By most definitions, I wouldn’t say I’m a risk taker.
I would say I like knowing what’s going on. As a Five according to the Enneagram, an INTJ according to Myers-Briggs and high-strung according to my mother, I like to be in control of my situation or at least have a general understanding of what’s happening.
So if you’re expecting my last editorial to be an inspirational story about how I took a risk and applied to be executive editor and it changed my life for the better, I’ll say now that’s not what this is.
Was being editor a lot of work? Yes.
Did being editor make me a better journalist? Definitely.
Was being editor something that made sense for me to do? For sure.
So was being editor a risk? Not necessarily.
That is not to say it was easy. It certainly was hard work; I know that not just anyone could take this position and be successful.
But I’m not going to disregard or undermine the work I have put in to get here and say it was a “risk.”
While this is my seventh year of being a journalist, this is not my seventh year of being a good journalist. That happened gradually as I got more comfortable and pushed myself a little more with each story, photo, assignment, edit and submission.
The tasks I completed in my role as editor were a combination of the things I hope to do for the rest of my life: writing and designing, but also solving problems creatively and working with people who are just as passionate as I am.
I didn’t realize all of this without a few risks-gone-wrong.
I took these risks-gone-wrong by choice, putting myself in situations I didn’t have any business being in, and I dealt with the consequences. And more often than not, I, unfortunately, must report that I got very little from those experiences.
What has had an impact on my life? It’s not the risks I took because thought they’d be good for me or challenge me in a way I had never been challenged.
The things that have changed my life were well thought out. They were calculated ahead of time to be safe and gratifying but still give ample room for growth.
We can’t let other people tell us we are taking our risks the wrong way. If you like throwing yourself into the unknown with no prior research, good for you.
But I’ve learned that’s not how I grow, and I’m tired of people assuming I am not doing hard things. I will do them on my own terms, paying attention to what I need, not listening to whether or not that’s good enough for anyone else.
I’m not a risk taker, but as capable as I am, I don’t need to be.