Why Playing It Safe Can Be Risky Business

Playing It SafeMany of us think if we dare to try something new or take a risk in order to expand or improve our lives, we won’t make life better, we’ll make it more difficult. 

We tell ourselves it’s easier to stick with the status quo because it’s predictable. Our preference for the familiar is so strong, it’s actually cited as one of the most common reasons people chose to stay in dysfunctional—even abusive—situations and relationships. 

But what if the familiar just isn’t working for you anymore? 

We’ve all heard the saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You reach a point where you can no longer escape the truth: you know in your heart what’s really making your life difficult is constraining it with the same old limiting beliefs and destructive habits. Fear is keeping you small—trapped in a lackluster life you’ve come to loathe.

So what if you do recognize the status quo just isn’t working for you anymore? What if you realize it’s keeping you stuck in a life you’ve outgrown? What if you’ve had enough of the familiar and you’re ready to take action to try something new that could help you break through the old barriers of limitation and lack that have been holding you prisoner in a life you abhor?

When the Universe loves you enough to keep pushing you outside your comfort zone, it’s time to embrace the grace you’re being offered, face your fears, stop resisting and open your fearful heart to new possibilities. 

One of my favorite movies of all time is What About Bob? The film is about the transformative archetypal journey of the hero: the lesson that no matter how broken we are, with love and compassion, a dash of courage, a pound of commitment, and a sense of humor, we can do anything. We can learn and grow into happier, healthier people. Every one of us can find deep peace, lasting joy, and meaningful relationships. We do this through a lifetime of never-ending baby steps. Bless his heart, Bob baby steps his way all over the transformative Universe. Each time he pushes past his current limits to try something new, he is delighted. After his first sailing adventure (for which they had to tie him to the mast to get him to participate), he exclaimed to all he met, “I’m a sailor! I sail!”

Ready to live a life of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity peace and joy? 

Whenever you have the sense that you are stuck or blocked, a real-time Flow Scan can help you identify which aspects of your thinking would benefit from recalibration and what form that might take.

Below you will find a snapshot of the worksheet used for the scan. In my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I provide a variety of scans to help you recognize when you are out of alignment and get yourself back on track, including the Flow Scan. Click here to download a FREE full-size, color version of my Flow Scan, along with full-size, color versions of all of the other illustrations and scans included in my book.

Flow Scan

The Flow Scan consists of a five-step process, with each step grounded in caring enough about yourself to do the following:

  • Pay attention so that you notice quickly whenever you are feeling stuck.
  • Invest your energy in assessing the fear-based lies and illusions that are blocking you, identifying any feelings of distrust, despair, scarcity, panic, or misery.
  • Determine what baby steps will restore your life to a love-based truth and reality of faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy.
  • Hold yourself accountable for following through on your commitment to take action.
  • Assess your results and continuously refine and expand your action plan to fill your reality with the truth of love-based flow and minimize succumbing to the lies and illusions of fear-based blocks.

You’re worth the effort. With practice, you will become adept at noticing whenever you’re feeling stuck or blocked and quickly taking action to restore flow. This way of living mindfully will become a healthy new habit through which you will build the less stressful, more fulfilling life you dream of.

Start today by identifying one small step you can take in the direction of your dreams. Even though trying something risky or new may cause your pulse to quicken and your palms to sweat, the rewards will far outweigh any perceived benefits to simply ‘playing it safe’.  In fact, playing it safe is actually the riskiest path because through it you risk wasting your one precious life. You risk missing entirely the reason you are here. To be who you fully are at your core with delight and abandon. To let your light shine to brighten the way for all of us. You’re the only you we’ve got. A precious natural resource never to be wasted or taken for granted.


Slow and steady produces meaningful, lasting results. Vast forced output is rarely sustained. Great strides of lasting value involve myriad baby steps over time. If the conceivers of the Taj Mahal had believed fast was the only way to get there, it would have crumbled in the first storm.

Easy does it. Letting any shifts be as organic as possible is key to more substantive, longer lasting results. Begin with one tiny baby step toward one small desired change. No amount of progress is too inconsequential to celebrate. Each step forward is an important opportunity to stop, consider what you’ve learned, examine your new tools, realize your new strengths, and embrace with gratitude the joy that will take you to the next step.

Celebrating each success is key to fostering the constructive core energy that will keep moving you forward. Noticing and demonstrating love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude for any resistance to change is as important to moving forward as celebrating your successes.

Before you know it, you will have left behind your former life of limitation and lack. You will have built your dream and it will last your whole life through. What will you dare to do today with your one precious life?

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
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