The Danger of Playing it Safe

It’s human nature to avoid risk. We don’t want to embarrass ourselves. We don’t want to diminish our credibility. So we stay near the center. We censor our words and disguise our true thoughts to play it safe.

Besides, who are we to tell other people they’re wrong? How can we really be sure of ourselves?

We can’t. But we have to risk being wrong if we ever want to really be right. This quote from John Irving explains why. His example deals with writing, but it applies to any creative endeavor.

If you don’t feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then probably what you are doing isn’t very vital. If you don’t feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don’t have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough.

Thanks to Screw You! for the quote.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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