If you avoid activities with an uncertain outcome, you’re in good company. In fact, many people reject everything from learning a new skill to making a major career move because they’re afraid of the consequences. After all, they might fail, embarrass themselves, or do something they come to regret.
But while risk-taking can be a scary prospect, the alternative is missing out on a potentially positive experience that could boost happiness and well-being.
So how can you grow more comfortable with taking a chance on the chancy? These five steps will show you ways to infuse safety into risk-taking so you can overcome your fear–and improve your life.
The bigger the risk, the more difficult it is to take. So why not test the risk-taking waters by starting small, like doing an activity outside your comfort zone that’s not likely to cause any harm or damage?
For example, you might attempt to mend a strained relationship with a co-worker by offering a compliment or praise for a task well done. The profound effect these gestures can have on a relationship far outweighs any awkwardness you might feel risking your feelings and openness. Plus, small acts of kindness are ideal stepping-stones to taking bigger risks.
Practice and Prepare
Doing what you can to minimize a risk won’t just make it a safer bet; you’ll be more motivated and eager to take the risk.
You can start by acquiring as much knowledge as you can about the gamble. If you’re thinking about starting a home business, research your idea well, consider the financial impact thoroughly, test the market to make sure there’s a need, and secure the help and support of experts.
Preparation and practice go a long way in improving the outcome of a risk. More important, you’ll be able to assess the risk with greater clarity when you’ve done the groundwork.
Have a Backup Plan
Risks are easier to take when you have a backup strategy in place should the outcome disappoint.
Let’s say you’re considering a rescue animal. Though highly rewarding, it’s a risk fraught with unknowns. Will the animal adapt well to its new environment and be a good fit for your family? You can gain confidence by asking the shelter to offer a trial period to get to know the animal. You might also keep a list of other places to acquire a pet if the shelter option fails.
Having a plan to fall back on can give you peace and embolden you to take risks you might otherwise avoid.
Putting yourself in a vulnerable situation is always risky. But whether you get ghosted by a prospective dating partner or rebuffed during a meeting for an opinion you expressed, rejection doesn’t have to be the end-all. Instead of growing bitter or frustrated, try viewing the snub as a way to learn from the experience and build strength and character.
Bottom line is you can boost your determination, courage, desire to make positive change, and empathy for others when you get turned down, and all those benefits can make the risk easier, safer, and well worth it.
Research has shown that adopting an optimistic attitude improves all kinds of outcomes, including those stemming from the riskiest situations. Not only does optimism diminish fear and instill a sense of hope that all will work out; you’re more likely to put your best foot forward when your energy and mindset are positive.
Another benefit of optimism? It will keep you from dwelling on the negative once you decide to take a risk. Of course, optimism is especially useful when it comes to sensible risk-taking and opportunities that could impact your life in a meaningful way.
Don’t let fear of the uncertain lead to a stagnant existence. Follow these steps and make risk-taking a safer, more comfortable effort and one that could bring life-changing results.