Here it is, yet another blog post inspired by a song from Celine Dion. The song in question is “Taking Chances,” which is a single from the 2007 album of the same name. Apart from being another powerful ballad that we came to know and love from Celine (I’m definitely on a Celine Dion kick, it is what it is), the song has lyrics that ask questions and inspire introspection:
But, what do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there’s solid ground below
Or a hand to hold, or hell to pay
What do you say
What do you say
“Taking Chances” by Celine Dion
There are a lot of ways to interpret the message of that song but today, I’d like to share how that song connects to our mental health and how sometimes, taking chances can be very challenging.
Earlier this week I wrote about challenges of complacency when it comes to our mental health. I’m not one for being complacent, but I also don’t think that we should view complacency in a simplistic way. People work very hard to build, or maintain, a healthy attitude toward mental health and wellness. There is a difference between becoming complacent, and sticking with certain things because they’ve been helpful for your mental health.
I know decisions can be more complicated than that, but I think it’s an important point to raise. Complacency can occur when we’re comfortable with where we are, despite opportunities to improve that standing. Not wanting to give up mental stability doesn’t qualify as being complacent — at least in the way we understand it. There’s a nuance to complacency that should be acknowledged, but it doesn’t excuse everything.
All of this leads me to the song I mentioned at the beginning of this post. There are several ways to interpret the message of this song; it could be about taking chances in love, with our relationships, with making changes to our lives, etc. But it’s hard for me to think about taking chances in the context of my mental health. So many of us have spent years trying to get better, to find a place of safety and stability. Even if there’s a possibility of making our situations better, there’s a fear that we won’t take a step forward. And what’s even more nerve-wracking is in that attempt, we could actually take a few steps back.
But I think that there’s an aspect of taking chances that we don’t always talk about. When I take a chance to improve my mental health, I don’t want to be afraid. If that chance doesn’t work out, I want to be able to return to where I was. Anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses have the ability to create false narratives within ourselves and if we fall into the habit of listening to them, they can make us feel like every chance not taken is a big failure.
I want to take more chances, but a big part of that is preparing for the possibility that the chance might not work for me. And that’s okay. We won’t succeed all the time but, bit by bit, we will grow in ways that are meaningful and make our lives richer. So what do you say?
Taking chances isn’t always as easy as it sounds. What are some reasons that stop you from taking a chance on something? Why do you think others might do the same? I’d love to hear your thoughts!