Sometimes, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. You can cruise through life without stepping on to the edge and living safely and be perfectly happy. But this most usually leaves you with regrets on your death bed (sorry to be morbid!) - If only, what if I had, why didn’t I etc… You have but one life but that life is long enough to take a risk or two or as many as you’re brave enough to try. Risk taking is about experiencing all that life has to offer. Here’s how to make the best of taking that step :
1. Failure is Part of Success
When learning how to take risks for success the hardest lesson is often that failure is part of the process. No one is great at doing something the first time they try. When you were a child, how many times did you fail at riding a bike or tying your shoelaces before you finally found success? Nothing has changed; failure is not something you can avoid. Give failure a positive spin by thinking of it as learning all the ways you know something can’t be done, so you get closer to success with each try!
2. Assess What You Have to Gain or Lose
Just like any venture, you have to think about the profit and loss of any risk. Maybe you want to end a relationship - can you just walk away or are there assets to divide? Do you want to start a business? How much money can you stand to lose and how long before it starts turning a profit? Think about your security, your financial stability, and your emotional well-being, among other things. Is the loss you may suffer worth the potential gain? Make your decisions after doing your homework.
3. Act as Though You’ve Got Only One Shot
Commit to the risk you’re taking with all your heart, as though this is the only chance you’ll ever get. Be completely sure that the risk you’re taking is what you really want, and consider all you’re giving up just to have the chance. Let’s say you want to teach in China - you may get sick, you may have trouble with the culture or the language, you may miss home - but how much better your experience if you embrace the adventure, and yes, even the difficulties. Sure, you may fail and there may really be other chances, but don’t let those possibilities be your escape route from the opportunity you have now.
4. Keep Your Risks Reasonable
You may be considering a risk simply because of your mood or because of circumstances that are temporary. You may be considering taking a new job, for example, because your boss has been difficult to work with. But is this normal behavior? Maybe that risk that promises you will get rich quickly seems good just because you are in a temporary financial bind. Be careful not to base your risk-taking on pure emotions, because emotions change with the tides and you may be left with something that seemed good at the time but ended up being a terrible risk.
5. Be True to Yourself
Think of the kind of risk you want to take. Does it match your personality, your personal goals, or your ambitions? You might be considering a sales job, for example, and think you can overcome your shyness for the right amount of money. You may be able to do it superficially but not over the long term. It’s better to choose a risk that suits your personality, not try to change who you are to fit the risk. Of course, you will have to get out of you comfort zone, but don’t expect that you will be able to do a complete personality transplant to make your risk pay off. Choose risks that have the potential to make you happy, not the things that may be more suitable to others. Know yourself.
6. Have Faith in Yourself
There may be times when others discourage you from taking a risk. Even you yourself may swim in a sea of doubt. The fact that you’re even considering taking a risk means that you are passionate about something-passionate enough to risk losing something in order to get it. Trust that you’ve weighed out the potential gains and losses, believe in your own capabilities, and succeed.
7. Know when It’s Time to Let Go
While it seems contrary to everything you’ve read so far, sometimes you just have to let go. Set some limits on the risk you’re taking so you know ahead of time the tipping point when the risk is no longer bringing you any gain. For example, you may be offered an important position at a new company. However, you may also find you have to work an incredible number of hours, the workload is impossible and suddenly, you realize you’re not having fun anymore.
The best advice I can give you from a personal point of view is to not look back and regret not taking the risk. I’ve taken some risks that I truly believe make me who I am. I took a gap year in Italy ... I never went to university … I traveled (and still do) alone … I gave up a high salary position to pursue my passion (writing) … Do I have regrets? Sure, but I promise you, they are not related to any of those risks I took.
Do you think you need to take risks to achieve your goals?