When’s the last time you took a chance? If you’re a Type A, overachiever like me, pretty much every decision you make is based on the opposite of chance. You plan, you consider, you reconsider, you backtrack, you do research, you ask more questions, and once you’re sure, and I mean absolutely sure, then you act. This is the opposite of taking a chance. This is committing to a plan. And this approach served me well, until it didn’t.
Because what happens when you’ve done everything according to plan? You then realize you’ve reached your final destination only to feel unhappy, unsatisfied, disconnected completely from what your true, authentic self needs in that moment.
Here’s the things with plans - especially long-term plans - they are predicated on the idea that you won’t change. That your needs won’t evolve. That where you think you want to be in one year, five year, ten years, will remain constant, despite what happens during the ensuring one, five or ten years. And if you’ve lived enough life, you know that this is simply untrue.
And that’s why at a few key moments in my life, I took a chance, and it literally changed everything.
When I was about to graduate college, I knew in my heart I wanted a career that was two things: entrepreneurial and creative. I thought about starting a small business, but was so consumed by self-doubt and fear that I never got past the point of conducting research and writing a plan. I never pulled the trigger on any of my ideas, because to do so would have meant taking a chance on myself, and that was something I just wasn’t willing to do. So, at the insistence of my well-intentioned family members, I took a hard but certain path instead, one that didn’t require me to push beyond my own boundaries or to set my own rules: I went to law school. And for a time, that plan worked: I went to a great law school, had a great experience, got a great job right away, even passed the bar exam on my first try. And while all of this was well and good, none of it required that I take a chance, on myself or anything else. And this approach worked. Until it didn’t.
The first chance I took was leaving my career in law for an uncertain, undefined, but definitely more creative future. At the time I thought I was a little crazy, my first probably felt the same, and my family definitely felt the same. Who walks away from a dream job practicing litigation at one of the most prestigious firms in Los Angeles? I did. And honestly, I had no choice. My soul demanded it. All the best parts of me, the ME in me, was suffocating. My best laid plan, which had taken years of study and hard work to come to fruition, had come to fruition, only for me to realize it was all wrong for me. Within two years of my decision to choose myself and take a chance, I had written and published a book and started my own writing company, a job that allowed me to be creative every single day in a way that I didn’t experience a single day of my law career. I perceived this experience at the time as taking a chance when it came to my career. But in reality, I was planting the seed to take a chance on myself in a more holistic, complete way.
The next chance I took came a few years later, when again I reached the culmination of another set of plans. My husband and I met in 2007, married in 2010, and by 2015 had all the things in place I had planned for us, namely, a house and a few kids. And the plan was good. And again that feeling started brewing in me that it was time to take a chance on myself, and do something new that wasn’t part of the plan.
Again I looked within, and started tending to my needs. I started practicing self care on a level I never had before: mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively. I delved into all the parts of myself that I hadn’t planned to take care of. And I wore a Self Love Pinky Ring as my reminder to choose myself and take a chance on myself each and every day from that day forward. And if you’re here, you know what follows: I launched Fred and Far, and today we are a tribe of thousands of women around the world who choose ourselves, each and every day.
I still make plans. Short ones, long ones, concrete ones, flexible ones. The difference is that in every plan I make, I incorporate the awareness that I should always choose myself and take a chance on myself in the process.
So today, National Take A Chance Day, I invite you to take a chance. On yourself. For yourself. In honor of your ME, your most authentic self. And when you do, let your ring be your reminder to keep doing it, every single day.