According to international bestselling author Amy Morin, the biggest mistake people make when deciding to take a risk is they don’t equally balance emotion with logic. “Excess emotion can cause some people to be overly excited and impulsive, while being too analytical can leave others overwhelmed by fear or anxiety.”
We can’t avoid risk; life is full of them. So why do we avoid certain risks but rush headfirst into others?
At the one end of the spectrum, some people always avoid risk and, as a consequence, live beneath their potential. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, impulsive risk-takers jump into situations without thinking things through.
How often do we hear things like, “Fortune favors the bold,” “Think outside the box,” or “People who take the biggest risks reap the biggest rewards”?
Growth and prosperity depend on our ability to take calculated risks. But here’s the problem: Our minds typically associate risks with the fear of failure and uncertainty.
Additionally, taking risks can damage our ego and deflate our self-esteem because, in the back of our minds, we don’t want to be judged or criticized for taking risks and failing.
Taking risks and failing isn’t the end of the world because if we fail, we learn. And if we succeed, we achieve our goals! Either way, there’s a positive outcome.
But we’re so afraid of the unknown and all the bad things that could happen that we fail to act on our plans, dreams, or goals.
Here are five dream-killers that keep us from taking risks. If we want to grow and prosper, we must slay these giants.
Fear keeps people from taking risks. They play small, live small, and settle for basic when they could be and have so much more.
But the thing about average is it’s safe; it’s tolerable, and it’s tolerable because it’s comfortable, and it’s comfortable because it’s familiar.
Are people who achieve their goals and dreams more courageous than we are? Not at all.
Then what’s the difference?
They have a purpose; their reason is bigger than their fear.
They’re likely just as afraid and anxious as everyone else. But they choose to rise above their fears. They move forward in a leap of faith and believe that if they do all they can, everything will work out. They believe in themselves, and they don’t quit; they keep failing until they win.
We don’t like it when we’re not in control. We feel safe and secure when we’re in control.
Uncertainty can be terrifying, especially when you feel like life is happening to you and you don’t know what’s coming.
Here’s the thing, though: we don’t have as much control as we think. Life is a series of risks, from driving to work in the morning to making a quick trip to the market.
Taking risks is essential for living a happy, successful life and achieving our goals.
Whether we achieve our potential and our impact has much to do with how comfortable we are with embracing uncertainty.
Taking risks puts you in the spotlight, especially today with social media. You’re subjecting yourself to being made fun of and harsh criticism.
But what matters more to you: Your happiness or people’s opinions?
Sure, you might lose their respect if you fail. But people are fickle. If you succeed, they’ll likely say, “I knew you could do it!” If you fail, they’ll say, “I told you so.”
People believe in you until they don’t. What matters is that YOU believe in you; so live your life.
One of the best ways to soldier through the fear of being criticized and judged is to start small. You’ll gain confidence and learn new skills. Taking small risks reduces feelings of fear, anxiety, worry, and rejection.
Sometimes, we avoid risks because we fear things not working out or getting worse. We are anxious and afraid and don’t want things to end in guilt, shame, remorse, or regret.
If we do nothing, we won’t have any regrets.
Unfortunately, choosing to do nothing comes with regrets, too.
Maybe it boils down to which regrets you’ll have an easier time living with.
Often, failure is a blessing in disguise because it makes us stronger, smarter, more resilient, and fear-resistant.
Unfortunately, when growing up, failure is punished and frowned upon. So, we overthink things and are overly cautious as we try to make as few mistakes as possible; it’s paralyzing.
When we’re growing up, teachers and other authority figures condition us to believe that avoiding mistakes and failures is the pathway to good grades, success, and a lucrative job.
But think about it for a minute. Is that really how it works? Is it the pathway to a fulfilling, well-balanced, prosperous lifestyle?
Usually, we crash and burn a couple of times, maybe a few times, until we finally figure out how to create a life of balance, joy, and fulfillment.
Failure is always a possibility with everything we undertake. Therefore, let’s take risks and see them as beneficial and not detrimental. Move forward boldly in the direction of your dreams, hopes, and goals! What’s the alternative?
Besides, do you really want to reach the end of your time on earth, regretting the risks you didn’t take, wishing you would’ve followed your heart?
Take risks, make mistakes, fail.
Let the broken pieces of failure be the stepping stones to your success. For whoever said life is a daring adventure or nothing wasn’t wrong (by the way, it was Helen Keller, 1880–1968, an American writer and social reformer, blind and deaf from the age of 19 months).
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