"Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience."
I've been thinking a lot recently about taking risks in life, in your career - in everything really. It can be hard to take a risk because the very act of doing so is filled with uncertainty and the fear of the unknown.
I've never been one to be that scared of making change in my life especially if I feel things aren't going to plan but now that I'm getting older taking risk is becoming a lot scarier. I guess with a more settled life than I had in my younger years I feel I have more to lose. Sometimes I can feel myself gripping on way too tight!
It's important not to confuse taking a risk and making a change with running away or hiding from reality. I know I have done both in the past and have certainly been guilty of making a big change simply because I was struggling to face the realities of living through the alternative. This kind of change isn't useful. There are times when you have to live through the harder events in life - otherwise they will only follow you and catch up with you when you least expect it.
Well thought out and positive risk taking however can be incredibly rewarding, help you to grow and learn more than you ever thought possible. So with that in mind here are my top reasons why risk can be so good for you - and remember life is nothing without experiences!
1. New Opportunities - risk allows you to open up to new ideas, opportunities, experiences and skills that you might never have previously considered.
2. Self Discovery - taking risks teaches you more about yourself as a person and your capabilities. It helps you develop strengths, talents, durability that you may not have known possible.
3. Learning - risk helps you learn more about the world around you and teaches you things you didn't know previously. You will open up to new abilities and reach new goals.
4. Taking Control - taking risks puts you in control of your life and makes you feel proactive and more powerful. You have stepped out of your comfort zone and made something happen for yourself instead of waiting for that opportunity to come to you.
5. Feeling Alive - whilst taking a risk might seem scary, the act of successfully doing so can leave you feeling elated. You can defeat your fears, reach your dreams and open up to a whole new world of exciting prospects.
From a business perspective taking risks can be even more scary as you could be putting your whole livelihood and reputation on the line. This is when writing a comprehensive business plan and weighing up the pros and cons - taking therefore a resultant calculated risk - is often the only way you will be able to move forward in significant and ultimately rewarding steps.
Calculating the risk and putting a plan in place can make the risk less scary, more manageable and achievable. To quote Mr. Richard Branson:
"If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later!"
So what does taking a risk mean to you and what are the things that might hold you back?
If you're faced with a difficult choice in life or your career and aren't sure what to do next then take hold of that fear, take control and move forward without regret. As long as you aren't being reckless then taking a risk in order to grow and move forward can ultimately be one of the most rewarding things that you will ever do.