Risks can be dangerous, but a risk-free life is likely to be a dull one. Nobody – least of all us – would advocate the idea of taking risks for the sake of it, or putting everything on the line for a shot at an reward that might not arrive, but at the same time, if you play things too safely, you’re unlikely ever to gain anything or learn anything.
Knowing when and when not to take risks is a crucial life skill, and yet it’s not one that’s taught in schools. In fact, it isn’t really taught anywhere at all.
If we can teach ourselves to become comfortable with the idea of taking a risk and also teach ourselves to be OK with the consequences of small failures, we can learn from those experiences and start making better decisions in almost every aspect of our lives.
Risk-takers tend to perform better as managers and business owners because they seize opportunities when they present themselves. Risk-takers get more satisfaction out of their personal lives because they’re prepared to go out on a limb to get the things they want. Those who are totally averse to risk end up sitting on the sidelines watching, wondering how successful risk-takers work up the courage to do it.
The answer to that question comes with experience and wisdom. You start by taking small risks and progress from there. Every gambler is good at this. Good gamblers know that a large bet on a poker game is sometimes a good idea because they can see the cards in their hand, and they know they’re likely to win. The same gambler will know that a large bet at an online slots website might not be as good an idea because they can’t control the mechanics that determine success or victory. That’s why professional gamblers play UK casino as a business and only play online slots for pleasure.
This is the mindset that you need to adopt – instinctively knowing when the potential risk you’re facing is a poker-style risk or an online slots-style risk. Try a few of the suggestions we’re about to make, and you’ll find your attitude to risk-taking will change:
Tell Someone What You Really Think
How many times in your life can you remember being asked your opinion on something but not giving it because you’re scared of offending someone, or you feel like you have to agree for the sake of an easy life? You’ve probably done it in your personal and professional life frequently, and you might even already have done it today. Just for once, don’t do it. The next time someone asks you for your opinion, give it – and be unfiltered. Yes, you take the risk of hurting the person asking, but psychology tells us that’s the whole reason we don’t do it.
What’s more respectable – giving someone an uncomfortable truth or providing them with an easy lie? Tell the truth, and you’ll respect yourself more and gain more respect from the person you’re talking to in the long run.
Ask For Something You Want
Why are we so bad at this as human beings? People ask us what we want for Christmas or our birthdays, and we tell them ‘nothing.’ We complain that we’re underpaid, but we do nothing about it. We feel passed over for promotions and job opportunities, and we sit there and take it. Do you know what the worst thing that can happen when you ask someone for something is? You’ll be told “no,” and things will go right back to the way they were before you asked. You’ll also gain clarity from the experience because now you know what your boundaries and limitations are. Learning to take the risk of asking for things gets you accustomed to asking important questions, and the right questions can take you a long way in life.
Push Back On Prices
Market vendors in Africa and the Middle East always rub their hands together when they see a westerner coming because they know that westerners don’t haggle. They can quote their highest price, and if the customer wants it, they’ll pay for it. We have no idea why this is the case, but it’s not good business practice, and it’s no way to get the best price for the things you want in your personal life either.
Learning to haggle can change your life. The risk here is that you end up without whatever it is you’re trying to buy because you’re pushing for too low a price, but that’s an irrational fear. When you start a conversation about a purchase, the seller invests their time. That time is worth something to them. They’d rather make a sale below their ideal price than make no sale at all, and so there’s always room for negotiation. Next time you’re in the market for a significant purchase, reject the first price you’re offered. When you get the revised price, reject that too. You can always climb back up to it if the vendor doesn’t go any lower, but your confidence with risk-taking will improve every time you land yourself a discount.
Make Someone Aware Of Your Goals
How many people other than you know what your life goals are? We have a habit of not declaring them to anybody because that way, we won’t be seen as a failure if we don’t achieve them. People can’t judge us on the things they don’t know about. Not speaking our goals aloud might save our pride, but it also gives us a convenient ‘out.’ There’s less incentive for us to push for things when nobody knows we’re doing it. If other people know you’re chasing a goal – and perhaps even expect you to achieve that goal – you’re more likely to put the time and effort in to ensure that it happens. Whether that’s buying a car or learning to play the guitar, it’s still valid. Tell your best friend, your partner, or a family member what you’re trying to do. You risk embarrassment if you fail – but that fear of failure is what can drive you to succeed.
Learning to take risks is learning to live a better life. From “fortune favors the brave” to “nothing ventured nothing gained,” our proverbs are based on this idea. Push yourself to take a few more risks every day, and you’ll slowly change your life. What do you have to lose?