Let’s have the talk: Taking a Risk

Don’t be afraid of the unknown…endless possibilities may be waiting.

By: Norman J. Dotson Jr., Editorial Director

Let’s have the talk… about taking a risk.

Chasing your dreams is never an easy feat especially when your dreams are large. There are, of course, the outside obstacles (finances, competition, and time) but those are not the biggest obstacles that you face, those have a target and enemy that you can in essence get past. Your largest threat (in lieu of sounding like a Jedi master) lies within yourself, the internal demons that can be much more crippling are the mightiest foe to overcome.

That’s what we all face. The eternal struggle with one’s self and our fear of the unknown… our fear of failure.

However, failure can be a great teacher. Henry Ford once said that “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently…” which basically means you learn from how bad you screwed up the first time. Failing does not mean it is the end it only means your approach was wrong, it’s not a fatal event so breathe easy. Many of the greats have failed before, dusted themselves off, and took that leap again *coughs* Bill Gates.

I never thought I would ever be inspired by the once hokey attempt at gender equality in comics, Supergirl, but her show of late has taught me something about fear… all types of fear.

Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) from the CW’s Supergirl.

The main fear that the show tackles is the one concerning failure, Kara El faces a new level of fear each week (different from the likes of Livewire, Silver Banshee, and Metallo…sorry inner geek leaked out) her main obstacles resides within herself. Now, while the Girl of Steel is technically the superpower the true heroine of the show is the sharp-witted (and sharp tongued) media mogul Cat Grant. Grant, played by Calista Flockhart, is the boss of Supergirl’s mild mannered alter ego, Kara Danvers, where while flinging a barrage 4th wall breaking insults at just about everyone she serves as both Kara/Supergirls motivational teacher guiding her through her fears of the week.

In the second episode of the new season Grant found herself taking her own advice about taking a “dive” into the unknown. After pushing Kara to find her calling, take a chance on something new, and dive she found that diving into something new is what she was also in need of in her life. Diving into the blue unknown means to taking your fears head on in order to move forward with just about anything ranging from career to personal development and yes even romance. Someone once said the only missed opportunity is the one not taken, often times we underestimate how truly capable we are at success or our ability to handle the consequences of failure. However, we never learn the outcome if we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by our fear.

Taking a risk is important in making progress: space travel, medicine, the arts, and just about any form of human accomplishment. Even when it seems as though you are on top of the world and feel as though you have made a great deal of success yet you still feel as though you are missing something…take a leap into the unknown find a way to fill that void. We can learn a little something from Cat Grant, if you feel incomplete take a leap…want something new in any aspect of your life, take that plunge into the unknown.

According to an article in Forbes there are four elements that we take into consideration when looking at risk that contributes to our fear:

  1. We over-estimate the probability of something going wrong.
  2. We exaggerate the consequences of what might happen if it does go wrong.
  3. We under estimate our ability to handle the consequences of risk.
  4. We discount or deny the cost of inaction, and sticking with the status quo

Unconsciously or consciously these things run through our train of thought tainting our chances for success before we even get to attempt at trying. Wanting to be safe and secure is human nature but so is being bold and defying one’s own limits…achieving feats straight out of our imagination as well as the unimaginable. Albert Einstein once said “a ship is always safe at shore…but that is NOT what it is built for…” the same can be said of anyone of us so whenever you feel yourself stuck in fear take the dress off and end the tea party.

Essentially, find some strength to take that step off the ledge of your own understanding and safety zone. Get after it, whatever IT is go for it. You will never succeed or fail if you do nothing, so plunge yourself into the blue as real life MRS. Hans Solo tells Kara…become whomever you are meant to be because sitting in one spot will, in all aspects, get you nowhere.

Thank you real life Mrs. Hans Solo aka Ally McBeal better known as Calista Flockhart.

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