5 Best Practices You Can Use To Fast-Track Your Success By Taking Smart Risks In Your Life
Though not all risks are life-threatening, all risks are frightening. As humans, we’re constantly afraid of failure, of doing something wrong and of having to deal with the consequences. Yet, at the same time, there is nothing more rewarding than reaping the benefits of a risk gone right. Good news is that there are practices you can use to fast-track your success by taking risks in your life.
Knowing which risks to take, and how to take them, can be extremely helpful in stacking the odds in your favor.
While risks are unavoidable, approaching them strategically can be the best way to decrease your parachute’s chances of failing, so to speak, and to produce measurable results that you would never have achieved had you avoided the risk in the first place.
Risk-taking can be scary for some, as it can invoke the idea of change or the possibility of something going wrong.
Inevitably, this can lead some to retreat from risk. But are you really doing yourself a favor by shying away from risks and change? Probably not. Change is the only constant. You may not have realized it, but we encounter decisions and risks every day, multiple times a day. Some of these risks are small, while others are life-altering, like deciding to start a new business or buy a home.
Risks can bring great changes and new opportunities you hadn’t anticipated.
Risk equals reward. And the bigger the risk taken, the bigger the chance for a larger payout. When you understand and act based on the science of risk, you can open yourself up to making changes as soon as today. Whether it be telling a friend how his or her behavior makes you feel, starting in an extreme sport, or taking the leap from your full-time gig to the business life, the strategies are the same.
Risks are a key ingredient to living life to the fullest.
The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done. Taking on a bold attitude for a risky next step isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here are 5 best practices to fast-track your success in life and harness the power of positive risk-taking.
Lesson #1: Failure is Inevitable
Failure is part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.
Appreciate that all risks are learning experiences. Especially those that don’t pan out.
On some accounts, failure is actually more valuable than success. The biggest mistake many people make is seeing failure as a measure of who they are, rather than a measure of where they can go. While failures may not lead to an increase in your bottom line, you can use the opportunity to glean important information about what you’ve done wrong, and how you can move forward in the future.
Know that not everything will go according to plan — that’s just the nature of life.
What’s more important is what you do after a perceived failure. FAIL can serve as an acronym for the ‘first attempt in learning.’ People avoid something when they think they should know what to do perfectly without trying it. Instead predict, plan and praise gradual approximations for success. Every perceived failure can provide learning which helps build a sense of resilience. Recognizing times in the past where you have overcome challenges while considering what helped you at that time get through it, can provide opportunities to reuse those skills to move through the present challenge.
Failure is necessary. Society tells us to fear it, but none of us would be where we are if we hadn’t failed.
We all make mistakes; we all fail at something at some point. But changing how we think of failure is key. Failure creates opportunity — the more we fail, the quicker we learn, and the more of a chance we have the next time to do something the correct way. Not to mention that without failure we wouldn’t enjoy our successes as much. Rather than fearing failure, be excited that with it, you are one step closer to achieving your goals.
If you want to learn how to be a risk-taker, first of all, you will have to train yourself to accept failures that come your way.
You will have to learn to embrace your anxiety with risk-taking and the sleepless nights you will spend. No matter how much you’re confident about your risk, there will always be a chance that Failure will come attached to it. However, you should know that only taking risks will make you successful. Look around you, and you will see that all the successful leaders have one thing in common. They were risk-takers!
Lesson #2: Calculate The Risks
While risk is a reality of life, there is also something to be said for strong assessment skills. Being able to look at a risky situation and decide whether or not it’s worth taking is a hallmark of a rational person. Being a good risk-taker involves using the information you have to assess a situation and decide whether or not the risk is worth it.
Blind risks rarely, if ever, turn out well.
It’s like randomly penciling in answers on a multiple-choice test that you never studied for — by probability alone, there is a fat chance you’ll achieve a high enough score to pass. But if you at least gave those questions some thought, you would have a much better shot. The same thing goes for starting a business. Launching one is always a huge risk, but you are better off doing your research first and calculating your risks than walking the high wire with no net to support you if you fall.
When it comes to risk-taking it’s important that you don’t take silly risks that create more problems than opportunities.
Risk-taking requires that you make sensible choices that will help you to maximize your outcomes and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. When you take risks, you will often find that you often lose nothing or very little. In fact, if you lose anything it will most likely be superficial in nature. However, at the same time, it’s important that you don’t get caught up with holding onto things you might potentially lose. Instead focus on what could be gained, and work towards attaining those outcomes.
The key difference between a risk and a gamble is the consequences.
If the situation you’re taking would seriously set you back or even ruin you if it didn’t work out, that is a gamble. A risk is something that even if it doesn’t work, you’ll easily recover from it and be able to function normally afterwards. There is a fine line between the two, but if you carefully ease into risk taking, you’ll get a good instinct of where the line is for you. One should never take on something that is too much for them to handle if it doesn’t work. One example would be to put all your money into a single insecure investment. That is gambling and is not advised.
If you feel like you want to make a change, but can’t make a decision, ask for help.
Whether you are considering a business move, financial decision or relationship change, seek the counsel of an expert to help you make your decision, but ultimately, you get to make the choice. Then no matter what the outcome, take responsibility for your choices. Nonetheless, be aware that while it’s important to make careful calculations, there’s also value in loosening the reins on your fear. If something scares the heck out of you, chances are it comes with huge rewards and is calling on you to do it!
Lesson #3: Dig Deep Into Yourself
What is important to you? What are your core values? Who are you as a person? Yes, those are loaded questions, but they’re worth exploring. If you spend 15 minutes trying to engage with these questions, you’ll be further ahead than most people. Use the answers to guide you toward more self-questioning. What is something you want to achieve but suspect that you are avoiding taking the necessary steps to make it happen? This will inform your next risk.
Know yourself. Know your personality and know your preferences.
To be great, you need to embrace your character as it is and learn not to change according to circumstance. In a situation where you have risked something based on other people’s observation, you will see it turn into a disaster. You know yourself best, and you know how you can handle things. Yes, it is best to learn from other people, but adopting their lifestyle, or change yourself to satisfy someone else, is just going to get you in trouble when taking risks. You have to learn to follow your instincts if you want to learn how to be a risk-taker. For that, you will have to start believing in yourself. Confidence is everything.
If there’s pressure from your family or wider social circle to do a particular thing, you might want to take a big risk if it means you’ll get interested and approval.
However, try to resist this urge. Significant risks should only be undertaken if they’re in your best interests and definitely align with your dreams for the future. You’re less likely to manifest a positive outcome if you aren’t truly aligned with your “goal”. Plus, ask yourself whether the people who are applying pressure would really come to your aid if you got into difficulty as a result of risk-taking. Then, ask yourself whether the people who are applying pressure would really come to your aid if you got into difficulty as a result of risk-taking.
Don’t allow others to inspire self-doubt.
Whenever you go against the grain, there will always be people who will question your actions and lead you to doubt yourself. Sometimes it’s because of jealousy, but more often than not, it’s because of their own fears. I would encourage you to always listen to see if what they are saying is valid, and if so, to consider their points. But never allow self-doubt to creep into your mind and sabotage your opportunity. Go with your gut.
What you’re willing to risk can say a lot about what you value.
If you’re ever trying to figure out what you really care about, think about the risks you’ve taken. What were you trying to gain, and what were you willing to put on the line? The risks you take should be based on the values you hold. You’ll likely be willing to take more risks if they could help you reach a goal you really care about, or support a cause you really believe in. Realizing that the risk you’re considering aligns with your values can help you feel more comfortable taking the risk, as it’ll help you live a more authentic life.
Lesson #4: Flex Your Risk Muscles
If you’ve given yourself the go-ahead but don’t quite know what action to begin with, ask yourself what small things you can start doing today to move toward taking the risk and reaching goal. If you can’t do it within the next 30 minutes, you’ve got something that’s still too big and too far away.
Keep doing a halving process until you arrive at something you can do right now.
Following through on the big risk comes from doing these smaller things on a daily basis. Planning to start working as a freelance writer? Instead of giving your two weeks notice, commit to reaching out to one potential client a day, writing 500 words daily to improve your craft, and/or requesting informational interviews with others who’ve walked a similar path.
You better work on developing your risk muscle by taking small risks daily.
This is important because the more risks you take, the more your confidence will soar as you become more and more comfortable with risk-taking. Over time all these small risks will eventually build up and instill within you the confidence you need to take ever bigger risks in the future. It’s just like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it will become.
The best way to become a successful risk taker is to start small.
Try an exotic kind of food you’ve never eaten before, take a road trip somewhere, or just start talking to more people. Just get in the habit of saying yes to new things. Some things might not be as good as you expected, but you’ll be surprised how often you find something great. Once you build up the habit of trying new things, you’ll want to experiment with some bigger risks. Plan a trip to another part of the world, join a new club. And if you’re really up for it, you can start up your own business, take a year off to sail around the world or do something even more amazing.
If you keep at it, eventually you’ll get really good at taking risks.
Your success rate will go up since you’ll have all this risk taking experience behind you. The more you can step out of your comfort zone, the easier those bigger risks tend to feel. Think small — take a different commute home, reach out to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to. In other words, embrace change within your daily life. The more you can be open to change, the better you position yourself to novelty.
Lesson #5: Stop Overthinking
Risky behavior is everywhere. Instead of fixating on the consequences of a risk you’ve never attempted, try to evaluate the entire scenario, including any potential hazards of maintaining the status quo. Risk is an unavoidable constant of life, so your focus should be on taking the right kinds of risks that offer the right kinds of opportunity.
The habit of procrastination is the twin sister of perfectionism.
Procrastination will tell you that it’s just not the right time, that you must wait, and that you’re not ready. This is all a lie. You are resourceful, and oftentimes some action (a little risk) is better than no action at all — whether you’re ready or not. 80% of the time, the more you’re willing to put on the line, the more you’re potentially going to receive in return. And that goes both ways—negative and positive. One more time, just for good measure: The amount of success you experience will expand — or shrink — in proportion to amount of risk you’re willing to take.
The habit of over-thinking consequences is another form of procrastination that will bog you down in the details and lead to hesitation.
Humans are meant to grow and change, so when we resist change, you may start to realize dissatisfaction with your life, or even depression. If you shy away from risk, remind yourself that it’s OK to be scared, but you can do it anyway. Also, remember that most decisions aren’t permanent. If you don’t like where you end up, you can always change course. And the more you lean into change, the more you realize you are capable of embracing it.
Procrastinators don’t view time like other people.
They tend to focus on the past (regretting their mistakes) or the future (being anxious about what they are struggling to make happen). As a result, they can easily become overwhelmed by past mistakes and looming deadlines, missing out on good feedback and learning opportunities in the moment. Instead, you better be mindful, thinking just about the present, accepting each moment as it comes for what it is. When you think about what you need to do in the present moment, you stand a better chance to cope and make effective decisions that will move you forward.
Thinking too much about things isn’t just a nuisance. It can take a serious toll on your well-being.
Dwelling on your shortcomings, mistakes, and problems increases your risk of mental health problems. And as your mental health declines, your tendency to ruminate increases, which can lead to a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Awareness is the first step to stopping overthinking. So start noticing the way you are thinking, and if you realize that have begun to rerun events in your mind over and over, and are second-guessing what people thought, or are predicting that things you cannot control will go horribly wrong, acknowledge what is happening and that this is not helpful.
Taking risks is the only way to go from here to there. Even failed risks move you closer to your goals if you can turn that failure into valuable learning and a plan for improve your results next time.
Don’t miss out on a good thing for fear of change.
The only thing that’s guaranteed in life is that things will change. If you practice thoughtful decision-making on a daily basis, evaluating and taking risks will only become easier. Failure is part of life, as much as being a risk-taker. Both things come hand in hand, and with taking risks, success is inevitable. You must have seen many people in your life who are now flourishing.
Don’t be a bitch. Be like a bull, and charge ahead instead. Begin before you’re prepared.
Good things happen when we begin before we’re prepared. One of those things is this: we begin erecting our own building of courage… We build up a foundation for that building by taking courageous action. Every act of courage is like a brick. And every brick we lay builds a stronger foundation for our very own building of courage. The more we lay, the more courageous we get. Courage begets courage.
Finally, it’s only by being willing to take risks that you invite anything inspiring and exciting to happen in your life.
Try to keep that in mind whenever nerves threaten to overcome you. You could live a life with risk, but you’d never end up manifesting the things you desire most of all. In some ways, that’s no life at all!
Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.
Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it! Do you have stories of risks you’ve taken? Or do you have anything you’ve always wanted to do, but have something holding you back? Let me know in the comments below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.