Don’t get me wrong. I love the Law of Attraction. I believe in it wholeheartedly. And you know what else I believe in? Taking action, and taking risks. At some point, you have to act. At some point you may have to get a little scared. Maybe even a lot scared. You may have to step forward and give some weight to your affirmations, visualizations and good vibrations. It’s the best way to let the universe (and yourself) know that you’re serious about this dream of yours and about this life of yours.

When I was a kid, my neighbors had a wheelbarrow. They’d leave it out in their yard a lot. Sometimes my older brother gave me rides in it. I’d sit in the front of the wheelbarrow while he’d zoom me around in the yard making vrooooommmm noises like little boys do. And then, as boys also do, he’d get kind of obnoxious and go really fast. Then he’d make the little-boy sound for brakes – errrrrrrht! – and dump the whole wheelbarrow forward. I’d tumble out and land on my butt in the grass.

It can be like that wheelbarrow ride the way the momentum of visualizations and affirmations carry you along. And it can be lots of fun. (Yes, I’m stretching a little bit with this metaphor. Just go with me here.) But if you feel like that momentum has stopped, and you’ve been dumped onto your butt surrounded by all of your gratitude journals, visualizations, and affirmations, and you’re just waiting for something to happen, it might be a sign that the momentum needs some help from you. Something needs to change.

Is it time to give up on all of that good stuff you’ve been doing? No. It just might be time to put some legs on it. It’s time to act. To take a risk. All of the visualizing and affirming in the world isn’t going to do anything if you don’t step up to the plate, face some of your fears, and make some kind of move.

When I first knew I wanted to write songs and perform, I wrote about it everyday. But at some point, I had to make the move to change my life. I moved to a place where I could live cheaply. Then I had to find some open mic nights and begin to play in front of people. Then I had to get a regular gig. Then I had to make a CD. Was each risk scary? Ohmigod, yes! But it was necessary. No one was going to come find me in my kitchen plucking on my guitar, no matter how many affirmations I did!

Risk is different for everyone. For some, it’s a simple action, like exploring alternative health options for an illness. For others, it’s a big giant change, like starting a business or moving to another city, or letting go of a dead-end relationship. Starting a blog can be a risk. Taking a vacation can be a risk. Honoring your values enough to let go of a current comfortable living situation can be a risk. Sometimes it’s not really even a risk. It’s just an action. But since it’s not what you’re used to doing, it feels like a risk.

I believe there’s a point when you know it’s time. You simply know that it’s time to take the chance or to take some action. You might not know it consciously, but you do know it deeply.

How?

Well, it might be time to take a risk if…

– You’ve said, “…at least I have benefits” more than once in the last month.

– You’ve written “My job has benefits” in your gratitude journal more than five times in the past month.

– You think to yourself, “I need to just learn to surrender to this place and be present and grateful.” And a few seconds later, you think, “Don’t I?”

– You keep returning to the Personal Growth section of Barnes & Noble hoping for just one more book that’ll give you the answer.

You’re waiting to be discovered.

– You check your email regularly to see if you’ve been discovered yet.

– There are more than three empty Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream containers in your trash this week.

– You envy Paris Hilton.

– You are Paris Hilton.

– You’ve thought, “Maybe God just doesn’t want me to succeed.”

– You’ve watched “The Lake House” more than three times in the past month.

– You’ve used any of the following words or phrases when referring to yourself: “Stuck.” “Can’t.” “Shouldn’t.” “Should.” Or “Maybe I could be on American Idol.”

– You’ve used the following word when referring to anyone else: “Fault.”

– You’ve used any of the following words or phrases when referring to your situation: “Wish.” “Sucks.” “Benefits.” Or “Maybe I could be on American Idol.”

– You sigh more than 8 times a day.

– You envy your cat.

– You bit off an entire set of acryllic nails last week.

– You’ve decided that other people must not have fear.

– You worry about upsetting your parents.

– You worry about upsetting your friends.

– You worry about upsetting your boss.

– You worry about upsetting the cashier at the grocery store.

– You’re waiting until you’re sure you can do it perfectly.

– You think “getting out of your comfort zone” means getting out of bed in the morning.

– You’re horribly offended by anything I’ve written here.

30 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Mardougrrl

    This came at a most opportune time for me…I always wonder WHY the LoA stuff never quite seems to work out for me, but then I have to admit that I get stuck exactly in the place you mentioned–the place of actually DOING something, namely, writing. I can visualize my book, write ABOUT my book, but eventually, alas, I have to WRITE my book, no matter how scary it might be.

    Oy.

    Thanks so much for this post!

  • Amy

    I had to say “yes” to more than one of the things on that list (how on earth could you know I have envied my cat?!?!?).

    The one that struck me the deepest was about waiting until you can do it perfectly– I do this with lots of things in my life–but I found an anonymous quote several years ago that I repeat to myself when I get mired in that mindset:

    “The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement”.

    Sometimes good enough really is good enough. Thanks for sharing, Christine!

  • ChickiePam

    Sorry about the repeat entries….I put a link to your website on mine. Look on the links page. Hope you don’t mind. I know I shoulda asked first….

  • ChickiePam

    Yea! It works now!

  • ChickiePam

    Hi Christine,
    Good to know about the link. We’ll see if it works this time. It looked like it was typed in correctly and it comes up whey I type it in a different window, so we’ll see!

    Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I am pondering the whole idea of writing a blog of my own. It’s a committment thing….coming up with new stuff to write about…. aaahhhh!
    Pam

  • Mark Stock

    Thanks. I appreciate you taking risks.

    http://mmphosis.blogspot.com/

  • Christine Kane

    ChickiePam (firstly, you should know that when i clicked on your name, your website wasn’t there. you might want to edit the link when you leave comments again.) I LOVE what you wrote. I love that you call it movement. That’s an even better way to put it. Risk is so varied. For instance, if I’ve been out on the road and haven’t been writing songs, the first day back is so hard to begin. It feels like risk each time. But really, it’s just movement in spite of the fears and voices. You should write a blog about this on your new blog!

  • Christine Kane

    Brent, I’m not even going to respond to you, since you’ve clearly got a good conversation going here! (besides, i’m sure you’ll elaborate next time I’m at your office!) I do think it’s very funny that tammy said you must not be a Virgo! (didn’t i say the exact same thing?)

    Thanks Tammy for your kind words. i’m looking forward to having you at the retreat! Your art is breathtaking. And Brent is a Virgo, btw!

    thanks Joy and dharmashanti!

    Susie, yep, there’s NO trading how wonderful it is to have a live that is truly alive. It sounds like you’ve continued to create just that!

    djuro… if your pizza has soy cheese on it, i’d love to have some! thanks for your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shannon, well that’s serendipity that you found me. We’re living parallel lives at different times! I’ll check out your site…

    Brent… I think the word “risk” actually means different things to different people. and i don’t believe in mistakes…so even a “bad choice” can teach you something, so you still grow, which means the risk was worth taking!

    Hi Ren, thanks for that. I also have actually known people who can do fairly well manifesting without acting… but they’ve been doing this work for a long time and really really believe it and get it.

  • ChickiePam

    I just love this blog! I agree wtih Brent that men and women are wired differently. I happen to LIKE those differences!

    I know one person who can manifest amazing things from her couch. She does very little in the action department and things (money, jobs, opportunities) just show up for her. I have not yet made it to the place where I can do that and a part of me is jealous, but the bigger part of me is absolutely OK with the need for me to take action.

    Inertia requires movement (physical or mental) in order to change. That movement is what I would call “risk”. It does not involve judgement as to good or bad, just movement. I have found that the smallest of movements can get things going again…even set off a chain of events….a book, a sunny day, a new restaurant, a smile instead of looking down, a changed thought or a “chance” meeting. Sometimes it takes bigger things to end the inertia….things that are called “risky” like changing jobs, getting a divorce, packing up and moving across country, but these are still just movement. And as to those things that I later wish I had thought about just a little bit longer before I acted on them….well, I like to consider them growing opportunities and not bad choices. I’d rather take the risk and be considered a fool than to live out my life in a “small” fashion. ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m only 4’11” tall)

    There have been times in my life when I lived in the “safe” zone. Where I just did not take any risks. I was definately all about inertia. I have just come out of two years of inertia. It feels good to be moving again. When I’m stuck, I forget about that. It’s good to be alive on planet earth, reading an awesome blog like this.

  • Ren

    ~~All of the visualizing and affirming in the world isnโ€™t going to do anything if you donโ€™t step up to the plate, face some of your fears, and make some kind of move.~~

    That is SO true. I actually think the whole “visualization/affirmation” thing can be a crutch for some people. You can sit around your house all day thinking positive thoughts but that’s not going to bring you any closer to your purpose or higher good. Action is powerful, especially when one acts in line with their inner values (not those sneaky things picked up by not questioning society, but those inner urgings that get ignored all too often).

  • Brent (Web Guy)

    (trying not to turn comments into a forum, but i wanted to respond to Tammy…)

    1. Actually I am a Virgo ๐Ÿ™‚ – and it is harder for me to take risks, but I do shop around for some really big cliffs to jump off.

    2. There ARE real TENDENCIES that are different between males and females that are biologically quantifiable. For example, CAT scans reveal that language activity in women tends to occur all over the brain. They have BIOLOGICALLY more complex language abilities than men whose language skills are usually isolated to the frontal left lobe. When men suffer strokes, their language skills often take a huge hit – but women rarely suffer language skill loss from strokes.

    Likewise, biologically, males often take higher-risks than females. This is observable in humans and other primates as well as in other species. It does NOT mean “All men of all species take risks where all females of all species do not”. It simply means that often, males start out with a higher-risk taking tendency – and yes, a tendency for higher-risk taking does indeed lead to a lower life expectancy. Like it or not, there are biological differences between males and females – let’s call it “different starting points”. But from there – there is no predicting where any human may go – regardless of gender.

    I don’t know about equating “high-risk” with “bad-choice” – it’s usually hindsight that says a risk was a bad choice. It’s the fear of bad choices that blocks our way from healthy risk taking…

  • Shannon

    4 days after quitting my day job to focus on music I’ve stumbled on your blog. I look forward to reading through your posts – seems to me like you’ve got lots o’ great advice for a gal like me, especially on those days when I just feel like curling up in front of the tv. Thank you for sharing your experiences and advice.

  • djuro

    Someone wrote on a forum I attend: You can’t say ”Law of Attraction” without ACTION!
    The first pizza delivery place in my town used to check up on you if you really ordered a pizza. The kids used to play a lot with the phone at the time.
    I think the Universe does the same when you become suspicious and uncertain of your goals. It waits for you to act upon them, and if neccesary – to change them.
    I’ve done a lot of those risks and changes, but don’t regret them because my pizza smells oh-so-good!

  • Susie

    Yeap, moving to Utah was the big risk: moving 1300 miles away from my family, friends and my dog! Moving to a place that I know nothing about, to a huge city, to join AmeriCorps and live at poverty level. There has been a lot of uncertainty, but the rewards have been too great to quite find the words ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Dharmashanti

    Wonderful things to consider.

    Peace,
    Dharmashanti

    Blog: http://themiseryconspiracy.blogspot.com
    Web: http://www.dharmashanti.com

  • Joy Langtry

    Risks are awesome. They offer the U the opportunity to play with you, and get a real good workout!

  • tammy vitale

    First I want to say: this is why I can’t wait for the retreat – this kind of lovely, thought provoking post. Have been and continue to be a risk taker. Even so there are times when I’m stuck.

    Want to say something to Brent about guys and risk taking – he’s obviously not a Virgo (I’m married to one who “lives vicariously” as he says through my own Aries-dive-off-the-edge personality). But I need a better definition of risk because I don’t think his matches mine. there’s a difference between “risk” and “bad choices” which I will gladly hand over to males (knowing all the time that females make bad choices too. Risk is NOT gender based – no matter what that book says)

  • Brent (Web Guy)

    I’m probably focusing on the wrong thing here, but:

    Why is it obnoxious to go really fast? That’s the FUN part… and boys are BUILT for fast and rough. It’s genetic. I’m serious. We are beginning to discover that women and men are truly and biologically “wired” differently – and i mean radically differently. Try the book “Why Gender Matters” (author unknown to me). Boys – and that’s boy-humans, boy-monkeys, boy-dogs, etc – are much higher risk takers. Not that it should necessarily be applauded for taking higher risks, because it directly shortens the life expectancy in boy-dogs, boy-monkeys, and boy-humans…

    But risk is risk – you can’t predict what is going to happen. That’s why it’s called risk. But I know NONE of the great things in my life have come without it.

    As one of my own favorite Yoga-Berra-isms goes: “The thing about surprises is you never know when one’s coming.”

    ps: favorite recent risk-taking movie -> The Fastest Indian

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks Susie! Was moving to Utah the big risk?

    Hi Megan, Yes, I know what you means about the pushing buttons. I kind of wrote this for the me of many years ago that was so scared to do anything that went against the grain, even though I so desperately wanted a different life. I figure there’s many me’s out there! I’m glad to hear you love your life!

    Alan…well, you KNOW i have to ask what you mean by 10 days late…

    Kris, Thanks for your thoughts. A “risky” day is fun… and combining it with gratitude makes it even better.

  • Kris aka Krispy

    Another great one Christine. I am so glad that I stumbled across your blog…I come from a business background with a parallel track in spirituality and community building…but the gulf is widening for me. Your blog appeared at exactly the right time as I am choosing to fall on the spirituality/community building side…and use my business skills to ground them.

    Anyway, today was a risky, full day even before I read your post (am in London for the time being…so my day is mainly gone before your post), but a crazily wonderful day. After reading your Practising Gratitude article the other day, I have just started a gratitude journal. Thanks to the very spirit of what you write, this day of risks and rewards turned into a beaming grin and 14 entries into the journal tonight.

  • Alan!

    This article is ten (10) days late…

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    There’ll be more opportunities though.

  • Megan

    This blog would have really pushed some buttons for me about a year ago, when I felt “stuck”. In the past nine months I have started to live BIG, and yea I am scared a lot of the time, but I love my life more than ever. Another big part of taking risks for me is trusting my instincts.

  • Susie

    Ahh, taking risks: I’m nervous to take them, but can’t really live without them!!! I took a huge risk about a year ago and I haven’t looked back since. Come to think of it, I’m grateful for all of the risks that I’ve ever taken!!!

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