The Hidden Dangers of Playing it Safe in Life

Jordan Mendiola

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Taking leaps of faith is inevitable if you want to achieve meaningful goals in your life. 

Especially in the 20s, there are a lot of people who play it safe instead of being high-risk on certain ventures they’d much rather be pursuing.

Even if the venture fails, valuable lessons will be learned along the way. 

By not playing it safe, many people avoid something more intense later on in life, and that is regret. 

Regret is something you wish you could have done but didn’t or vice versa. But in this case, it’s about something you decided not to do, and now it’s too late.

1. Not Doing What You Were Born to Do

Playing it safe and taking the route that our friends from high school also did like going to school and working a job that their parents wanted for them won’t lead to your true purpose.

Many people out there prefer to have someone else to do all the thinking for them and give them the blueprints of the life they’re going to live.

Most people’s advice is to pick a stable career and job and stick with it to move up the ladder and make more money. 

While this advice is positive and useful, many of the people who play it safe end up being unsatisfied with their life choices. 

By the time they’re ready to start their business or take on a new opportunity, it’s too late. They have more bills, debt, and a lot of distractions they otherwise wouldn't have in their 20's.

2. Feeling Resentment for the People You Followed

Resentment is defined as bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. 

Even though someone may feel like they were “treated unfairly”, the truth is they had a choice. 

If someone told you to go to school to become a nurse or an engineer, but that isn’t what you truly had in mind, then you’ll likely resent them further down the line.

The key is to bet on yourself and do what you personally believe you should be doing. If you fail, you fail. But on your own terms.

That’s far better than getting too deep into something you can’t dig yourself out of. It could be racking up too much student debt that you have to stick with the career you didn’t want to.

Or it could be your loss of ambition for being a creator because so much time has passed and it’s no longer something you’re passionate about.

3. Regret is the Biggest Killer

As mentioned earlier, regret is one of the biggest things that will result from playing it safe. When we could have been riskier and taken more chances, we instead shied away and took the safe route.

I can imagine myself talking to my grandkids and wanting to tell them all of the cool things I did in my 20’s and everything that I’m proud of.

The look of regret in someone’s eyes fills me with pain. I can see the young boy or young girl who had hopes and dreams they never gave a chance. 

If you feel extremely lost and you’re young, then you need to recognize that you are in charge of the next day, week, 5 years, decade, and so on.

People love to feel hopeless and stuck. But if we can kill that feeling of inadequacy or self-doubt, then we can do so much more, and eliminate any future regret. 

Final Thought

Playing it safe will damage us deep inside.

The less safe we play it and the more risks we can all take, the better the world would be. If you play it safe and enjoy it, and you’re happy, then that’s all that matters.

It hurts to see people filled with regret. If you take the road less traveled by and make decisions on your own terms, you’ll thank yourself later for it.

Never stop seeking discomfort!

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Creative entrepreneur, U.S. Army Engineer, and dedicated runner. Committed to sharing ideas that lead to more fulfillment in all areas of life. Email:

Chicago, IL

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