How Risk Unleashes Creative Expression – Successful Actors Give Life Lessons

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What is risk and why is it something to be feared, to be avoided?

To risk is to be exposed to the possibility of a loss or harm. To be risk adverse is to say to yourself, “If I do this thing I might lose something I value or something bad could happen to me. Better to stay right where I am or take a safe route, follow the path of least resistance.” Remaining stagnant sucks the life energy out of the creative person. To churn out safe, predictable work that will elicit familiar and expected responses is unfulfilling to an artist, a creative person in any endeavor, who yearns to express his or her full potential.

“The thing is doing it, that’s what it’s all about. Not in the results of it. After all what is a risk? It’s a risk not to take risks. Otherwise, you can go stale and repeat yourself. I don’t feel like a person who takes risks. Yet there’s something within me that must provoke controversy because I find it wherever I go. Anybody who cares about what he does takes risks.” – Al Pacino

Risk involves opening yourself, being vulnerable, to change and growth. To risk is to stand centered in the truth of who you are, what you wish to express as your life purpose using the full potential of your unique gifts that are your birthright. To risk is to have ability to ignore your need for other’s approval in order to take the most appropriate action for you to achieve that expression.

It is often this loss of approval that people fear most. They would rather remain small, locked in by the chains of conformity to the expectations of others, than shine the light on what their heart is yearning to express. But risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.

If as a baby you chose not to risk falling you never would have walked. You risked appearing the fool by laughing at what tickled your funny bone. You loved another person by risking losing that love. You expose your feelings and expose your self to criticism and rejection. You grew and evolved. Where you struggle is where you have held back your authentic expression.

Actors learned how to tap into their own inner power and wisdom to take risks, go beyond the comfort zone of safety and expose themselves to criticism, loss of favor among the public and their peers in order to expose the range of emotions and feelings that will bring truth to the character, their role. One cannot express truth without risk. To withhold truth is to show up inauthentically in your life.

“I completely take on the risk, the poker game, which being an artist means, and I’m going to try to make a film which honestly reflects what I have in my head.” – Antonio Banderas

To remain safe, people will Find Excuses And Reasons (F.E.A.R.) not to take a risk. These fears will be rooted in the following egoic needs:

1. Approval

2. To avoid guilt

3. To be right

4. To avoid conflict

5. To avoid responsibility

6. To avoid failure

7. Certainty

8. Expectations to be met

9. To remain safe in status quo, negative or positive.

10. To affirm self-identifying beliefs, negative or positive.

“Actors are trusting souls, and we must go by gut-level instinct, even after our agents and business managers weigh all the odds.” -Anne Archer

Some people forget that to risk is to also open up the possibility of a favorable outcome. Risks based in inspiration will always have a favorable outcome even if that outcome isn’t realized immediately. A failure can lead to new knowledge, a new awareness, that will create unprecedented success at a later date. Risk, or an aversion to risk, base upon fear will always have a negative outcome. Not venturing into the unknown will limit the discovery of new ideas, new approaches, new perspective. To be creative is to actively think non-linearly and to let go of expectations while being open to new possibilities.

“Its fun to be on the edge. I think you do your best work when you take chances, when you’re not safe, when you’re not in the middle of the road, at least for me, anyway.” – Danny DeVito

Only a person who risks is free. Taking risks grounded in what comes from the heart rather than the egoic mind sets the creative person free to explore beyond the boundaries of what is already known. To the inspired risk-taker there are no limitations, no boundaries on what can be expressed, brought forth unto experience. Anything is possible.

“I’ m a firm believer in taking risks in life, because you`ll never get anywhere unless you do, and the more risk involved the greater the outcome – or the worse, but you never know so you’ve got to go for it.” – Famke Janssen

Learning to see differently, learning how to reach for a new perspective, is the spark that ignites the creative spirit. The willingness to look through a new and different lens requires removing the rose colored glasses of safety. Allow yourself to break free of the chains of limitations imposed upon you by others and by yourself through your own fearful Inner Critic who works hard to keep you safe, right where you are now. Be willing to move beyond the convention and conformity of those who hold themselves and try to hold you back from moving beyond the here and now and what has always been. Honor your authenticity, trust your intuition.

“I’ve always taken risks, and never worried what the world might really think of me.” – Cher

When you live life and approach your work inspired by your truth you will always be safe. You will always be fulfilled by this alignment with what you are here to express and your purpose in life. You will effortlessly invest yourself in your creative potential and enjoy the ride, the thrill of a lifetime.

“Risk is really an essential part of being a creative person.” – Kevin Bacon

Copyright (c) 2009 Valery Satterwhite

Source by Valery Satterwhite

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