What if I told you there was one simple change you’re fully capable of making that could increase your chances at moving up within a company, earning more money, living a healthier lifestyle and increasing your overall state of self? Think that’s a long shot? Think again.
The change you–and anyone else–can make that will do all that and more is something you’ve more than likely been advised against doing for the better part of your life: taking risks.
From birth, throughout childhood and well into adulthood, those above us warn about taking certain risks. Anything from going bungee jumping to quitting your job to prioritize landing a better one–even the thought of taking a risk can cause our bodies to tense up with anticipation and fear.
But for now, forget that feeling. Forget the people who have told you taking risks isn’t worth it. Forget the sense of security that you’ve lulled yourself into by avoiding risks all your life. Start taking risks, and start taking them now.
Of course, don’t take just any risk. Take calculated risks. Take measured risks. Take risks that, well, might not seem like risks at all.
Risks are, in the plainest of terms, the absence of the sense of security that we’ve become accustomed to feeling throughout our lives. We don’t want to take them because the act of putting anything on the line is stepping outside of our comfort zone and abandoning that feeling of safety.
But those who do take risks in some capacity are those who are more successful. The people who take charge and make themselves known
If you’re looking to make the leap and turn yourself from timid settler to a risk-taking, personal and professional growth extraordinaire, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Calculate your risks. Weigh the positives and the negatives of taking this risk and determine whether it’s worth it. Taking a chance by doing something that could result in either you nabbing that corner office or your dismissal from the organization might not be worth it. If the risk, on the other hand, could result in a promotion or a sales increase within the company and the risk is minimal, take advantage!
- Taking risks breeds innovation. The biggest thinkers, the most prolific inventions, the most influential organizations around the world were a result of an entrepreneur or two who decided he or she would take a risk and invest their life in a company. Changing the way we live requires a bit of risk.
- You’re not gonna win them all. Not every single risk you take will pay off. Every so often one or two won’t pan out, and it will be understandably discouraging. But just imagine if someone like Steve Jobs or even TOMs founder Blake Mycoskie had allowed their fear of risks to shape their careers.
- It gets easier with every risk you take. As I mentioned before, avoiding risks is something that’s programmed into us from birth. Once we begin to overcome those inherent biases that exist within us–the voices telling us “don’t do it!”–it becomes more instinctive to continue that trend.
- You’ll often find that risks aren’t as risky as you thought. If you sit down and determine whether a risk is worth it, the cost vs the benefit, and the potential outcomes, you’ll often discover that the chance you’re considering taking is closer to a sure thing.
The more risks you take–really, the more we all take–the more innovation we’ll begin to see around the world. If you want to be someone who breaks down barriers, someone who makes changes, and someone who helps to better the world, start taking more risks. You might be surprised at just how effective the practice can be.