As I woke up this morning to write this newsletter, the word chance, came to my mind. It started with, What are the chances that I will have any inspirational message to share with people? Then came, Why even bother writing today? There is a great chance that nobody will even bother to read my work. Finally, I asked myself, Why do you keep using the word chance? I looked up the word and discovered that chance is a powerful word. By definition, chance, means “a possibility of something happening” (insert citation). Synonyms for the word chance are possibility, prospect, probability, likelihood, expectations, anticipation etc.
There are endless articles and books written about taking chances. As much as we toss the word chance around,for most of us, the word chance does not evoke endless possibilities, but rather a warning to be careful. For me, taking a chance is scary, because it means risking it all and giving into impossibility. Back in 2000, I submitted a manuscript to several language publishing companies and two companies wanted to publish the book. I have loved writing since I was a child and here was my chance to get published. However, I came up with all kinds of excuses for not moving forward with the publication of the book. Since I began writing my blog, I have once again been approached to write by a publishing company. Have I accepted the offer? No! I asked myself why I have not taking this chance. The truth is, I hate that word, chance. Taking a chance means, I am risking something. I am afraid of the risk of being deemed a failure. I am truly scared of losing the sense of controlling my destiny. Now, that I have written about it, I can laugh at fear. I laugh, because logically, I know I don’t have control over my destiny.
As I write, I ask myself why some people are successful at taking chances. I started thinking of people I have considered impulsive, those of whom have truly baffled me for taking risks. People that risk it all, have and ‘all or nothing attitude.’ They throw caution to the wind. By nature they are adventurous and they truly see endless possibilities in what I would see as improbable. I think of women like my sister Isang Awah, AnaMaria Guevara and my sister in-law, Niki Richardson. I have often thought of these women as slightly insane for risking it all. However, I can never say I have had the adventures that these women have had. As crazy as it may sound, I admire these women.Their lives are full of adventure and when you truly step back and look at the imprint or mark they have made, they are truly admirable. While not all of the ventures they have attempted brought success, but they have succeeded in living fearlessly and courageously. They have not allowed the fear of taking chances hold them back from possibility. These women always bounce back and move on without thinking of the risk as a failed attempt. It is something we should truly admire and encourage ourselves to attempt.
Being a mother was never something I consciously planned given my congenital heart history. Not that I did not want to be a parent, but as long as I can remember I was told by doctors that it would be too risky. Regardless at the end, I took the chance and threw caution to the win. I cannot say, that the doctors were wrong about the complications, nor will I say I was unfearful. Because I wanted my children, I did not let fear rule my chances. Being a parent has been a phenomenal gift. It is the only time in my life I have risked (or chanced) it all, despite endless doubts and warnings. When I decided to have my children, the knowledge that I could die was there, the possibility that my children may end up with a heart condition was there, but I approached fearlessly. Why can’t I do that with other complex risk taking ventures? Why can’t I take the chance and be called crazy like I have called people that take risks?
I think the word chance came to my consciousness today given that I am once again faced with opportunities. I was about to cautiously step back from these possibilities that are before me and not risk taking a chance, out of fear. I am going to take the risk, I am going to use the 5 chance principle listed below:
- Fearless living: It is my opportunity to take a chance and discover my true strength.
- Possibilities are endless: Although I am afraid, I know I am not bound by impossibilities. I believe that something great will occur no matter the outcome.
- Control: While I may not be in control of my destiny, I am in control of my chances and choices, regardless of the outcome.
- Confidence: My confidence is based on the chance that I can do something admirable and not from the fear that I will fail.
- Believe in silver lining: People that believe that ‘every cloud has a silver lining,’ are not optimists, but confident risk takers.
I am hoping you will join me in taking a chance on something that appears too complex and fearful. In nine months I will write about chances I took. Keep me posted on your chance adventure.
Uduak (Udie) Osom holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Udie has served students of all ability levels from preschool through grade 12, for over 20 years. She is very passionate about neuro-developmental disabilities and social-cognitive disabilities. She is the owner/director of Innovative Therapy Services, a pediatric speech, language and social skills clinic in Santa Clara, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org