Dare To Leave Your Comfort Zone – Take Risks


You Cannot Swim For New Horizons Until You Have Courage To Lose Sight Of The Shore
– William Faulkner

We have all been in situations when we know what should be done, what is the right thing to do, but we still don’t do it. Why? Because we are all risk averse by nature – we lack the courage to get away from the shore when swimming for new horizons.

Imagine if Christopher Columbus didn’t have the courage to lose sight of the Spanish shores in his search for a brave new world…

William Faulkner, the man behind this quote, was a true literary giant, although he stood only five feet, six inches tall. He was a very courageous man, never afraid to take great risks with his life and his career.

Faulkner is considered by many to be one of the greatest American writers of all time, in the same league as Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway. He was someone who always followed his heart and had the courage of a lion.

Some of his great literary achievements such as The Sound and the Fury and Go Down, Moses were works of a great genius. Written at a time when Faulkner was struggling under the weight of desperate poverty.
Faulkner could have taken the easy way out like many talented writers of his generation, and written the sort of pop fiction or cheap and sensational dime novels that were the rage in those days, and made quick money. But he was an idealistic young man, a poor man, for sure, but never someone who sold himself short.

Faulkner wanted to achieve nothing less than greatness in his life,

and he did that with extraordinary works of literature such as As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom! all written within a period of just ten years.

Faulkner was a brave man, a courageous man, who was certainly not risk-averse. But that’s not how most people are. Talk to people in their 50s and 60s, recently retired, or on the verge of retirement. There is sometimes a hint of regret in their voices.

What if…

What if I had the courage to ask out the beautiful girl I saw every day on the bus during my commute to work as a young man? Would my life be different?
What if I followed my heart and started a business when I had the chance? Maybe I’d have been a multimillionaire by now, instead of worrying about my pension?
What if I took a chance and said “yes” to the casting director who offered me a role in a TV show when in college? Maybe I’d be the next Meryl Streep…

Regrets, we all have them. Life is full of “what ifs”. But who is to blame for that? You cannot blame anyone but yourself for all missed opportunities.
It was not bad luck or misfortune, but it was your lack of courage, your aversion to taking a risk, to lose sight of the shores when reaching out for the stars that made you give up the one shot you had to have the life that you had always wanted.

Recklessness is never a wise thing

Yes, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be safe, with wanting to have some stability in life. Recklessness is never a wise thing – we all know what reckless and thoughtless behaviour can lead to. That is certainly not what I mean when I talk about being risk averse.
What you should be doing is to take calculated risks in life. Never be afraid to go for gold when it makes sense to do so. Take risks, but don’t gamble – if you understand what I mean.

Warren Buffett is certainly not someone you would call a gambler. Buffett is the world’s greatest investor, someone who has the reputation for being smart enough to make money without taking risks.
But that’s not really true. Buffett takes risks all the time. He took a risk when as a young man he invested his entire savings in a loss-making textile manufacturing company in an unprofitable industry called Berkshire Hathaway because he felt that the stock had value.

He took another risk when he closed the textile business, shut down the mills, and converted Berkshire Hathaway into an insurance company. That was a crazy thing to do, but to Buffett, that was a calculated risk.

One thing led to another, and Buffett took many calculated risks like that, building Berkshire Hathaway into a massive vehicle for his investments, with a market cap of $519 billion at the time of this writing. He has a personal net worth of $87 billion today, making him the third richest man in the world.
At no point was it easy for Buffett. He took extraordinary risks in his career; most of the moves he made did pay off, and very well at that. But Buffett had his share of failures too. He was prepared for them, and learned from them, and didn’t allow any failure to dampen his appetite for risk-taking.

Don’t let fear cripple you

Like Buffett, you should not be afraid to take risks, to reach out for the stars, do something unconventional, take a leap of faith. Yes, you will fail on many occasions, and you will make mistakes. But you will never have any regrets!





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24 thoughts on “Dare To Leave Your Comfort Zone – Take Risks

  1. Awesome! Your post resonated with me on so many levels. I have regret from my adolescence because I was so shy that I said no to so many awesome opportunities that could have shaped my life so differently. It’s so true that facing fear is exactly how one needs to push through to take chances to remove regret. ❤️ Thank you for reminding me of this.

    1. Thanks for sharing Jenna. I am glad to hear this served as a reminder for you. We all have things we wish we’d done differently in the past. But I guess the goal is accepting that the past cannot be changed, all we have is now and we just need to learn from the past and commit to growth and making informed and awesome decisions going forward.

  2. I like the way you’ve mentioned that reckless and brave aren’t the same thing. That distinction matters. We can all make calculated risks!

    1. Absolutely Kelly. In order to make calculated risks, we first need to seek useful information that will allow us to make informed decisions.

  3. very inspirational and motivational. loved faulkner’s quote 🙂
    everyone has his/her comfort zone and there’s always a right time to step out of it


    1. That’s right Lau. Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Thank you for that much needed motivational boost! Such a well written and thought out post – I definitely agree that we should all limit the amount of regret and what ifs in our lives and just go for it!! (Hence why I just moved from UK to Canada..)

    1. Thank you, Kate. One of my favourite sayings is ‘Life is terminal, and no one comes out of it alive. Live to the fullest’. I live in Canada too (moved here many years ago), it’s a beautiful country. All the best with settling down in Canada.

  5. Great post! It reminds me a little of the movie “Field of Dreams”, Its kind of a second chance. And its never too late for a new dream 🙂 Super thought provoking article.

  6. Thanks Amy for your comment. It’s definitely never too late ?

  7. This is a great sentiment. I think we can all relate to it in some way. I know that I missed out on a lot of opportunities growing up because of feeling fearful. It’s never too late to leave your comfort zone though, I know I’m learning that more every day. Thanks for sharing x

    1. That’s right Leanne. It’s never too late. At some point, the cycle of ‘regret’ has to be broken, and we let go of past mistakes, learn from them and move on to do great things. Thanks for reading

  8. This was just an insightful and motivational read! Made me want to get up and do all the things I have been putting off. Thanks so much, really enjoyed reading this x

    1. Thanks Kamapala. I’m glad to hear that. Sending you good vibes to go get your dreams realized.

  9. Great post ( though I have never been a Faulkner fan)! You could also choose to not look back on your what-ifs but your haves. What have you done that was amazing?? Don’t live on what-ifs

    1. That’s right Marni. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we’ve accomplished. If we also focus on our accomplishments, they could serve as a confidence boost to tackle future challenges.

  10. What an inspirational post! It is true that we should live like to the fullest, we never know what is around the corner

    1. Absolutely Dani. Glad you got inspired in some ways reading the post.

  11. So appreciate this inspiration, and specific examples of people who have crossed the barrier of their comfort zone. Great things to look at when we want to take life by the horns rather than sitting around paralyzed and uninspired. ?? Thank you for Sharing this information and your brilliant insights. ?Evelyn, PathofPresence.com ?

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and glad you found the post inspiring. Stop by again for more ?

  12. Fear of failure I find is the main thing that holds us back . When you realise in life that you really have nothing to lose per se as life is not infinite then you will start to step out of your comfort zone . Better to take a chance and fall flat on your face than to live with what if . What ifs can eat away at your very soul .

  13. This is a wonderful post. It is so hard to discuss your fears at times but reading this makes me comfortable knowing that there are other people just like me.

    1. Definitely true. It’s liberating knowing you are not alone. Glad this post helped in some way 🙂

  14. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you may be
    a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from
    now on. I want to encourage continue your great job, have a nice afternoon!

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