Taking a Risk in Life: 5 Steps for Determining Worthwhile Risks (2023)

Taking a Risk in Life: 5 Steps for Determining Worthwhile Risks (1)

Taking a risk in life can catapult you toward success and drastically increase the chances of achieving your goals.

But underneath every risk resides the fear of uncertainty and failure.

Taking a risk involves straying out of your comfort zone and stepping into the unknown.

It involves confronting your fear and taking a leap of faith that everything will work out for the better.

This doesn’t mean that every risk is a blind gamble. Understanding the complexities of the risk involved can help you take managed, calculated risks that make sense in relation to your goals.

This article will explore why we take chances, outline a proven strategy for identifying worthwhile risks, and show you how to take action and propel your life forward.

Why Do We Take Chances?

This journey called ‘life’ that we are all on requires us to take risks.

Especially if you want to live a life centered on thriving, not just surviving, and achieve your long-term goals.

When we step out of our comfort zone, we are better able to appreciate the beauty of the unknown, even though it might feel scary.

Risk reaps rewards

Without taking any chances, the probability of achieving anything great is precisely zero.

By doing something risky, you allow for the possibility of achieving great things, overcoming fear, and leaping towards success. On the other side of the coin, taking risks in life could expose you to potential mistakes, setbacks, and defeats.

This is the main reason why people avoid taking chances in life – fear of failure.

Everyone fears failure to some degree.

(Video) Taking Risks | Daniel Delgado | TEDxYouth@ASFM

The psychology of safety teaches us that as individuals, we naturally analyze tasks as they relate to our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. If we think that carrying out a certain action will put us at risk of danger or failure, we tend to avoid this to protect ourselves.

Sure, fear of failure may protect us from doing something dangerous, like walking too close to the edge of a cliff.

But this state of mind can also limit our true potential and erect a barrier to creating the life that we want to live.

Something magical happens when you challenge yourself and take chances.

Science backs this up and posits that risky thinking allows you to put yourself in challenging situations and learn with every risky decision you make, inching you closer to success.

Taking chances requires seeing the difference between the life you have now and the life you want, and understanding the work involved to make it happen.

We must muster the bravery to commit to a goal, learn how to motivate ourselves, and navigate the murky waters of the unknown until we reach the other side of success.

Why Is It Necessary to Take a Chance?

Taking risks and experimenting with novel experiences expands our possibilities. If you insist on complete certainty and safety, you will never have the chance to turn your dreams into reality.

It’s a hard truth, but achieving anything meaningful requires taking action and stepping into the realm of the unknown.

Taking a risk all starts with a plan. It requires listening to your heart and your gut, looking within, and asking yourself, “What do I really want?”

Once you have a clear idea of precisely what you want, you can create an actionable plan to get there, and fully commit to making it a reality.

Taking healthy, calculated risks can be a game-changer when it comes to success and goal setting.

But big dreams take time to achieve. They involve a lot of grit, hard work, and overcoming obstacles. Keep in mind that absolutely everyone makes mistakes and falls along the way – the test comes in getting up and growing from those challenges.

Success is not a straight line

The road to success takes lots of twists and turns. You may need to back up, pivot, or go in a completely new direction.

(Video) 5 Steps for Determining Worthwhile Risks - On Air with Frankie and Jess 97.1 KZHT

If we stubbornly stick to the plan, we curb our ability to progress. However, if we are willing to discover, experiment, and try new things, we teach ourselves how to chart paths in unknown territory and overcome our fears.

What Happens When You Take a Risk

Imagine yourself achieving your most sought-after goals.

Sit with this sensation – how does it feel? Visualize how it will benefit your life if you take the necessary risks to get you here.

This feeling alone can catapult you towards going after your dreams.

Harder, better, faster, stronger

Taking risks can change you fundamentally. They make you braver, stronger, and more confident.

They show that you have what it takes to make a decision, commit, and create the life you want.

You build faith in yourself knowing you have done it before and can do it again.

When faced with a risk or challenge, we all need to put on our game faces to some degree.

For some, this means fighting on the frontlines or treating the injured in the ICU. For others, taking risks means asking for that promotion or finally changing careers.

Embody your most courageous self. Sure, you might fall down. But imagine who you’ll become when you rise to the challenge!

Understanding Risks: A 5-Step Process for Risk Assessment

Taking risks in life needs bravery—not bravado. Someone with bravado might just blindly jump off a cliff and hope for the best. Someone with bravery knows how to take calculated risks, with careful self-assessment and strategy.

Follow this five-step process to face your fears when taking smart and measured risks.

Step 1: Identify something you want or intend to achieve

What are your deepest desires and greatest dreams? Take some time to think of the life you want to pursue.

In a practical sense, this means really thinking about what you want to achieve – your goals – and writing them down.

(Video) 10 Risks You Must Take in Life | Risks Worth Taking

This might not be easy for everyone.

Overcome resistance

Researchers found that by identifying your goals and saying them out loud, you’re more likely to overcome your resistance and actually go about to achieve them.

Another option is to meditate on your core values and beliefs. These can help create goals in alignment with your true self.

Once you’ve identified some meaningful goals that you would like to achieve at some point in your life, write them down so that they are tangible and measurable.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • I want to purchase my forever home by 2023.
  • I want to launch my new business venture by the end of the year.

Step 2: Assess the potential risks

Once you’ve identified your goals, determine the risks that you might face if you venture forward toward these goals. What do these risks look like?

Understanding the form any potential risks could take allows you to more adequately prepare for them, and decide whether or not they’re worth taking.

Think about any potential risks in relation to your goals and then write them down next to the goals you identified in step one.

If we look at the previous example, these risks could look something like this:

  • I want to purchase my forever home by 2023, but… I’m scared it may come with hidden and expensive renovation issues. My financial situation may change and I won’t be able to pay the mortgage. The house may decrease in value if the housing market crashes.
  • I want to launch my new business venture by the end of the year, but… What if people lose interest in what I have to offer? What if my competition excels and overtakes us? What if there’s a decline in the economy and we enter a recession? What if I put all my energy into business growth and begin slacking in other areas of my life?

Step 3: Think about the impact of each potential risk

When working with clients, I often have them do a risk analysis activity to figure out where exactly they are putting their energy.

This activity involves writing down their goals and attaching a risk assessment to each of them. The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate what is worth giving our energy to and what is best to avoid.

Review each of your goals

FEEL the impact that each risk creates as if it has already occurred. Sit with these feelings and ask yourself: how would you feel if you were to experience this outcome in the present moment?

If we use the previous example, this might look something like:

(Video) 15 Risks You Must Take in Life

Picturing yourself the moment that you realize after investing months of blood, sweat, and tears into starting a business, your partner gets laid off and you are forced to ask for your old job back to support your family.

How does this make you feel? Would you be devastated? Would you be happy to have tried? Would you have learned a lot of things that will help you when the time is right to try again?

Whatever arises here will help you decide whether or not this risk is worth taking.

Step 4: Assign each risk a value

What’s the likelihood of each risk resulting in a negative consequence?

To answer this, take some time to consider each risk attached to your goals and try to be realistic about the outcomes.

Move through your list of goals and associated risks and give each of them a rating that indicates the severity of each risk. Use a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 having the highest impact and 1 having the lowest impact.

Let’s look at an example:

  • I intend to grow my company by 25% over the next year, but… what if there’s a decline in the economy and we enter a recession?

Consider the current economic climate. We are experiencing low levels of unemployment and high inflation (both strong predictors of future recessions). This indicates that the chances of entering a recession over the following years could be high.

For this reason, we could rate this risk as a high impact 5.

Work through each of your goals and attach a number to each to get a more realistic picture of the likelihood of the risks involved.

Step 5: Make a plan

Based on the numbers you assigned to each risk, determine which risks are worth taking and which risks you can ignore.

Calculated risk

When we take calculated risks and invest in ourselves, it leads to a happier, more fulfilled life. Devote your time and energy to the calculated risks that matter and let go of reckless risk-taking.

By implementing a risk assessment, we can eliminate unnecessary risks, and have a much clearer understanding of which chances are worth taking.

Use this information to craft a plan that will help you plot a course from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future.

(Video) Jordan Peterson: Take risks (but not in a naive way)

If you need some encouragement to get started, check out my Online Course: Believing in Yourself. You’ll learn more proven strategies to overcome self-doubt and achieve your goals.



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