For most of us the word risk evokes one of two emotions, fear or challenge. Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity will lead to a loss. Almost every human endeavor will involve a degree of risk. Driving my car to the grocery store has an element of risk as does rock climbing. Most of us will view rock climbing as a far greater risk to our well being than driving our car to the store, even though more people died in automobile accidents last weekend than have died in rock climbing accidents in the past decade. Each of us will assign a specific level of risk to every action or activity that we consider engaging in. We will then determine if we feel “safe” engaging in this action or activity. Sadly, many of us choose to “play it safe” and opt for the path of least resistance. Those individuals who are considered “risk takers” are people who assign a different meaning to the word risk. They recognize that the greater the risk the greater the reward and so to them risk becomes a challenge. I believe that there are four main benefits for those of us who choose to take risks in life.
R=Rejection. Every risk we take also contains the possibility for rejection. For most of us the fear of rejection is unbearable. Rejection is perceived as an attack on our personhood which leaves us feeling “less than.” Our challenge is to build up our own “rejection immune system” which over time will allow us to view rejection in a much less personal way. In order to do this we must be willing to take risks. We must be willing to get uncomfortable and press ahead. With each risk we take, we gain a new level of confidence, one that gives us the courage to take on even bigger risks. Embrace rejection…It builds character.
I=Introspection. When we take risks we have the opportunity to learn who we really are. Looking inward we are able to discover and extinguish dormant fears, programming from our past and other limiting beliefs that have held us hostage and prevented us from playing a much bigger game of life. Introspection leads to breakthroughs and breakthroughs lead to self respect and happiness.
S=Self Empowerment. Let’s face it, taking a risk and experiencing the rewards of that risk is a very empowering feeling! Anytime we choose to take the path of least resistance and we “shrink” from our challenges we truly will feel “less than.” Most of us will go to great lengths to justify our behavior but at the end of the day we know whether or not we gave it our best shot. Every time we step out of our “COMFORT ZONE” and take a risk we feel a high level of self empowerment. Self empowered people tend to live above average lives. You and I deserve it!
K=Knowledge. Knowledge is a good thing. APPLIED KNOWLEDGE is a great thing! Risk takers “earn while they learn.” Every time we take a risk we gain knowledge. We learn about our strengths, limitations, tendencies, programs and beliefs. With each risk, we build a reliable data base that we can refer to in the future. We will all FAIL, it is inevitable. The key is to process each risk, learn from it and then take that knowledge and apply it to your next risk.
Finally, it is important that we honor where we are in this moment. I have been around the block a time or two and I can say with certainty that I have never met a single person who is immune to fear. We are all human and fear is a major part of the human experience. Express gratitude for your fears, they are a gift. Express gratitude for every risk you take, it is has made you stronger. Remember that the bigger the risks, the greater the rewards. Embrace your challenges and know that your breakthrough is right around the corner. Be blessed!
As always, I appreciate your thoughts and feedback.