emotional wellbeing Mandy Kloppers

Risking it in love

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If we don’t learn how to open up to others, it will be hard for us to improve our interactions with others and increase our levels of intimacy. If we don’t accept certain challenges that come our way, we may never discover our abilities. If we don’t risk being vulnerable, we won’t be able to grow. If we don’t go after what we want and manage our fear we will be destined to admiring what we want from afar. Life’s too short – take a risk!

But when we take risks, we open ourselves up to the possibility of becoming who we’d like to be. Through risk taking, fears can actually be managed and limitations can be worked through.

How to risk taking risks

Our risks should be worthwhile. We should set realistic goals and use risk taking to help attain those goals. We shouldn’t take risks just for the sake of it, but rather for the challenge and the prospect of self growth and development they offer us. Self esteem is raised through taking risks because even if the risk doesn’t work in our favour, we test our coping skills and realise we can get through difficult rather than avoiding them and never knowing what we are made of.

We may believe skydiving to be the ultimate in risks. But there’s no point in undertaking it if it won’t help us build and improve our self esteem. In taking risks we should do things that are appropriate for us and our growth. Think about risks you can take that will help you, not hinder you.

If you want to feel more confident, we should take risks that will make us proud of ourselves. Risks shouldn’t be taken for the praise we will get from others. External praise is useful in the short term but does little for us in the long term and won’t create lasting inner change. Ultimately, we don’t want to be dependent on others in order to feel good about ourselves.

A good example of risk taking:

If you are shy and anxious in social situations – accept an invitation that you would normally decline. It’s not the outcome of taking the risk that is important, it’s the effort you put in to effect the outcome. One purpose of risk is to open up to others.

If we don’t let others see us for who we truly are, it is harder to take risks. If we don’t share our inner feelings, good and bad, it is easier for us to disguise how we really feel. If we don’t let others see our human qualities – our successes and failures, it will be difficult for us to strive for anything less than perfection. If we don’t reveal ourselves to others it is harder for us to learn to trust.

How to open up to others

Accept yourself for who you are.Without honesty and self awareness, we run the risk of denying our feelings and can become out of touch with how we really think or feel, forfeiting closeness and caring from others as well as sacrificing self nurturing. Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. They are entitled to their opinions but they are just that – opinions. They are not necessarily fact.

Another purpose of opening up to others is to learn about ourselves. As we become more visible to others we see ourselves more clearly.

Of course, choose who you decide to open up to selctively, don’t do it indiscriminately. Make wise choices by listening to your inner wisdom. A voice we all too often ignore in our pursuit of approval and popularity.

Risk being vulnerable, the rewards are far greater than if you hide yourself away.

Mandy X


Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.