mustn’t do!’      

I can feel my face going red.      

‘You said I should wait!’      

I turn my attention to  the already gleaming worktop and polish it frantically.      

‘You said I was too young.’      

Sharp intake of breath from me.      

‘All my friends have done it!’      

I turn round to look at her, the cloth in my  hands.  She’s beautiful. Gorgeous. Long hair, enormous  blue eyes, a figure to die for.      

Surely not… she can’t be. Can she?      

‘Whatever it is you’ve done, love, we’ll sort it out. It can’t be that bad. Are you going to tell me?’      

She gazes at me with those soulful eyes and very slowly she lifts up her hair.      

‘I’m really sorry mum, but I was the only one who hadn’t done it!’      

And then I see them. Three new gold studs in her ear. Hiding beneath her hair.      

I start to giggle. I laugh and laugh and she looks at me, amazed.      

‘I thought you’d be angry with me,mum!’      

I grin and wipe my eyes.      

‘What’s so funny about me having my ears pierced?’      

I give her a hug.      

‘Nothing love,’ I whisper. ‘Nothing at all.’      

 (Yes, a true story.)      


What have you done for the first time lately?      

Yes! It’s true… I was a virgin until yesterday.      

 A ‘hair colour virgin’, that is! What did you think I meant?      

I was the only person I know who had never coloured her hair!   (OK, I did use some henna on it in prehistoric days but the less said about that the better.)      

When my friend Don collapsed on Monday and gave us all a shock, (yes, he’s fine now, thanks for asking,) I decided to ‘go for it.’ What on earth was I waiting for? I’m very lucky, I only have a few grey hairs, but I decided to do it anyway. What was the worst that could happen? I won’t like it? It’s only hair… I told myself. It’ll grow!      

And guess what! I absolutely love it!      

A bit like this...


I’m doing something else for the first time today.      

Regular Spinners will know that I have a Guest Post on      

Jean’s Virgin Blogger site today. (Friday) She’s ‘Across the Pond’, so allow for a few hours time difference before it goes live.     

My first ever guest post!      

If you’d like to read it, just pop over later and take a look.      


So, my friends, what are you going to try for the first time?      

You know you want to.  And what’s the worst that can happen? You might even enjoy it, just like I did.       

Take a risk, be brave and tell us all about it in the comments.      

Header photo courtesy of abyreed on Flickr 

Photo courtesy of katrinket on Flickr.   


Filed under excuses,, expectation, fear, goals, happiness, plans, positive, progress, risk, success



‘Know-it-alls’ – don’t you just hate them?

We’ve all heard  these words –

  • ‘Don’t do it like that!’
  • Surely everyone knows that!’
  • You’re going to do WHAT?’

It’s not easy travelling your own road.

It’s very easy to get lost.

So many forks along the way.

Which is the ‘right one’?

So many confusing sign posts.

Many lead  to a dead end.

Or a boggy patch.

Or tangling brambles.

Or stinging nettles.


I suppose I should ask the way but when I do I get even more confused.


These days I try to listen to ‘me’ more than I used to.

It takes confidence to do that.

I ask myself –

Q.   Why is MY opinion worth less than that of others?

A.   It’s not. It has Equal Worth.

If someone asks for my advice/opinion I say this-

  • What does your gut feeling tell you?
  • What do you WANT to do?

Then I might give my advice/opinion but I always add this-

  • It doesn’t matter what I think/would do if I were you. I’m not you. You must choose your own path.
  • What’s the worst that could happen? So you end up in the stinging nettles… That’s fine! You won’t take that path next time!
  • The important thing is that it’s YOUR choice, YOUR risk, YOUR path through the woods.


Today, over on Darren Rowse’s Problogger I read this – 

‘The key is to not swallow everything whole but to take what resonates with you and to apply it to your situation and to calmly leave what doesn’t ‘fit’ aside.’

Such a wise man…


Filed under action, change, Confidence Coaching, expectation, fear, goals, hope, persistence, plans, progress, risk, success

Discover 5 Simple Strategies to Face Your Fears

 ‘Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’

T.S. Eliot


Do you want to discover how to face your fears?

Today I will show you 

5 simple strategies that work.


For me it was roundabouts.

Very busy ones. Ones where I wasn’t sure which lane to be in, who had the right of way and how to swap lanes safely.

How I felt – worried about driving but highly motivated to do something about it

What actions I took – found a course of refresher driving lessons with a sympathetic teacher.

Result – I lost my fear of roundabouts.

Why did my action lessen my fear?

  • I was highly motivated
  • I took realistic action
  • I was prepared to learn and change.

We spend so much time worrying about what might happen that we stay stuck, unable to take any action.

 Perhaps you’re afraid of one of these-

  • going on holiday alone for the first time
  • joining a group of strangers at a party
  • asking for a pay rise
  • joining a Dating Site
  • asking your son/daughter to contribute to the household in some way.

I found this – ‘Fear only breeds fear’ and I believe it.


Here are 5 simple strategies that will help you face your fears.

1.   Don’t run before you can walk.

Work out one small step you can take today. For me it was, look up some driving instructors.  Take another step tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow… With each small step your fear will start to shrink.

2.   Work out an achievable deadline.

For me it was, by the end of this 10 session course I will be able to drive confidently around busy roundabouts.

What will your deadline be?

by the end of the week/month/ summer/year I will.

3.   Get information.

Talk to others who’ve been there, ask questions, ask for advice, google the problem. Information brings strength and helps you understand what you’re dealing with.

4.   Find some support.

You’re not the first to face this and you won’t be the last. Talk to people, e:mail them, find an expert.

5.   Don’t let ‘set backs’ set you back.

Set backs happen to everyone. They’re normal.

Just wait … 

for the dust to settle…

and then…

start again tomorrow.

What are you afraid of ?

How will you face your fear?

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Filed under action, change, fear, persistence, progress, realistic, risk, success

4th Thing to Stop…and Keep Your Confidence Habit

4.   Stop Shutting People Out!

 Is this you?

The phone rings. An invitation to a party!  You make an excuse. You settle for your usual ‘glass of wine, eat, TV, go to bed and read’ routine.


Because you’re uncomfortable in a room of strangers?

Because you have ‘nothing to wear’?

Because… well – you fill in the blanks!

Because… it’s SAFE.


Could this be you?

(It nearly was me, thank goodness I took those classes…)


You see a creative writing class advertised. You’ve always fancied it but somehow…. you reject the idea. 


Because you might be rubbish at it.

Because you won’t know anyone there.

Because… well, you fill in the blanks…

Because… It’s SAFE.


You stay at home.

You feel lonely.

You wish you were more confident.



  • Go out ASAP and buy something to wear in a colour NOT in your normal range – like red, or bright blue.


  • Next time an invitation comes, say ‘Yes’, put on the red/blue/bright yellow whatever, and ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.’ Susan Jeffers  (please read this book!)


  • Decide to try some confident body language – practise making eye contact, starting conversations (‘trivial’ will be fine!),  start uncrossing your arms from in front of you.

‘The greatest risk is the risk of riskless living.’

Stephen Covey

Blue’s not your colour? Why not? 

Join in! Take that Risk!

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Filed under Confidence Coaching, progress, success

Day 22- How to be Confident by standing on your head

Remember when you were a child?

A summer’s day, soft grass, standing on your head?

Easy, wasn’t it! The whole world looked great the wrong way up… anything was possible.

So now you’ve grown up (officially, anyway…)

Just think about all you could achieve if you looked at your world from the other way up.

  • You’d love to change your job.  You get the application form.  You’re about to send it off…

”What if I don’t like it?’ you worry. ‘What if it doesn’t work out?’

Just go back to being that carefree chikld for a moment –

turn your thinking updside down.

‘What if you do like it?  What if it does work out?’

Right. Now send off that application from…

  • You’d love to start selling your unwanted stuff on e:bay.

‘What if no-one buys from me?’ you fret.

You start putting all those things back in the wardrobe… and then, from your upside down position you can wonder – ‘But what if they do buy from me?’

And what about me?

  • I want to write a blog that helps people turn their thinking upside down, to be more confident.

I could say,

‘But what if no one reads it? What if it’s not helpful enough?  What if…’

As I stand on my head (it’s quite difficult to type  in this position…) I can say, ‘But what if it is helpful?  What if they do read it?’

And I carry on typing…


Next time you want to start something new, exciting but scary, just stand on your head, and look at your plan from there. It might help you to take that risk.  You know you want to!


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Filed under Confidence Coaching