“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.”
― Albert Einstein
If I would be given the chance to change something from my past, it would have to be my tendency to always play it safe. I firmly believe that my career would have been further along had I chosen to take risks instead of staying within my comfort zone and doing the same thing for a long time.
As many of you know, I used to work at a call center and I was in that job for ten years which, looking at it now, may have been a little longer than I should have. I was too scared to take the risk of jumping ship with my family as my primary reason or excuse depending on how you want to look at it. I got too comfortable in that job with the family friendly schedule, the good pay and the awesome benefits that I turned a blind eye on the other opportunities that came along.
I’m not one to have regrets and honestly, I am happy with the path I chose because I got to spend time with my family and was able to do the things I love. It’s just that in doing so, I sacrificed the opportunity of improving my skills and making myself better. The decisions we make will have benefits but it will also produce casualties and in my case, it was self-improvement that suffered a great hit.
There’s a lot we can gain from taking risks and here are some of them.
It opens countless doors of opportunities
For most of us, taking risks is dangerous and ill-advised but that is an idea that would normally come from a negative thinker. Taking risks can be the start of something big because it opens doors of opportunities more than you have ever imagined. It’s always 50/50 when it comes to taking risks. You could either win or lose but why would you entertain the idea of losing in the first place?
View taking risk as an opportunity to succeed and not a path that would lead to failure. You wouldn’t want to say “I should have…” in the end wouldn’t you?
It helps you overcome your fear of failure
If you have a fear of riding the roller coaster, what’s the best thing to do to overcome that fear? RIDE IT!
Failure can be a bitter pill to swallow for most people and taking risks can just be the medication you are looking for. By taking risks, you understand that there’s a big possibility that you are going to fail but this should not faze you because you know beforehand the consequences this may lead to.
The reason you play it safe is because you’re trying to avoid failure but the thing you must understand is that failure, believe it or not, is part of success. It can take one, two, ten, or even more failures before you can achieve success.
It breeds confidence and accountability
One of the qualities of a good leader is his or her courage to take calculated risks when the need arises. As a leader, he or she is responsible for his or her actions and owns up to his or her mistakes. Risk-taking takes a lot of guts and not everyone is equipped with this ability.
Oracle founder Larry Ellison promises people features that are not yet in existence. He would go to his developers and ask them to build the product as per the promise he made. Now that’s what I call risk-taking in every sense of the word!
Success won’t magically happen, you have to go for it
Highly successful people would be the first to say that success isn’t something that comes to us and that in order to reach success, you have to actively pursue it. Have you ever seen or heard of a person who became successful by doing the same thing over and over?
When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, one of the first things he did was to trim down the product line by almost 70% which would have resulted in losses but the move proved to be beneficial because Apple focused on creating a few great products instead of developing dozens of mediocre ones.
There’s a lot to learn from risk-taking
Just as failure can teach us a lot of life lessons, so does risk-taking. When you take risks, you do a lot of thinking, you calculate your risk if there’s a bigger possibility of success or if you are likely to fail. Risk-taking helps us become more creative. It lets us understand what we can gain and what we stand to lose in taking such risks that can lead us to understanding our priorities.
You can’t become successful by staying safe and that’s a fact you need to understand. Whether it’s about career, relationships, and business, you will find that the people who managed to meet success in these fields all took big risks at one point in their lives. You can’t continue doing the same thing you’ve done for how many years and expect improvement in several aspects of your life. That just won’t happen. Take action and don’t be afraid to take risks when the situation calls for it because you’ll never know what opportunities this may open for you.
Over to You
What’s the biggest risk you ever took that ended up being beneficial for you?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to comment or leave a feedback below.
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