Take a Risk!

Edward Eggleston. Reaching for the moon. 1933 #

Risking is taking a chance on something or someone in order to reap a possible benefit.  It is daring to venture out on a limb for potential gains. It is giving something a chance to work in order to gain an advantage.  In risking there is always something to gain and something to lose, and if you are a wise risk taker, you carefully weigh both. Prudent risk-taking is essential to operating your life effectively because the gains you make by taking wise risks can help you accomplish the things you want in life.  As a good risk taker, you only take advantageous risks, and you avoid risks that are going to cause you loss.

There is usually an emotional component to any risk you take.  This is true whether the risk is of a physical nature such as starting a business, or of an emotional nature such as asking someone on a date.  This emotional component exists because of the hopes and expectations that are built on risk-taking, and the sudden change, either positive or negative, in going from hope to certainty when the outcome is known.

Risking consists of two parts:  The first part is the ability to take a risk when necessary without being afraid of taking that risk.  The second part is the ability to control your risk-taking, that is, to know when to take a risk and when to avoid taking a risk, in order to accomplish what you want.  In order to control your risk-taking wisely, you need to recognize both good and bad risks when you come across them. If you can recognize which risks are most likely to produce positive results, you also know which risks are worth taking.  This knowledge can prevent you from plunging headlong into harmful or dangerous situations. If you can recognize when a risk is a good or relatively safe risk, you have a great advantage because this helps you know whether to take the risk or avoid it and save your energy for other things.  If you can distinguish a good risk from a bad risk, you rarely lose what you risk.

If you have trouble with risking, you also tend to have trouble knowing how to use your energy to accomplish what you want.  Because you have difficulty telling a good risk from a bad risk, at times you end up in dangerous situations, and at other times you waste your energy by putting it into things that have little chance of success.  There are also times when you are afraid to take a chance on something because you don’t know if it is a good risk, even though the potential for gain may be substantial. If you are afraid to take a calculated risk, your life tends to be somewhat boring or mundane.  You may know that “nothing ventured means nothing gained”, but you are too afraid to venture, so you give up the gain. When life forces you into taking a chance on something, you tend to get angry with the world for asking you to take the risk involved. All this can prevent you from accomplishing many things in life, and from living life to the fullest.

If you would like to learn to take better risks, consider changing your outlook in a couple of areas.  Work at becoming more aware of your capabilities and limitations. If you know what you can reliably accomplish, you have a powerful tool to help you determine not only whether a risk is worth taking, but also how dangerous it may be.  Improving your ability to accurately judge what you can and can not do, will help protect you from taking unsafe risks.

The ability to take wise risks is also improved by learning where to put your energy so it is used most efficiently.  Use your experience and past results to estimate how much energy to put into something in order to be most effective. Only put energy into those things you think will be fruitful and produce positive results.  This will help you take risks that are most likely to succeed, and will keep you from taking the type of risk where you either bite off more than you can chew, or waste your energy by putting it into useless things.

By learning to increase your ability to risk, you not only become better at taking risks when necessary, but you also become better at understanding the difference between a wise risk and a foolish risk.

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