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Risk-Taking and Safety:

finding the right balance


You can buy all kinds of insurance, but there are never any 100% guarantees that you will be safe. Assess the degree to which you are attached to safety, and the degree to which you are willing to take risks. If you discover that you are extremely risk-averse, there may be very good reasons for this so please don’t rush to harsh judgment of yourself! Instead, remain curious about what set you up to be risk-averse, and more than anything, have compassion for yourself.


Without this, you will find it much harder to move away from your safest of safety zones toward more risk and aliveness.

The following are quotes I have collected over the years on this topic. Notice how the theme of faith often comes up in others’ reflections on safety and risk-taking. If it turns you off to think of this as religious faith, feel free to consider faith without any religious underpinnings.

And the day came

  When the risk to remain

   Tight in a bud

    Was more painful

     Than the risk it took

      To blossom

        ~ Anais Nin

Safety is the most unsafe spiritual path you can take.

Safety keeps you numb and dead.

People are caught by surprise when it is time to die.

They have allowed themselves to live so little.

~ Stephen Levine

Guarding Your Heart


To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping your heart intact you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket of your selfishness. And in the casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change; it will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the dangers of love is in hell.

~ C.S. Lewis



To laugh is — to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is — to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out for another is — to risk involvement.

To expose feelings is — to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is

— to risk their loss.

To love is — to risk not being loved in return.

To live is — to risk dying.

To hope is — to risk disappointment.

To try is — to risk failure.

Only a person who risks is free.

~ author unknown

Your task is not to seek for love,

but merely to seek and find

all the barriers within yourself

that you have built against it.

~ Rumi


When you have come to the edge of all the light you know

And are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown

Faith is knowing one of two things will happen

There will be something solid to stand on

Or you will be taught to fly.

~ Patrick Overton

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