Ways to become a successful risk taker and take more chances
I have stood on my own personal cliff edge many times. Every time I jumped something different happened. There were threats that started out great, but eventually faded. There were such dangers that I kept falling until I reached the ground. There were risks that started slowly, but had great success.
Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump in, but not too many.
It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was going to happen, right?
1. Realize that failure is going to happen a lot
It is a part of life. Failure is bound up with everything we do. All successful people have big failure stories attached to them. Thinking that your risk will be painless and smooth as silk is crazy.
Expect some pain and failure. Indeed, expect a lot of it. Expect sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you shivering under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you’re about to take.
When failure occurs, the only option is to continue or quit. If you’re expecting to fall into a meadow of flowers and frolic with unicorns, you’re about to give up when you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to pass through a rock-filled cave full of hungry bats.
2. Trust the Muse
Writing a story is not a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I fear it will be a waste of time. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story wasn’t fantastic, I practiced.
While I have taken risks in my life, the successful ones always happen when I follow the muse. Steven Pressfield describes Muse,
A muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to act on our passions.
If you are taking a risk in anything, it is assumed that there is a passion behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is music. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.
The most successful articles and stories I’ve written are the ones I’ve focused all of my attention on. There were no obstacles during his creative development. I didn’t check my phone or look at my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.
Trust the muse, focus your attention at your peril, let the ideas and the path develop themselves and leave distractions by the wayside.
3. Remember to be authentic
Taking risks and then turning into something you’re not will only lead to disaster. Whether you’re risking a new relationship or a new opportunity, you need to be yourself throughout the process.
How many times have you acted like you loved something because the man or woman you just started going out with loved it?
For example, I am not an office worker. I have an incredibly difficult time working within a limited timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, without anyone breathing down my neck telling me I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or lose me a promotion. I can just be myself, period.
A girlfriend didn’t get it. She just believed in the 9-5 formula, especially something in human resources because it was a very steady job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I was doing it to please him.
Here’s a tip: Never give up your happiness to satisfy someone else (notice I didn’t say happy).
Making others happy will make you happy. Doing something to please someone is killing your soul.
4. Don’t take any risk when you are not clear
I had been considering the risk for a few weeks. It all felt good. I was 22 years old and I could be rich in a few years. That’s what they were selling me, anyway.
One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself on the computer. Some of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was thinking of starting my own business and it would only cost me $1,500.
Of course, when a bunch of drunks are surrounded by even more drunks, things get lively. Everyone, including me, thought it was the best business venture in the world. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.
A few painful months and a loss of about $4,000 dollars later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the trap of a pyramid scheme. It was a costly drunken decision.
Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your mind.
5. Fully understand what you are risking
That was the beginning of my baseball comeback. I tried and killed it with a professional scout. After the trial, he talked to my girlfriend and I, making sure we understood that I would be gone for 6 months at a time. That strain on a relationship can be difficult.
We understand. I quit playing ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we split up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have a big impact on everything in your life, from relationships to money. Know what you are risking before you take it.
If you believe the risk is worth it or you have the support you need from your family, go ahead and take the leap.
You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risks to Achieve More and Succeed
6. Remember this is only your one shot
As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?
This is the regret that people suffer most on their deathbeds. They wish they did more, asked that girl out at the coffee shop, talked about when they should be, or did something they were passionate about.
No regrets. Know and feel. alive Take risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.
Now go ahead, take that risk and succeed!