Deciding when it's safe to take risks


October 23, 1990|By --Barbara Turk

You're cautious, never take chances. So you've lost out and regretted it. You'd like to be bolder. Why can't you take chances?

Good question. While it's wise to look before you leap, if an overload of caution inhibits your life, it's wise to make changes.

Mull this:

*Were you taught timidity in childhood? If so, don't permit that to push your buttons. Decide, as the adult, when caution is (and isn't) appropriate.

*Were you burned in the past by taking a risk? If so, realize that bygone experiences are exactly that, and don't permit those experiences to intimidate you now.

*Are you scaring yourself by thinking negatively about risks? If so, encourage yourself to look also at the positive that may come from well-considered risks.

While being less cautious feels scary, it is in meeting the challenge of new experiences that you add richness to your life. Keep in mind that frequently it's not the things done that are regretted; it's the opportunities missed that hold the deepest regret of all.

Barbara Turk is a psychotherapist in private practice. She appears regularly on Maryland Public Television.

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