As a kid, I was never really a big risk-taker. I liked my bubble, and I liked staying in it. You know, I was that kid that always behaved, always got on well with her friends (apart from the occasional spat...) and always took the safe option.
I remember the first big risk I ever took. I was about 10 or 11 years old, I think, and I was away on my P7 graduation week away, at this outdoor centre. On one of the days, my group's activities was to go abseiling down this cliff. And I mean, it wasn't exactly a huge cliff or anything, but I looked down, and I saw the risk. A few of my friends stepped back, saying "No, it's too scary, I'm not taking the risk". Even though the instructor promised no harm would come, us kids still saw the risk. When it came to me, I was the second-last person to decide whether or not I wanted to take the risk, and abseil down to where my class teacher and most of my friends were waiting. I chose to take the risk.
I'm sure you all know someone who, while doing something, will repeatedly say they can't do it. Before an exam, if you listen close enough, there will be several people saying "I can't do it. I just can't do it". But then they go in, and ace the exam. Well, while I abseiled down that cliff, scared for my life, I shouted to my teacher; "I CAN'T DO IT!". I wanted to be extracted from that situation right away. But she didn't let me give up. Instead, she and the group of kids already at the bottom started shouting encouraging things at me.
"You can do it"
"You're almost there"
"You're doing so well"
And sure enough, I got to the bottom. I did it. I took the risk, and I didn't give up, even though I was so close.
There are two things I want you to take from that analogy; first of all, take risks. The best things in life involve great risk, and that's what makes them so great!
Secondly, encourage people who do take risks. Don't cause them to doubt their decision. Yes, give them healthy advice, but don't be destructive about their decisions.
Now, as a slightly more mature young person, I recognise the need to take risks in every day life. In fact, what inspired me to write this post is a risk that I took about one hour ago. I'm terrified of what the consequences will be of this risk, but either way, I'd rather regret something I've done than spend sleepless nights regretting what I didn't do.
Risks allow you to grow, and become more aware of yourself, and your limits. Sure, sometimes the risks you take won't pay back, but that doesn't mean you should stop taking risks altogether. So think it through, be prepared, and go for it!
What's the biggest risk you've ever taken, and how did it help you grow as a person?