Posted on 1/19/2023, 9:27:07 AM
When we were curious children, we were encouraged to take healthy risks in order to grow, learn, and crush fears. Now observations and studies on success prove, that adults should practice risk-taking, just the same. To quote the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg, “In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Success can come in many forms. For some, success comes in the form of financial gain, for others, it’s a position of power or authority, and for many, it’s the feeling of happiness and freedom. But, whatever your definition of success is, the practice of risk-taking is what will lead to it.
However, eliminating fears from your life brought on by common societal ideas, upbringing, and comfortable familiarities can be a great challenge for many. So, here are some ways to jumpstart the process and start living your best life.
Training your brain to eliminate the fears in your life is easier than it may seem. With a few simple steps, positive change can be made by facing the fears that are holding you back from reaching your highest potential.
The first step in rewiring your brain to accept risk-taking is to eradicate your need to weigh the pros and cons of every situation. Of course, you should always be mindful of the risk you are taking, or in other words, know the ‘cons.’ However, the mindfulness of the situation should not hold you back from making changes in your life and stretching outside of your comfort zone.
Another key method for adopting risk-taking habits is to set small achievable goals, rather than giant looming ones that may intimidate a new risk-taker. Once you successfully complete these goals, you will feel a sense of confidence that will allow you to take bigger steps toward your goals in the face of fear.
Monica Mehta, author of “The Entrepreneurial Instinct” states, "Every time we achieve success, our brains release dopamine, which motivates us to go back and tackle the next success.” So by keying in on small goals first, we are more likely to feel comfortable taking larger risks in the future.
Training your brain to eliminate fears will be more successful if you surround yourself with risk-takers. Immersing yourself into a community of confident individuals who have had successes from risks will help give you a visual of your future. The community can also serve as a comforting form of comradery when you need encouragement or advice.
As we touched on briefly above, it’s important to be mindful of the risks you are taking. You never want to take a risk that would leave you incapacitated or unable to recover. Or in other words, if it’s something you can’t afford to lose, then don’t risk it.
To properly evaluate risks, make sure you examine all the options associated with your situation. The value of taking risks isn’t found in jumping into every opportunity presented, but rather about jumping into the right ones. New York Times Best-Selling Author of “Smarter Faster Better” and “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg, puts it simply, “Between calculated risks and reckless decision-making lies the dividing line between profit and loss.”
The fear associated with taking risks usually lies in the uncertainty of the consequences. As humans, we fear what we do not know. And, none of us can accurately predict the future outcome of the risks we take.
To help us fight the fear of risk-taking, it’s important to evaluate the possibilities of all the outcomes so we are as prepared as we can be. If we understand the worst-case scenario, we can more easily accept it when it happens. Being content with uncertainty also takes time and practice. Practicing smaller risks, as previously mentioned, will help you to be more comfortable with the uncertain consequences attached.
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