When we’re taught that getting it right is the precursor to success, we also learn that taking risks is something to be avoided. While some risks can lead to greater success, it’s much safer to deviate just slightly from the familiar.
Only it isn’t.
There’s no such thing as a safe risk. Not in investing, not in business, not in life. The reason something is risky is because it might not work or it may even go horribly wrong. That’s what makes it a risk in the first place.
You might gain everything or you might lose it all.
Of course, this could lend itself to a strong argument as to why we should never take risks. It would be much more comfortable to accept what we have and avoid the inevitable pain of change. Even suffering can offer its own feeling of safe familiarity.
The problem is, you risk so much more when you do that.
When you choose to stay in a job you hate, a relationship that’s no longer working or a lifestyle that isn’t serving you, you risk missing out on the opportunity to become the full, aligned, and capable human you have the potential to be.
You risk not creating the change you’re longing to see in the world.
You risk never knowing what your best work could be.
You risk waking up at the end of your life full of regret for the chances you didn’t take.
This is the truth I lean on whenever I am about to take a risk. It’s what I reminded myself of when I quit marketing and decided to focus my efforts on blog coaching and helping writers build financial stability.
Of course, I have no idea if any of these risks are going to work out.
At the same time, that’s not the question I asked myself when trying to decide if now was the time to leap. And I don’t think the, “Will this risk be worth it?” is the question you need to be asking yourself either.
Instead, ask yourself these questions:
How resilient are you?
What’s possible if you give yourself more time to get where you want to go?
What do you need just enough of to get to the next step?
What’s the smallest bite you can take of the bigger risk?
You also need to know what risks you need to take in order to get where you want to go. What are those risks? And what will they allow for if you take them?
Remember that they may allow you to succeed at the thing you care about. Taking the risks you need to take might also give you the peace of mind you need to avoid regret later in life, even if the chances you take don’t work out.
So, what risks do you need to take to get you where you want to go?