GO AHEAD, RISK IT! No intelligent person would recommend fool-hardy, ill-considered risks. But calculated risks, managed risks based on intelligence and ability is critical to becoming a growing leader. When you are willing to move out of your comfort zone, with no guarantee of success, you will learn the thrill of accomplishment and achievements of goals at a new level. Risk-taking is essential to success. Why? How? Well,
Risk gets you noticed. Most people lack confidence, and so they take the easy, safe route. When you take risk, you put yourself out there and essentially say, “Hey, check this out.” Because it’s rare to take risk, you get noticed. It shows confidence and helps you stand out.
Risk creates unforeseen opportunities. True, some risks don’t pay off. But some do, and some do wildly! Looking at risk as a new opportunity to succeed instead of a reason to fail opens your eyes to learning new skills and take on bigger roles.
Risk creates change. It’s easy for people and organizations to get stuck in ruts, and almost mindlessly follow habits and procedures that have been in place for years. Doing something new is uncomfortable and unproven. But taking the risk to do something new is the only way to create change. Even if what you try doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you will learn what doesn’t work, and will usually lead you to something new that will produce in the end. There can be no improvement and progress without change. The internal changes that come from risk are incredibly significant in your growth as a leader.
Risk creates a higher standard. When you begin to risk, you are no longer satisfied with “good enough.” You affirm in every way that to create something of true worth and excellence, you have to go to the next level. This pushes you and your company forward, and before you know it, you have a higher and better comfort zone.
Risk is the only way to overcome the fear of failure. Every entrepreneur knows that fear of failure is the largest roadblock to success. It makes us stop before we even start. We are risk-averse because we see failure as a name tag we will have to wear indefinitely if it doesn’t work out. But, “Failure isn’t the end of one’s journey to success,” says Arianna Huffington. “It’s not the opposite to success, but a necessary stepping stone to success.” You can’t achieve your dreams by playing it safe.
Risk is the only way to achieve success--success can only be achieved by those who actively pursue it. When anyone starts on a significant success journey, they have no guarantee, and often not even a real idea, how it will actually turn out. A successful person becomes comfortable with that perspective, and simply puts one foot in front of the other, and does the next right thing. Expect to be successful, even when you don’t know how or when it will happen. Keep working at it. If you stumble, get up.
Risk gives you the best opportunity to know yourself. In risking, you find out what you are really made of, what can grow and change, and the abilities that will even surprise you. You become more confident, the more you know you can handle.
Risk helps you define what you really want. Nothing sorts out priorities and willingness to sacrifice quicker than risk!
Are there downsides to risk? Sure, there are. That’s why it’s called risk. You might put yourself out there in a big way, and fall flat on your face. BUT, you might not. What if it pays off? The benefits will be so worth it. So, don’t risk haphazardly. Prepare yourself for risk, and educate yourself on the possible fallout from your choices. Do your homework, and when you are tired of being stuck, being mediocre, doing the same old thing one more time—when you decide you want to be unusual and ahead of the pack, take the risk. If you want to be different, you have to do something different. Take the risk.