Most successful people have learned to risk. The good feelings that result from taking a risk can be incredible. You see yourself as a survivor. You force yourself to grow by calling on abilities you haven't used. Achieving your goal will enhance your sense of accomplishment, self-confidence and knowledge.
Are You a Risk Taker?
Answer “yes” or “no.”
1. I often wish people would be more definite.
2. When I want something, I’ll go out on a limb for it.
3. If the possible reward is very high, I would put money into a business that could fail.
4. I like to plan my activities.
5. I enjoy taking risks.
6. I prefer job challenge to job security.
7. I enjoy working on problems that have ambiguous answers.
8. I accept the possibility of failure.
9. It bothers me when something unexpected interrupts my routine.
10. I trust decisions I make spontaneously.
11. In games, I usually go for broke.
12. Once my mind is made up, that’s it.
13. I’m in favor of very strict enforcement of laws regardless of the consequences.
14. I try to avoid situations that have uncertain outcomes.
15. I would not borrow money for a business deal even if it might be profitable.
Scoring: 2 points for responding “yes” to each of the following statements: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 11.
A score of 10 or higher, suggests you enjoy taking risks. You are autonomous, like challenge, are confident, flexible and open to new experiences. However, if your score is 14 or more, your desire to risk may sometimes be extreme. A score of 4 to 8 suggests you may be open to some new experiences, but are overly organized or rigid in other areas. If you scored 3 or lower, you prefer a secure, well-ordered lifestyle.
If you want to develop your full potential, learn to take planned risks. Try some of the following:
-- Make small changes first. This enables you to develop confidence and trust. You can then move on to more major decisions. Experiment with a different hair style or food. Change your routine. At work, offer new ways of tackling a job.
-- Have a goal. A risk without a clear purpose can backfire. Focus on things you can change. Have positive expectations, do your homework, know the pros and cons, and listen to your intuition.
-- Believe in yourself. Affirm yourself. Replace any negative thoughts or statements with positive ones. Avoid phrases such as, “I can’t,” “I will never. ...”
-- Turn failure or crises into growth opportunities. Consider “failure” a temporary setback. Depersonalize setbacks. Learn from these. Ask yourself what you would do differently and then make the necessary modifications.
-- Look upon something new as an exciting opportunity to challenge yourself and to grow. If you don’t try, how will you ever find out if you can do it?
-- Balance tentativeness with commitment. Set goals but don’t write these in stone. Be open to new experiences.
-- Establish a support group. Confide in and ask for help from supportive family or friends. Associate with positive people.
-- Describe barriers that are blocking you from making a desired change. For example, Personal Barriers include fear of loss of a secure income; fear of failure (such as starting a new job); fear of what others will think; fear of success; and guilt that change might create family hardships.
Societal Barriers include old notions of “career”; outdated retirement policies; traditional gender roles; and blocks imposed by educational institutions, unions and professional associations.
-- Complete the Fantasy Risk Exercise: Think of an important risk you would like to take. What appeals to you about taking this risk? What would you gain? What is frightening about this risk? What will you lose? What’s the worst thing that could happen if it turned out badly? If the worst happened, what would you do?
Where could you get information to pursue this risk? From whom could you get support? What could you do to make this less risky? Less irreversible?
If you broke the risk into small steps, what would the first step be? How soon could you take it? Do this for each step. Evaluate the outcome of the risk. Did it turn out as expected? If not, why? What have you learned?
Celebrate your success whether or not it turned out as expected. Gradually, you will see yourself as a risk taker.
Creating a life worth living and finding the courage to risk pursuing you dreams isn’t easy, but you can do it! Questers, described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, show you how!