Taking Risks; Meeting Opportunity

Recently I was talking to an online acquaintance regarding the process of making tough decisions. My question to you is why are you afraid to take the risks that will make you happy?

People are Safe

You know what will make you happy don’t you? So why aren’t you doing everything you can to do it? I’ve seen in my life that I need encouragement do try something different. When I saw the coaching position open I was hesitant to apply, why? I knew that I had the knowledge of the sport and a want to coach. I was afraid of change and rejection.

In my job search after college I applied to numerous jobs over a ten month period. I had one interview and one job offer, it’s the position I hold now. Rejection, even after a year of employment, was still fresh in my mind. I really wanted to hold on to the job I had, and not risk losing it, especially since it pays my bills. However, I figured out that it was possible for the jobs to complement one another and I wanted to do something else with my time.

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”

– Leo F. Buscaglia

Breaking the Cycle

So how do you break the chain on a risk-less life? You take risks! Go do something you wouldn’t normally do. Apply for that dream job that you aren’t qualified for. The worst that anyone can say to you is “no thanks.” You might be afraid of rejection; but trust me, you’ll feel even more satisfied when you prove yourself wrong.

And one day, it will pay off. You will apply for the job and get it.

Tips to Succeed

If you want sure-fire ways to succeed in this, well send me the list too so we’ll both know. I do, however, have some tips of how to successfully take risks and feel rewarded.

  1. Start Small – Take small calculated risks to get warmed up to the big stuff. There’s no reason to over compensate for your lack of risk taking before.
  2. Be Confident – There’s nothing better than seeing someone who is confident in their skill sets. Believe in what you know and trust what you are doing. Do you think I knew anything about coaching going in? Nope, but I did have knowledge of the sport, how to do the technique and I was confident in relaying what I know to the group.
  3. Don’t Let Fear Guide You – If you are smart and confident about the risks you are taking and fear will no longer be a factor. Just make sure you aren’t stepping too far out of your comfort zone too fast or you might take steps backwards. Jumping too far ahead will ruin your risk taking abilities in the future.
So what are your thoughts? Why are you afraid to take risks? What tips would you add to people who are afraid to take risks? Input is always welcome and appreciated…

10 thoughts on “Taking Risks; Meeting Opportunity

  1. Jake Anderson says:

    Great post, Greg. Playing it safe can definitely be a plague that hinders forward motion. Moving forward is something I’ve always struggled with. I tend to stagnate when I become comfortable. it’s something I work on every day.

    I will add another reason I think people don’t take risk (this one applies to me). Family. I am responsible for the well being of a three year old. That really limits what risk I am willing to take. I have to make sure I am able to provide for her. That is my number one goal. It’s more important than anything else to me. I will never pack up and move to Nashville to be a studio guitar player and put my family through the poverty we would endure while I tried to “make it” (just an example).

    Once you have kids your personal goals take a back seat. That doesn’t mean they don’t matter, it just means that taking care of your family comes first. At least it does to me. I find being a dad way more fulfilling than any job or hobby I could ever have. Thanks again for the thoughtful post!

    • You’re absolutely right and it’s something that I overlooked, for obvious reasons. I know that now is my time to take some risks since I’m not (yet) married and don’t have any children to care for.

      Once I have my family, I can already tell I won’t be willing to pack up and start fresh somewhere else. Take the risks while you can and support your friends and family when they choose to take risks.

      Really appreciate the comment and the RT!

  2. Greg, I absolutely love this post! I think you make some great points about fear in general. So many people are scared to live their life because of it. It’s sad, really.

    However, I do want to add a point about not taking risks. I am a firm believer in not making the same mistakes – which means that I might not always take a risk based on my experiences in the past. While this can be seen as prudent, it can also be a block in my life to new experiences. I think that I need to take the knowledge from the past and apply it to the future – if it was a mistake in the past, how can I make it a good thing in the future?

    I hope that makes sense.

    • You actually answered your own question. You should learn from your mistakes, not let them hinder your experiences. Try taking a completely different approach to the same risk instead of following what you did before.

      If you get burnt on a hot baking sheet are you going to grab for the pan again? No, you alter HOW you grab the pan by adding a towel or hot pad.

      Don’t let fear be a driver in your life, just look at it through a different perspective. Hope that helps!

  3. Excellent post and great points. Don’t let fear allow you to excuse yourself from going for what you want. I know… I’ve been in both sides. Life’s to short – do what makes you happy, what fulfills you. Go for it. Good job Greg.

Comments are closed.