When risk is risky

It’s ‘Five minute Friday’ time, joining with Lisa-Jo Baker.

She gives us 1 word,

we write for 5 minutes flat – no backtracking or editing, throwing caution to the wind.

Check out others’ five-minute offerings by clicking on the button below.


This is my best five minutes on ‘Risk’.

Danger Cliff Edge

I’m playing Russian Roulette with my health at the moment.


I’ve had a week where I’ve enjoyed seeing people, I’ve spent time blogging. But I’m still in recovery from the recent exertion of going out to see the baptisms. I have mornings where I get up and I feel faint and dizzy. My battery feels like it’s running down faster than ever.


I’m still in denial at the moment. My instinct is always to just ‘go for it’ – take the plunge, risk it – it’ll be worth it. That’s how I’m wired, and it’s what society proclaims through a megaphone. Try every experience. Live for today. Just do it.


The trouble is that M.E. doesn’t know that risk is supposed to be rewarding. It doesn’t operate according to my wishes. My body has its own rules.


Sometimes risk is…well, risky. Sometimes it’s good to push ourselves, but other times it’s foolish to push the boundaries. Sometimes that’s what boundaries are for – to stop us going further.


I feel more acutely than most my limitations and boundaries, but we all have them. Some are inhibiting (like unnecessary fear), but some are actually healthy (like not standing too close to a cliff edge.)


How do we know when it’s good to push ourselves, take a risk, or whether pushing ourselves might just lead to a fall?


Over to you:

  • Are you risk-averse or do you like to take risks?
  • How do you know when to push yourself beyond your ‘comfort zone’ is a good thing, and how do you know when your ‘comfort zone’ is there to protect you?


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27 Responses to When risk is risky

  1. Shelly Miller 22nd June, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    The motivation behind taking the risk is the indicator for me. Is it about me and my need for somthing to be fulfilled outside of Him, or is it Him saying go and giving me what I need in the moment. If its the latter I can push beyond my circumstances. Doing it in my own strength, usually leads to taking a few steps back. And I have to wrestle awhile to understand my true motivation. Saying a Friday prayer for you Tanya. Love your determination, your questions, your heart that asks because you love Him. Hoping for some energy to re-charge that battery today.

    • Tanya 24th June, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      So nice to meet up with you on a Friday again! I love the way you talk about your relationship with God and your thoughtful self-reflection. Motivation is a really important thing, and I think you’re right in saying that God’s guiding and calling are important reasons for taking that risk. Great wisdom here. (and thank you for your encouragement – ‘my heart that asks because I love Him’ – yes! that is exactly where I’m coming from – thanks for seeing that).

  2. Nikki 22nd June, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Proud of you for asking the hard questions!
    And I’m so sorry you have reason to…

    I guess I always ask what type of risk it is. Is it a risk to me or my family’s health or even life? Then I err on the side of caution. I let my mother-heart win.

    Is it simply a risk to my emotions? My pride? Then I fight hard against my nature. I dive in, often with eyes closed, believing He’ll catch me in the deep end…

    Hugs to you!

    • Tanya 24th June, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Great to see you here, Nikki! Yes – I am that awkward person who asks the hard questions…!

      I like your distinction about what kind of risk it is – I think that’s really helpful in teasing out when we should ‘go for it’ and when we need to hold back. Too often we hold back unnecessarily because we’re risking our pride or rejection or emotions – but we’re right to protect ourselves and our family. Great way of putting it – thanks!

  3. Sylvia R 22nd June, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Glad you wrote this post. Risk is not always the best choice. It’s easy to get all fired up and race off without thinking of all the consequences. And God often steers us by physical limitations, and other closed doors, to exactly the life path He wants us to take. We can fight Him on this and ram at those doors till we’re exhausted, or we can look to Him for the wisdom and guidance we need to keep His balance, and be blessed. Thank you for this valuable perspective.

    • Tanya 24th June, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Yes – thanks for the reminder that God is at the helm and that He is sovereign even over those obstacles and boundaries that we think should be removed. It’s right to look to Him above all for wisdom and guidance in these matters. Great thoughts – thanks for stopping by!

  4. Stephanie 22nd June, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Awesome thoughts on the flip side of risk! We must definitely use wisdom when calculating risk. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tanya 24th June, 2012 at 7:52 am #

      Thank you! I loved your thoughts on the topic too!

  5. Lindsay 22nd June, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    It’s so easy to talk about the reward from risk, the grand dreams and ideas. You’re right, though, sometimes there is wisdom in knowing when the risk is unwise. Thank you for that reminder. Beautiful post.

    • Tanya 22nd June, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Thank you. 🙂

  6. Linda Stoll 22nd June, 2012 at 12:40 pm #


    May you have wisdom to know when to say yes, when to say no, and how to set boundaries that let you go right on to the end of the marathon!

    • Tanya 22nd June, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      thanks so much for your encouragement!

  7. Jennifer 22nd June, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Great thoughts!! I tend to err on the side of over-cautious, but then at times I push it when I need to hold back. Even for my own good or the good of my family.

    • Tanya 22nd June, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      It’s so hard to discern when to push and when to hold back, isn’t it? Thanks for your encouragement – enjoyed your post too.

  8. Katie 22nd June, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I am not a great risk taker but when there are several things I want to do, I will always try and fit all of them in, however tired I know I’ll be. I am a trainee teacher and even when I had glandular fever on my 1st placement, I went into school until sent home by the teachers. I did feel awful but Iv been brought up to always go to school/work unless you literally can’t. I’m sure I have boundaries, but I have no idea where they are

    • Tanya 22nd June, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      Hi there Katie, thanks so much for stopping by. I had glandular fever, back in the day… I think it is frighteningly common to have the attitude that you have to ‘work till you drop’ – I also used to have that attitude. It’s hard to know when to push yourself to achieve your goals, and when pushing yourself will be doing harm… I’ve found the book ‘Boundaries’ by Cloud and Townsend to be really helpful for this – do check it out. Blessings.

      • Dominique 22nd June, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

        Another great read Tanya – thank you! I remember you recommending ‘Boundaries’ by Cloud and Townsend when I was struggling to have good boundaries and limits in certain work/personal relationships. And I can confirm that it is really helpful! Although it was years ago, I still feel I am recovering from the harm of not setting good boundaries/limits and am more keen to take care in (new) relationships – because I have recognised that quantity is not the same as quality when it comes to my time and investment in people and activities. I’m still learning + needing masses of wisdom & discernment but largely enjoying the benefits of limits which allow me to take better risks.

        • Tanya 24th June, 2012 at 8:08 am #

          Lovely lady! I’d totally forgotten I’d recommended that to you! So glad that you found it so helpful and significant – it was really revolutionary for me too. I am kinda surprised and saddened to heear that you are ‘still in recovery’ from the harm of not having boundaries, but at the same time not surprised because I know the harm that it can cause… You are a godly and wise lady, and I pray that you will ever more grow into the person God has created you to be. I love the way you express it: ‘enjoying the benefits of limits which allow me to take better risks’ – brilliantly put. Thinking of you and your multiple major life changes! Much love.

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