It has been said, dear reader, that the world never made a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.
This is an interesting point to consider – firstly, it introduces the idea that a queen is made, not born, and that she is made by learning to take risks.
The girl who never takes a risk, the one who “hides in houses” or who sits activities out because she’s too afraid to participate, or to fail, will never be made a queen by the world. The woman who declines, perhaps saying that all-to-familiar line ‘I’m good’, to join in on some fun and exciting activity that she really, deep down, wants to participate in is a woman who needs desperately to learn how to take risks.
“Boldness gives you presence and makes you seem larger than life. The timid fade into the wallpaper, the bold draw attention. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”
The great, successful, and powerful women of excellence throughout history, dear reader, did not get that way by playing it safe all the time. One does not achieve greatness without courage, and that means going out and doing things that you are unsure of.
The Hollywood studio MGM had been good to Joan Crawford: it had discovered her, made her a star, crafted her image. By the early 1940s, though, Crawford had had enough. It was all too comfortable; MGM kept casting her in the same kinds of roles, none of them a challenge. So, in 1943, Crawford did the unthinkable and asked out of her contract. The consequences for Crawford could have been terrible; to challenge the studio system was considered highly unwise. Indeed, when she then signed up with Warner Brothers, predictably enough she was offered the same mediocre sorts of scripts. She turned them down. On the verge of being fired, she finally found the part she had been looking for: the title role in Mildred Pierce, which, however, she was not offered. Setting to work on the director, Michael Curtiz, she managed to change his mind and land the role. She gave the performance of her life, won her only Best Actress Oscar, and resurrected her career. In leaving MGM, Crawford was taking a big chance. If she failed to succeed at Warner Brothers, and quickly, her career would be over. But Crawford thrived on risk. When she was challenged, when she felt on edge, she burst with energy and was at her best. Like Crawford, you sometimes have to force yourself onto death ground–leaving stale relationships and comfortable situations behind, cutting your ties to the past. If you give yourself no way out, you will have to make your new endeavor work. Leaving the past for unknown terrain is like a death–and feeling this finality will snap you back to life.
Cleopatra, for instance, first made her mark as a young woman in contention for the Egyptian throne by making a grand entrance and rolling out of a carpet in Caesar’s palace, to ask for his help putting together an army. She didn’t simply sit back and accept defeat. She must have known that such a maneuver was risky; after all, she had never before met Caesar, and he was a political enemy of the Egyptians.
But what made the difference, dear reader, was that she trusted herself enough to take the risk – she had self-belief.
First and foremost, a woman must believe in herself and her own talents and abilities if she is going to be able to take the risks that will help her to grow and become the queen she truly is.
This is what is often called “confidence” and why that quality is so widely applauded and sought after, both by men, and other high-value women seeking like-minded friends and confidants.
Moreover, a woman who has learned how to take risks to grow herself, is an infinitely more interesting and fascinating one, dear reader. She has so much to offer, both in conversation and in company, and this again tends to attract people to her cause.
It is the women who take the most (calculated) risks, dear reader, that are the happiest.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Life is all about growth and change, and when you aren’t doing either, you are bound to be miserable.
Eventually, risk-taking becomes a habit, and an ingrained and natural part of one’s personality, but if it isn’t already so, dear reader, don’t fret. It can become so (:
If you are risk-averse, it is advisable to start with small but measureable changes. Go out and join that latin dance class that you could never see yourself doing. Audition in a local theater group. Ask for a promotion or raise. Go back to school for that advanced degree (this can be done in spare time in the evenings if you don’t want to disrupt your life too much). Volunteer with a local group. Honestly, absolutely anything that you would not normally do (i.e. something outside of your “comfort zone”) will do. What’s the worst that can happen, dear reader, you trip over your feet, don’t get called back, get denied the promotion, or don’t get into the program? If you never try at all, you will have exactly the same outcome. If you try, at least you will know that you didn’t fail for lack of effort or for not trying.
“I’ve always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life. When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks. You’ll feel more confident to ask for the promotion. You’ll have more energy to be a better mom. You’ll feel more deserving of love.” – Jillian Michaels
From there, the dreams and ambitions you have that might seem far-fetched and out of the realm of possibility will become far more realistic (: