Believe it or not, not everyone feels the same way about risk. As an entrepreneur, I am wired to take more risks than many people I know. There is this idea that staying in an unsatisfying job, relationship, or type of work is safer than making a change. Sadly, this idea keeps a lot of people from experiencing the sort of success that only happens when we honor the pull (and risk of pursuing) our inner wisdom, desires and purpose.
I am not suggesting that I favor rashly ditching the financial resources, benefits and support system with no plan, of course. I’m talking about risking being vulnerable, committing to another course of action, and taking responsibility for both our failures and our successes so we can learn from them! Doing so busts through dissatisfaction, moves us forward, innovates, helps us grow into our most passionate, empowered and joyful self. No risk, no real gain, in other words. Here’s why:
Risk Creates Opportunities
Every time you take a risk, you open the doors to new opportunities that wouldn't appear otherwise. First and foremost, you are actively looking for them. Secondly, when they appear, besides now noticing them from your fresh vantage point, you are highly motivated to explore them. Not every opportunity is the right one to commit yourself to, however, without at least examining your options, you will remain stuck where you are.
“Nothing great comes without a risk. ~ Brad Taylor
I reminded my parents that even with the inherent risk of getting behind the wheel of a car in Atlanta traffic, I was willing to take that risk in order to have the freedom to connect with the people I enjoy doing business with and being friends with. Each risk contains the possibility of a reward.
An example of this would be wanting to quit your job to start a business but being too scared to give up a steady income. However, if you were to take the risk, you would have plenty of hours during the day to seek out customers and be exposed to opportunities that you would otherwise miss sitting in your office job.
Risk Builds Confidence
When we play it safe (which is really an illusion) we prevent ourselves from discovering what we are truly capable of accomplishing. It is easier, and wildly more demoralizing, to not attempt the thing we most want for fear of risking failure. Don’t write the book. Don’t change careers. Don’t learn to fly. Safe, yes. And infinitely sadder. Our confidence in our abilities takes a huge nosedive.
“If you risk nothing, then you risk everything.” ~ Geena Davis
A major aspect of achieving success is being confident in yourself and your abilities. The only way to build that confidence is through track record. Taking the risk to take even a small action towards what you want is a non-negotiable. Although you may not always land on your feet, when you do, you'll learn a lot about yourself in the process and gain lots of valuable confidence in your abilities. When you don’t, you’ll learn what not to do next time, which builds the unshakeable confidence of experience.
Risk Teaches Us Lessons
As mentioned multiple times, you can fail when you take a risk. That’s something worth celebrating, because of the lesson contained in the loss. So many people equate failing in a plan or action with being a failure. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are not your failure. You are the person who experienced a failure. That difference is everything.
The lessons you learn from failure will help you grow wiser and stronger and make better decisions in the future. Plus, now you know one way how not to succeed.
Everything is a Risk
When we invest our money in something, be it the stock market, a business venture, or real estate, we are taking a risk. When we choose to marry someone, we are taking a risk. When we accept the job offer, we are taking a risk. And, as I mentioned, every time we get behind the wheel, we are taking a risk.
The point is that life is risk, from the moment we are born until we leave this earth. How alive do we want to feel? How much fulfillment and joy are we willing to experience? Interestingly, even when businesses fail, promotions fall through, book drafts are rejected, and products flop in the marketplace, individuals who did take the risky steps toward something greater and more meaningful reported feeling confidence and resiliency at much greater levels than their risk-averse peers.
“Everything is a risk. Doing nothing is a risk. You choose.”
Are you ready to start achieving the bigger success that risk can provide? Then it’s time (gulp!) to start the process by taking a risk. The great news is you do not need to do it alone. Feel less risky about taking a risk with some support navigating the process. The bigger the risk feels, the more important it is to apply for your complimentary strategy session so we can tackle that risk with resilience and confidence.