On Taking Risks

It’s true that if you’re always careful, nothing bad will ever happen.

But think on this: if you’re always careful… nothing will ever happen, period.

No change. No growth. No chance to break boundaries. How can we reach our goals when we are so concerned with not failing that we don’t give ourselves a chance and try? If you never try, sure, you save yourself the pain of failure, but you also prevent yourself from the chance of success.

Being able to step out of your comfort zone and be able to take risks is a valuable skill to learn for life. If no one ever took risks we would probably still think the world is flat. There would be no electricity. You wouldn’t even be reading this article because the Internet was not invented. These pioneers broke boundaries because they believed in more that what was set, and most importantly they believed in themselves. They weren’t afraid to take that risk to prove others and themselves right.

  • Taking a risk is inherently scary. So be smart about it.

You put yourself out there for people to criticize you for what you believe, laugh at you, and even take advantage of you. But believe it or not, there will be a surprising amount of people who will be on your side. The first step is believing in yourself and making an educated decision on the matter at hand.

Taking risks is not about jumping without looking, it’s about understanding where you want to land when you jump — and knowing what you’re jumping for.

  • Change your views about failure.

No one can predict the future. It isn’t practical to think that you will succeed in everything you do, but changing your views about failing will make you that much closer to success, because you won’t be afraid of it. When you make mistakes you are given a chance to learn. You’re given a chance to get better, since you had the opportunity to see how things aren’t meant to be done. Naturally, you have just given yourself experience by going out of your way to take the risk.

Do you think the light bulb was created on the first try? Thomas Edison had 1,000 attempts at creating the light bulb before he was successful, and when a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Another way to learn from failure is to learn from the mistakes of others. Given the chance to listen, read, or watch someone explain where they went wrong can give you a tremendous advantage in the steps you take when you start your journey.

  • If you fall, fall forward.

It might always be a soft landing, but falling while striving for greatness still lands you further ahead than you were at the starting line. The saying goes, “Aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”

Dr. Alexander Fleming made the discovery of Penicillin by mistake after mold contaminated one of his Petri dishes in 1928. Talk about a happy mistake!

  • Let go.

How much you fly depends on how much your willing to let go. Let go of your unattainable views of perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist. Let go of your fears of failure. Failure makes you better. Let go of whatever is holding you back and let your inspiration fuel you in the direction of success.

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