The Rewards of Uncertainty

Do you take enough risks? Don’t be afraid to read this article and find out.

It’s not uncommon to be frightened by the idea of pursuing new opportunities, intriguing offers or your wildest dreams by throwing caution to the wind and taking a risk. Big risks, like deciding to move away from your hometown, quitting your job to get an advanced college degree or buying a home on your own, all come with a long list of unknowns,  but the upside of taking a risk may be a satisfying, positive and exciting difference in your life. Yes, there’s that worst case scenario called, “failure”, but truth be told, more people regret having never taken a chance than  do going for it and falling short.  At the very least, you’ll have tales to tell and lessons learned from trying something new. Here is a breakdown of risks you should consider taking.

Little Risks
No risk, no reward; it’s really as simple as that. Some people just let things happen to them in life instead of taking chances, and believe it or not, that behavior is risky, too.  If you are looking for love, tell all of your friends you are open to being set up. Who knows? You might meet someone special that’s been an acquaintance away all along. Why not ask that intelligent looking guy you’ve eyed for months at Starbucks about the book he’s reading? Sure you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and of course there will be some bad dates, but maybe one of them will lead to something more.

Calculated Risks
When it comes to making big, scary, risky decisions, understand what you are risking and what you might receive as a reward. Make a list of pros and cons. The bigger the risk, the more research you’ll want to do. Knowing what twists and turns you might run into while taking the road of uncertainty will make you smarter and more resilient.

Committed to the Risk
Taking a risk means making a commitment to seeing your decision through to the very end. You may have a good idea of what you are about to sign up for, but you certainly cannot predict the future. Stay committed to the risk you are taking and give it your full attention. As opera singer Beverly Sills once said, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.”

Attention Overthinkers!

Help is on the way

You know that feeling when you’re going around and around trying to decide between chicken or fish, the red dress or the blue dress, or whether you should marry him or break up? “It feels like you’re a dog chasing its tail,” says Shelley Row, author of Think Less and Live More: Lessons from a Recovering Over-thinker.

Overthinking, also known as decision paralysis, is a burden in the lives of many women in both their personal and professional lives, says Row, a former engineer who now runs her own consulting company. The pitfalls of overthinking include taking far too long to make decisions, missing out on opportunities, making worse decisions than necessary and causing a whole lot of stress in the process.

The first step toward conquering overthinking involves no technology, no learning curve and no money. All you need is quiet. Once your mind is still, you’ll start to uncover messages Row says. “You’ll see that your indecisiveness is usually coming from deeply embedded experiences or fear.”   

“The first time I had to fire someone, I really overthought it,” says Row, but once she was centered, she began to verbalize to herself what the problem was; she was afraid her boss wouldn’t agree with her decision. “I was giving my boss control of my self-esteem,” she says. “I realized that there was no way I would move up in my career if I constantly second guessed myself and allowed someone else to impact my self-esteem.” A deeper message, however, was an even bigger disabler. “Growing up, my mother would always say, ‘Now, Shelley, be nice.’ Being nice had become part of my value system.”

With these deeper feelings exposed, Row was able to grow from her realizations about her behavior. “For that decision, I had to understand that my mother was teaching me how to be nice on a playground. But being nice in business and adult life is different.” As Row grappled with this new information, she decided that firing her subordinate was indeed the nicest thing she could do. The situation wasn’t working out for either party and the employee would be better off moving on. Armed with this knowledge, which Row calls information mixed with intuition, or infotuition, she let the employee go and felt completely secure in her decision.

“The first time you work with this process, it feels so introspective and like you’re untangling a morass. But the next time it’s quicker and the next even quicker,” she says. Getting quiet and listening to where your stressed out mind takes you when faced with a difficult decision is key. Row likes walking, running and meditating. Others might achieve the same clarity by journaling or just sitting quietly. Whatever method works for you to truly hear yourself out, Row says the effort is worth the payoff. “You’ll make the best decisions of your life because they’ll be based on a combination of rational thought and feeling, and that’s really powerful.”

Besties' Day Out

Fun ideas to make your best friend your “spring fling”

There’s nothing like those first hints of spring; flowers and trees begin to bloomand the air smells and feels a little lighter. People have long claimed that romance is in the air once spring arrives, but we think this notion needs an update. How about making spring the season for bestie bonding? Seize the great weather, get outdoors and do something fun with your pals! Here are a few of our tried-and-true spring bestie flings.

Watch Your Friendship Grow
Planting a garden together can be a therapeutic activity for you and your BFF., A patio garden totally counts. Plant some basil and a few tomatoes in containers now, and enjoy fresh Caprese salads together all summer long. They’ll taste even better because you’ll know you made it happen together.

Picnic Play Date
Pack a picnic and enjoy a day in the sun with your friends. Bring a fun activity to do out in the open, like a kite to fly It’s old school, but still super fun. Need packable food inspiration? Try some of these healthy, creative picnic ideas.

Spring Break!
Spring Break vacation isn’t just for college! Get your besties together  to hammer out the details for a getaway. Set the mood for the planning party with a batch of jalapeno and cucumber margaritas. It’s the perfect spring drink to get you all inspired.

BFF Adventure Time
Bond with your bestie by trying something new together. Go strawberry picking  or horseback riding to switch things up and give you two something new to talk about. Even if you live in the heart of a city where you SWEAR you’ve already been everywhere and done everything, there’s always a new list online of new activities and venues to check out. It’s fun to get out there and try something new to make new memories together.

Let's Hear It for the Girlfriends

How Fem-ships Boost Happiness and Health

Our fabulous girlfriends, whether they’re new, old or our most trusted confidants, are invaluable to our well-being. Some women instinctively seek out other women to connect with when they’re stressed out. Besides just being fun and beneficial on a deep emotional level, female bonding gives women the kind of nurturing and support that encourages a healthier life and a better emotional well-being.

Friends with Function
You may find that you have different groups of friends that serve different purposes in the varying aspects of your life. Having a squad of women you admire and respect to get together with after work or for a Sunday evening movie can rescue you from the mundane. Your girlfriends can bring laughter and joy to your life while broadening your social circle. Not everyone in the group needs to be a close friend; the goal is for the group to have fun and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Our dearest female friends are the trusted few who know us well, listen to us when we’re upset, commiserate with us, and offer insight, as we do for them. Many married or partnered women often count on these friends to talk about the things they can’t discuss with their mate.

Studies show that having friends at work enhances happiness and productivity at work, much like your friends in grade school. They also help us network on the job and expand our circle of friends and contacts. Work friends often become life friends, but communication can sometimes drop off when we change jobs. 

Keep In Touch
The true purpose of friends is to support each other as you grow and change. The time we spend with them is precious and provides a balance between work and family. When life gets busy, fem-ships are often neglected. Instead of disappearing from your friends’ lives, do little things to let them know they are on your mind. Meet up for coffee, give a quick call or send a text. A simple message saying, “I’m thinking of you. I should be out from under all of this extra work in the next two weeks!” shows a sincere effort on your part to connect with those who are important to you. When friends live far away, schedule a call at a time when you won’t be bothered so you can catch up with each other. Keeping your female connections close is one of the most important facets of a woman’s life.
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