The only thing we have to fear is fear itself and the great thing about starting something is that you can start again. Join guest author Jodi Rinke as she shares her story “Taking Chances.“
Written by Jodi Rinke
I believe in taking chances. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. These immortal words were spoken by Theodore Roosevelt in March of 1933. The US was deep in the great depression, and people were afraid. Many had taken great risks in the young stock market, and many had lost everything. My great grandfather was one of those who took the risk and lost…..everything. What he really lost was himself. He suffered a nervous breakdown. He let the failure, the fear rule the rest of his life. No longer was he a jovial Scotsman; instead he was just a shell. While many others went on to recover, and perhaps have even greater success, he drifted away, paralyzed by the idea of taking another chance.
Luckily, my gram had pluck. She chose to keep going, to take a chance. Maybe it was because she had to, to save her family. I’d like to think it was more than that. She picked up and moved all of them to the desert southwest, deep into Indian Territory. They settled in southeast Arizona, and she ran the Indian trading post in Fort Bowie for many years. Perhaps it was just survival, but it started a new generation of risk takers.
There my grandpa and his brothers learned how to work hard, and play hard. Gram raised three boys who weren’t afraid. They were fighters, and they were daredevils. If I didn’t have the corroborating testimony of witnesses, I would never believe some of the chances they took. By standing up to adversity, my Gram taught her sons to be brave, to be strong, and to be creative. To take chances.
My dad talks about his childhood quite often. He and my uncles inherited the “chance” gene. We laugh at the stories, the crazy things they did. My grandpa taught his own three boys to persevere, to conquer their fears, to take chances. Yes, they made some fantastic memories, but most of all, they learned how to live.
In 1989, I took a chance. I went on a blind date. Now this was not my first blind date. In fact, the friend who instigated this one had set me up once before, and It was awful. What was she thinking? Better yet, what was I thinking? I trusted her, she was my good friend. She knew me; what could possibly go wrong? Just about everything! But I learned from the first awful blind date. I learned I was not afraid to meet new people. I learned that even though it wasn’t great, my friend had my best interests at heart. With that in mind, several months later I agreed to meet another one of her friends. She told me he was perfect for me, and wondered why she had never thought of it before. The date was pretty good, better than the first disaster. He was a little nerdy, but he was cute and funny. At the end of the night, I just wasn’t sure what would happen. He had potential, but what did he think of me? There was a second date, and a third. In fact, there’s been 23 years of dates. I still think he’s a little nerdy, but he is cute and funny. I trusted my friend, and took another chance. I laughed in the face of fear, and took a chance. I honored the spirit of my family, and took a chance.
In fact, I’ve never stopped taking chances. I recently took another big one, returning to school and planning a new career. I’m 46 years old—who does that? I did! I finally learned to listen to my inner self, to follow my instinct, to hear my gut. I took a chance, and stopped living my life to meet the expectations of others. Because I took a chance, I now realize that I am important, and it’s okay to take care of myself. I took a chance, and it feels great! I look forward to starting my own mind and body wellness practice very soon, because I took a chance.
What holds you back? What would you choose if you knew you couldn’t fail? Let that guide you. The great thing about starting something is that you can start again. Each start, or chance you take, is a new opportunity to learn something about yourself, to discover the power you have, to find your dreams.
Fear is very powerful. It makes strong men weak, and makes wise men foolish. When we fail to act because we are afraid, we miss out. Go ahead, face that fear. Take a chance. In the process, you will learn how strong you really are, make a fabulous memory, get your dream job or maybe even meet the man, or woman, of your dreams.
To quote another great American philosopher, Nike: Just Do It.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I’ve accepted that I can’t fix everything or everyone, and that’s ok.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate that compassion I have for others, and my innate desire to take care of their needs. I appreciate the never-ending support of my husband and kids.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
To be honest, my most rewarding achievement is the realization that it is okay to take care of myself. I’ve spent many years putting others needs and expectations ahead of my own. That’s not a bad thing, but in the process, I lost part of who I am. My own well-being is important. Now, I’m anxious and excited to teach others to care for themselves through holistic principles.
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I like my soapbox, especially when it comes to sports and rules! I have spatial orientation issues—don’t you dare sit on that side of the table. I like the dvd’s in order, please.
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my confidence, my new-found spirit, my life the way it is now.
Jodi Rinke has always had her heart on healing. As a child, she wanted to be a doctor, and even went to college as a pre-med biology major. Instead of following her heart, she entered the business world, enjoying a twenty year career in accounting.
In 2012, Jodi experienced a profound loss, leading to the realization that it was time to make a change. She returned to school to study holistic healing methods at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. This spring, she looks forward to beginning her new mind and body wellness practice.
Jodi currently lives in Gilbert, AZ, with her husband, two children and two spoiled dogs.