Why You Should Stop Waiting and Take a Chance

If you’re sitting on the fence about chasing a dream, a fitness goal, a girl, traveling across the world, or starting that dream business — take a chance.

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By Julian Hayes II

People claim perfection doesn’t exist. They state it’s only a fantasy. For a brief period back in college, I was witnessing perfection.

Besides working on my fitness, heading to the school gym allowed me to be in the same arena as my crush. Equipped with a glowing smile, flawless skin, mesmerizing eyes, and beautiful hair–her radiance swept me in at first sight.

Time ceased to exist, exams were an afterthought, and worries were galaxies away.

This was more than a crush. This was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life. An Oscar-worthy romantic comedy was brewing in my mind.

Unfortunately, I forgot to do the most important thing–take a chance. At the time, courage and confidence weren’t words associated with my name.

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If Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling in The Notebook) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic) were the definitions of courage and confidence–I was the opposite. I was timid, afraid of the unknown, and the king of waiting until tomorrow.

Those characteristics weren’t only for seeing the girl of my dreams–they manifested into every aspect of my life.

I told myself I couldn’t be a writer. Instead, I played it safe and collected degrees (and debt). I took life’s leftovers and lived through others who were going after what they wanted.

Reflecting on those times, I’ve learned some powerful lessons that have shaped me into the man that I am today.

If you’re sitting on the fence about chasing a dream, a fitness goal, a girl, traveling across the world, or starting that dream business — take a chance. Here are five lessons on why you should stop waiting and take a chance.

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1. You’ll never get what you want out of life sitting on the sidelines

If you wait for magical moments to fall into your lap, you’ll only get the leftovers of what everyone else doesn’t want. Your dreams, goals, physique, or anything else won’t happen unless you enter the playing field.

Sitting on the sidelines leads to spectating instead of being an active participant in your life. All the ideas and plans in the world mean little unless you take the initiative.

2. Accept that risks are an everyday part of life

Rejection may happen. Rough patches within your business may occur. You might hit a plateau with your fitness.

Chasing your dreams and following the road less traveled is scary at times, but that’s the point. If you aren’t scared a little about your dreams and goals–the moment isn’t big enough. Feel free to dream a little bigger.

The worst that can happen from taking a risk is a potential setback or feeling of unease. However, setbacks and feelings don’t last forever. It’s only permanent when you choose to quit and not pick yourself up to fight another day.

If you decide not to take risks, what will happen? Nothing and that’s a guarantee. Take a chance and see what can happen.

3. Don’t let the what-ifs stop you

  • What if I can’t lose weight?
  • What if my business fails?
  • What if she doesn’t feel the same way that I feel about her?
  • What if my writing is terrible?
  • What if I can’t live my dream life and travel the world?

These thoughts have crept into my mind at some point (and still do at times). The self-doubt is with us at all times, especially when we’re trying to grow as individuals and stretch outside our comfort zones. Instead of letting the “what ifs” cripple us, let’s turn the “what ifs” into a positive.

Here is what that would look like.

What if you can lose weight? Think about the confidence you’ll gain along with improved health.

What if your business succeeds? Think about how transformative your life will become.

What if she feels the same way that you feel about her? Think about the amazing relationship that you’ll have.

What if you write that book? Think about the impact you’ll provide to the world through your words and experiences.

What if your dream life becomes a reality and you travel the world? Think about the inspiration you’ll provide to others. Think about the amazing people you’ll meet.

4. Keep moving forward (no matter what)

What you’re trying to go after might feel impossible. The odds seem stacked against you. Your friends and family might call you crazy. Who cares? This is your life.

Each of us is here to make our unique dent in the universe, experience life to its fullest, and leave a legacy.

No matter how many times you hit a setback and no matter if it takes three jobs to pursue your dreams–don’t give up. Your breakdowns will become your breakthroughs.

Your dreams and aspirations deserve your attention and love–not fear and self-doubt. If you’ve lost hope and feel defeated, dust off those dreams, and get back to work (one small step at a time).

Our dreams never go away; we just decide to ignore them.

5. Don’t let your past regrets define you

Regret is a sickening feeling. In fact, it’s the worst feeling in the world. It’s a stomachache that medicine can’t cure.

Regret reminds us at the most inopportune times of what could’ve been, had we taken a chance.

Regret seduces us into playing the wishing game. Regret pulls us out of the present moment and into the past, only to leave us anxious.

However, the past is irreversible and out of our control while the future is still within our power to shape. Who knows what can happen.

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The world is full of infinite possibilities once you put yourself out there. You are the captain of your life, not anyone else.

Embrace your opportunities and don’t wait for tomorrow because anything is possible when you take a chance.

Now it’s your turn. What’s the one thing in your life that you want to take a chance with, but haven’t made the leap yet? Comment below and let’s get you started on taking a chance and stop waiting.

This story was previously published on The Good Men Project.

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