How Do You Handle Risk More Easily

by Reid on July 7, 2017

South American couple smiling at each otherHow can you walk toward the gun and handle risk better?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: Today, we’re talking about risk. How do you handle it and how can it be easier for you? 

Reid: You mean the board game? 

Cathy: Yes, of course. 

Reid: I’m Reid Mihalko from 

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from 

Reid: I’m taking by your face that you just made that you did not mean Risk the board game. 

Cathy: I did not mean Risk the board game. 

Reid: How dare you lie to me? You took a risk. 

Cathy: I did. 

Reid: All right, what are we talking about? 

Cathy: You often talk … and I love that you talk about this so clearly. You talk about walking towards a gun and saying what’s not been said and dealing with the awkward. Embracing the awkward. All of those things involve risk. I’m exposing myself, I’m being vulnerable, people might judge me, they might reject me, there’s all kinds of stuff going on. How can I deal with risk and how can I make it easier for myself to experience risk in a way that isn’t so painful? The first thing … I didn’t get this for a long time and I want to share is that not everybody deals with risk the same way. 

Reid: What? 

Cathy: Not everybody feels it the same way. 

Reid: What? 

Cathy: I would look at people taking risks and I’m like, “Why can’t I do that?” I tend to be shy. I tend to be a little more conservative about my stuff and I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t as brave as those other people. I shamed myself a lot. Once I realized that we’re all wired a little bit differently around different risks and different situations, it gave me a lot of peace like, “Oh, okay. I do not want to jump out of a plane. It does not sound fun to me. The plane is flying perfectly-well. Let’s stay in it.” Other people love jumping out of planes. That’s kind of cool. It gave me some peace. 

Reid: Gave you peace how? Like you realized not shaming yourself? 

Cathy: Yeah, I wasn’t beating myself up and saying, “I should take more risks.” That gave me permission to decide when to take risks, rather than I should be taking all the risks or there’s something, “I’m not courageous. I’m not cool.” 

Reid: Did you want me to share? 

Cathy: Mm-hmm (affirmative). 

Reid: So risks. Yeah. That’s right. Risky things. 

Cathy: We each just wrote an article about risk. 

Reid: Yeah. Do you want me to talk about the article? 

Cathy: If you’d like. 

Reid: I don’t know if I want to. I’m going to take a risk. My big thing is understanding that you can train yourself to take baby steps and then learn how to kind of re-pattern what risk and fear means to you and just the emotional and how it feels physically. Understanding with some positive reinforcement when you take baby steps, surround yourself with good people who will cheer you on rather than poo-pooing on you for wanting to take risks, having some good risk-taking baby-step tools, you can start to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

Cathy: Build the muscle of it. 

Reid: Yeah, and that’s pretty much the whole concept of walking towards the gun, which is like when you realize what you’re afraid of, start moving towards it. It’s a much more productive way of growing and stepping outside of your comfort zones, which, like we were talking about in the articles that we wrote, those comfort zones … that’s where the magic happens is when you step outside. Like the butterfly, if it never came out of the cocoon, would never know flying.

You’re constantly growing and changing and you having a different relationship to fear and to anxiety … and not like anxiety with a capital “A” … but just like the, “Ah!” That will start to change how you are in the world and most people look at that kind of being bold and courageous as inspiring. People actually start to change how they see you in the world, too.  

Cathy: I love changing anxiety from fearful to thrilling. That’s really cool. One thing that I’ve really … I’ve read it a little bit before, but I’ve just experienced it a lot lately, is when my tank is full, like I’ve got enough sleep, I’m getting some emotional support, I have enough food, the just basic things that I need to survive well in the world, when I have those things, risk seems less scary to me. I’m still not going to want to jump from an airplane, but going up and talking to someone when I’m feeling really tired and hungry and I think I might smell because I didn’t shower in twenty-four hours, all the stuff that’s going on in your head- 

Reid: The stakes feel a lot higher. 

Cathy: Yeah. That’s really our survival brain is like, “We don’t have enough energy to go attack that tiger. We need to go back to the cave.” 

Reid: Or maybe it’s a cougar. Yes. 

Cathy: Thank you for that. 

Reid: You’re welcome. No problem. 

Cathy: We’d love to know what you think. What do you do to help yourself be armored up for taking risks and being more thrilled by what you’re experiencing? 

Reid: If you like to learn by reading, we’ll throw the links in to those risk articles for your perusal. Leave your comments. Thank you for watching.

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