Don’t fear taking calculated risks

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make…the better”.

We have discussed this in other previous posts and we all know by now that the biggest challenge with taking risks resides in fear. We focus on “what if” instead “what could be” and we let emotion prevail over logic…and if the end, we abort mission and we stay stuck where we are. And just as unhappy as we were before.

But risks, don’t have to be reckless.

“If we truly understood how to calculate risk, we’d know which risks were worth taking and we’d be a lot less fearful”. “To calculate risk, we must predict the probability that the outcome of our behavior will result in either positive or negative consequences and then measure how big of an impact those consequences will have. Too often a risk evokes such a fear that we decide not to think about it”. And this is how we give up on our dreams.

“Risks starts out as a thought process. Your thoughts about the risk will influence the way you feel and your behavior”. And usually, being the lazy animals that we are by nature, instead of spending time weighing the pros and cons, we skip the whole process and we let emotions and habit dictate our decisions. Meaning that as a maximum, we will take the risk that makes us more comfortable, likely missing out of some great opportunities and a ticket to a possibly extraordinary life.

Moreover, we seem to be pretty bad at accurately calculating risks:

  • we incorrectly judge how much control we have over a situation
  • we behave more recklessly when we think there are safety nets in place
  • we don’t recognize the difference between skill and chance
  • we are influenced by our superstitious beliefs
  • we become easily deluded when we see a potentially large payoff
  • we grow comfortable with familiarity
  • we place a lot of faith in others
  • we are influenced by media in how we perceive risks

This doesn’t seem like a reassuring list to give you the confidence to start taking risks in your life…but…there is so many people out there that do it day in and day out, successfully. So what can you do to calculate your risks properly? You can ask yourself the below questions:

  • what are the potential costs?
  • what are the potential benefits?
  • how will this help me achieve my goals?
  • what are the alternatives?
  • how good would it be if the best case scenario came true?
  • what is the worst thing that could happen and how could I reduce the risk of it from happening?
  • how bad would it be if the worst case scenario came true?
  • how much will this decision matter in 5 years?

“Success won’t find you. You have to pursue it. Stepping into the unknown to take carefully calculated risks can help you reach your dreams”.

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