|Photo by Benjamin Davies from Unsplash|
It’s not a well-kept secret that life’s most rewarding experiences are born from a person’s fervent bravery to challenge the odds, as a result of taking risks. Most people prefer to live by the book; they believe it’s much safer and easier that way. They wake up each day confident about what they want and how to achieve it, but they only do things limited to their comfort zone. They spend most of their time carefully planning every choice they make, not moving onto the next predicament until they find the right solution for the one before that. Unlike risk-takers, they avoid making spontaneous decisions. They need to feel sure about everything they do, and unknowingly they cultivate their fear of taking risks in their minds.
I believe those who choose to play safe deprive themselves of more to life. They live their lives based on fear because they don’t want to let themselves suffer in the agony of facing uncertainty. They don’t want to wake up every day worrying that they may not get the result they expect. They don’t want that burden on their shoulders. They don’t want to lose. They don’t want to gamble on the possibility of a brighter what if. It’s like living life partially or incompletely, viewing the world through only one lens. Every choice you make is a risk, but the greater the risk, the more challenging life becomes. That’s what makes it worth living.
The moment you decide to take risks, you accept the truth that the only way to lead towards success is through the discomfort. Smart risk-takers know this, and they’re willing to lose for the chance to win a greater battle. Risk-taking is dangerous and unsetting, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. You don’t always succeed when you take risks, but when you do, you will realize this single win matters more than all the previous losses. Know that in taking risks and in life, there is no other direction to go other than adversity. The difficulty isn’t exactly our first choice; most people even avoid being in circumstances where they can cause trouble.
But some unique people crave opportunities where they experience adversity first-hand because they know they will have to go through it as a changed man. This level of thinking requires much confidence and belief in themselves. These people know what they’re capable of and they’re willing to gamble all of it on the line because they have great faith in themselves that they will surpass it. This self-development is molded and achieved through stepping out of their comfort zone and taking risks.
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WHY DO WE NEED TO TAKE RISKS?
1. TO MOVE FORWARD IN LIFE.
Taking risks allows us to take action on our ideas. Dreams start from mere curious thoughts. They won’t magically come true unless we do some research, talk to somebody about our dreams who can help us, develop healthy habits to achieve them, etc. All these courses of action involve taking risks and are prone to failure and disappointment. But if we don’t do any of these, our dreams would be nothing more than a passing thought. We would still be the same person as before who doesn’t muster his strength to overcome the trials it takes before winning. If we don’t make mistakes, we wouldn’t be able to move forward in life.
2. TO CHALLENGE IMPOSSIBILITIES.
Life is full of twists and turns and knots. Every encounter you make is a game: someone’s bound to win and to lose. When you take a risk, you put yourself out there regardless of the likelihood of success. The only way to succeed in it every time is to see failure as an inevitable end to a game while treating it as an opportunity at the same time. You get it wrong now, but you will get it right in the future, and this time, you learn something new. Taking risks urges us to challenge impossibilities because it slowly makes you realize that there’s no such thing as impossible. You keep taking risks until you make the impossible possible.
3. TO EXPERIENCE LIFE IN ITS RAWNESS.
Life is never going to pan out exactly how you would want it to be, and that’s okay. When you take risks, you embrace more of the truth that you need to take action to even get relatively close to your dream life. You make mistakes and learn from struggle — that’s what life is all about. What most people do is wait for others to attempt the first move to see if it works for them because they’re too afraid to go through hardships. That isn’t experiencing the beauty of life in its rawness, it’s you tiptoeing your way to your dream.
It may feel good when you notice everybody else is going through a rough time while you’re not getting a single scratch. But sooner or later, when you get to your dream destination, you will feel nothing but numbness and emptiness in your heart. You wouldn’t feel genuine happiness and excitement in your heart because you never really did anything in the process. It’s a different kind of satisfaction when you experience life’s struggles the hard way as it should, and not cheat your way out of the process.
4. TO NURTURE OUR RELATIONSHIPS DEEPER.
We never know what the future holds in our relationships. Without taking risks, we will fall short in building trust with our loved ones. We wouldn’t know who they are inside and out if we’re not being completely honest with them. Taking risks means being vulnerable to others and being open to their vulnerability as well.
This means accepting the truth that we will make mistakes in the long run because that’s what we do as humans. We’re not perfect beings who react to stimuli the same way or have the same kind of attitude and pain tolerance. Loving people involves hurting and disappointing other people because of our differences, but taking risks may be the answer to find common ground between two people. To take risks in relationships is to believe that even an imperfect person can love you most purely albeit the stakes are high.
5. TO UNFOLD MYSTERIES IN OURSELVES.
There are parts of ourselves that we won’t meet unless we step out of our comfort zone. There are extraordinary gifts and experiences that we haven’t met face to face because you haven’t seen enough yet. The more challenges you seek, the more you unfold hidden mysteries in yourself. The good part that comes with taking risks is you constantly feel that drive, that inner voice challenging you to upgrade yourself.
When you take risks, you would learn to hone your skills and improve your relationships with different kinds of people. With every lesson you obtain, you become more confident than yesterday. You would amaze yourself for achieving things you’d never thought would be in your grasp, and this is all because you tried and conquered.
3 WAYS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH TAKING RISKS:
SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE
The only way to appreciate risk-taking is to shift your perspective from seeing it as a potential threat to a potential opportunity. What if it works out? What if your life goes as planned? What if you will succeed this time? There’s no way of telling the outcome but relentless faith in yourself will take you places. It’s important to look at a problem from a different angle and see what you can do from there.
Assess if the potential reward is worthy enough to sacrifice your current resources for it. Weigh your options and choose which among those caters to your short-term and long-term needs in the most practical way. Approach the predicament objectively with facts, not just pure emotion and instinct. Don’t let go of the opportunity that could be the answer to all your questions. Risk is all about going for it despite the odds. There’s no risk without fear but optimism is always greater than fear.
WORK ON KNOWING YOURSELF MORE
People often forget that risk-taking is a very personal choice. The very first thing you need to do before taking risks is to be aware. Ask yourself the core questions about your existence. What is your ultimate dream? How long do you plan to achieve this dream? What is your definition of success and happiness? Learn about your fears so you would know what to risk. When you’re aware of your goals and the quality of your relationships, you become smarter in making decisions. You consider not only yourself but the well-being of others.
You don’t make rash decisions based on the present but also the long-term implications and effects of your choice today. Although risk-taking doesn’t guarantee anything, what keeps you going is knowing exactly what you’re sacrificing. You would know which part of your life deserves the most energy to dedicate. You would know what’s important to you and which matters the most. When you have all your priorities categorized, you will have a clearer and more straightforward sense of direction in life.
CREATE YOUR BEST-CASE SCENARIO
One great way to fall in love with taking risks is to be intentional and strategic about it. You can make smart and calculated risks by weighing your decisions carefully. When you take calculated risks, the first thing you need to do is do comprehensive research on what you’re risking for. Get to know what’s at stake and measure your readiness to sacrifice something valuable. When you observe these practices, you can create your best-case scenario (which looks like the closest to your desired result; in some cases, even better).
It takes meticulous consideration in assessing the pros and cons of every activity you try in. It’s important to preempt the negative consequences and the unlikely possibilities that may happen every time you make a decision to improve mental sharpness. Not all calculated risks are purely calculated as you may miss one or two variables, but it’s safer than foolish risks.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU START TAKING RISKS?
YOU’LL START TO GROW
Taking risks means stepping out of your comfort zone. It means dreaming big and going after it even if it takes doing things you thought you would never do. And when it’s all over, you would realize you could do it after all, and it was just the fear talking you out of it. Then you will dig deeper into your soul and search for what truly makes you happy. You will view the world through a bigger lens where you care more about others than yourself. You will start paying attention to other people and how their existence affects you and vice versa. You will be more cautious about your words and actions. When you take risks, you gain self-growth inevitably.
YOU WILL HAVE A NEW SOURCE OF SATISFACTION
There is a kind of magic that comes to you when you take risks. Not only will you gain confidence but also pure happiness of truly living. You would realize it’s not about what you get out of it, it’s the fact that you tried. This time you wouldn’t have to regret the things that you didn’t do. You may not get what you want but it doesn’t compare to the satisfaction of having tried it. You will forever be proud for being someone who toughened up and played the game rather than not playing at all because he feared losing. You will be a source of inspiration to everyone around you because you did something that they could never do.
YOU WILL BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
You would inculcate the concept of “you win some, you lose some” meaning you won’t always feel sorry whenever you lose because you know that we are all bound to lose and break down at one point. Instead of destroying your self-esteem, it regains the broken pieces that were once shattered back then when you were too scared to take a risk. It makes you feel good about yourself when you’re reminded of the time you overcame the days you thought were impossible. You took a risk and it scared you but you did it anyway and now you’re stronger than ever.
WOULD YOU STILL TAKE THE RISK IF SUCCESS IS GUARANTEED?
People who don’t take risks miss the biggest rewards. Playing safe may be practical but it doesn’t always work out the way you think it would. If you want to chase your dreams, you need to view life from a different perspective. If you’re the kind of person who avoids risk-taking, try to take a different angle on your what-ifs. The question is: Would you still take the risk if you knew exactly what would happen? If yes, this proves how attached you are to be so sure with everything in life. If you think about it, it’s not a risk anymore with the absence of uncertainty. Not knowing what to expect but still going for it is what makes it a risk. You need to let go of the idea that you can have it all figured out today because you never will.
Successful people had to take risks even when they have a lot to lose because they wanted dreams bigger than themselves. They wanted to witness their fullest potential to their capacities. They wanted to experience what it feels like to live your dream. You can only do that by taking risks. If you learn to uncover the façade of risks as scary and disappointing, you will get yourself in more opportunities than you expect. When you start to get the hang of taking risks, you start to take down the fear and stop overthinking the worst-case scenarios out of everything.
“You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done.” – Chuck Yeager