How do you feel about the word risk?
Does it feel scary?
Or perhaps it’s a combination of different feelings for you.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about the role risk plays in our lives.
Every one of us faces risks every day. Yet in most cases, we get used to them, and they don’t worry us. It’s only when we feel that we are risking something important, such as security, relationships or even death, that we start to take notice.
In the last few months, I have decided to take some risks in my business life.
Nothing too crazy (yet), but I have given up the safety and security of guaranteed income to pursue something I am passionate about in my own business. There is the potential of earning more money, of course, but there is the risk that I could lose money as well.
For me, this is a risk worth taking.
The sense of security and normality doesn’t feel appealing anymore. The safety has made me feel bored. Maybe this makes me feel irresponsible on some level, but I think it also shows that to grow, we must risk.
As far as I can tell, there are three big kinds of risk that we face in our lives:
1) The risk of failing
This one is scary for some people, but not for others. The desire for something new requires that we let go of what we have. You can’t keep everything in a state of status quo and also grow. The risk of failure is always a part of any goal that we pursue.
2) The risk of rejection
Perhaps even scarier for many people is the risk of being rejected or ridiculed by others. This risk is often tied to failure, because if we do something in the public eye, others may laugh at us if we don’t succeed. For a lot of people, the risk of rejection stops them asking, and moving forward in many areas of their lives.
3) The risk of death
The most terrifying of all kinds of risk is death. The end of life is the most extreme fear most people have. Of course, very few of us have to risk our lives very often, and we greatly admire those who do it.
The reason I share these three types of risk is that they seem to be at the core of what stops us from growing. They are like grey clouds that block out the clear sky. But when we acknowledge them, admit we feel scared of them, we can still act anyway.
Do I want to fail, be rejected or to die? Of course not. Yet I do want to live the very best life that I possibly can, and the reality of risk is always part of creating it.
If you look at those people you admire, they have taken risks. They have pushed through their fears and made a path for themselves. I believe this is a big part of why we admire them. It is not the success, it is the willingness to go into the uncertainty and to face the risk head-on.
As I start a new phase of my life, I am keeping risk front and center. I want to know it is there and to admit I am scared.
Despite the reality of risk in my life, I choose to move forward.