If you want to accomplish your life goals, experience success in your endeavors, and enjoy a life worth living, you must be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Browse the subject online, and you will find plenty of resources on the value of risk-taking. But how do you know which risks are worth your while?
Be absolutely certain that personal and professional growth require courage and “calculated” risks. You don’t reach the pinnacle without scaling rough terrain and braving challenges that make you feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.
What Is a Calculated Risk?
Let’s explore what I mean by “calculated” risks and how they may help you navigate your journey. See, calculated risks are not predicated on comparisons, shoulds and the opinions of others. They are measured and deliberate adventures – well-thought-out actions – not careless, impulsive behavior.
And they include a set of priorities that can lead to desired outcomes. Regard calculated risks as sacred, strategic steps that require your approval and endorsement.
“To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.”
— Theodore H. White
If your undertaking is prompted by another person’s suggestion, mull over the pros and cons, and determine whether or not it will support your purpose. And if your endeavor is an attempt to prove something to someone or is used to compete with someone else’s accomplishments – slam on the brakes! Turn onto the scenic overlook and meditate on your personal values.
You want to take educated chances not because you have to or because someone says so (that just adds undue stress). You want to step into the unknown because YOU have decided it’s the next authentic and strategic leap on your personal path. Sign off, accept responsibility and take the plunge. This is the type of critical maneuver that will be worth your time and effort.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
— Ambrose Redmoon (AKA James Neil Hollingworth)
When was the last time you took a risk and were pleasantly surprised by your actions? Remember, your current, comfortable position was once unknown territory. I believe that if you don’t dare to step outside your comfort zone, you may risk losing yourself.
It’s about personal choices – giving yourself permission to take a chance on moving your goals and dreams forward while respecting your true self.
6 Questions to Consider When Calculating Risk
To determine if a risk is worth taking, reflect on the following six questions:
#1: Are you prepared to embrace your talents and articulate your strengths?
#2: Will the risk serve your higher purpose and stretch you to new levels?
#3: Are you willing to begin with small, imperfect steps?
#4: Are you ready to admit your fears and take action anyway?
#5: Will creating a thoughtful risk-taking plan help you gain more confidence and prepare you for greater opportunities?
#6: Will your deep dive into an intimidating venture help others?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, you are beginning to think authentically about accepting calculated risks that will not only support your goals and intentions but may also be valued by others.
A Personal Reflection About Breaking Through Resistance
When I launched my wellness business, Lifestyle 120, seven years ago, I had no business experience and was not on any social media platforms. However, I allowed my vision of preparing seasoned women to live a dynamic second half to direct my next steps.
At the beginning, I faced obstacles and disappointments that were further fueled by my own doubts and fears. For example, I felt a lot of personal resistance around presenting to large audiences. I asked myself, “Why should I take a risk that could potentially lead to anxiety and defeat?”
But because public speaking was an essential means to share my passion, I had to change my inner programming, reframe my thoughts, cultivate a prosperity mindset and step up. How else was I going to get my message out and help other women unleash their power and accomplish amazing things?
Looking back, I see how all of my calculated risks catapulted me into a massive learning curve that elevated me to unimaginable heights. And the greatest reward is: I’m living my purpose and making a difference.
Release the Pebbles in Your Pocket
As we go through life, we unintentionally collect untruths – others’ negative opinions about who we are and personal fears relating to inadequacies. Amassed, these lies can create a hefty weight of insecurities. Releasing the burden of doubt can help you feel lighter and see more clearly down the road.
Embrace an Affirmative Attitude
Establish a possibility mindset. Set your intention on positive thoughts and high expectations. Before rising each day, be grateful for the bountiful blessings in your life, and express appreciation for the gift of YOU! And through your growing awareness of your unique qualities, awaken to the amazing opportunities for you to make a profound impact in the world.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
— Anais Nin
If you don’t take chances, you’ll never discover what you’re made of. Mindfully stepping into the unknown will fuel your passion and boost your self-confidence. While risk-taking is necessary for growth, it may not be worthwhile unless your actions are part of a deliberate effort to live life more fully. Then notice, with each experience, how you become more comfortable venturing into unchartered territory.
Think about a time when you stepped outside your comfort zone. What did you learn about yourself? Based on your experiences, what risks are worth taking? What awesome ventures would you pursue if you were assured success?