“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” — T.S. Elliot
What if I told you that people are afraid of achieving success? What if I told you that people are afraid of accomplishing their dreams, and claiming the happiness they deserve? What if I told you that everything that people work so hard to earn, is not as far as they may think?
Well, people are afraid, because these all require a level of risk.
People don’t like to take risks. This can be traced back to our survival instincts, where taking a risk could be fatal. Yet, a lot of risks that people hesitate over now aren’t fatal. They are scary, but nowhere near fatal.
So why is a risk so intimidating? When people think of risks, the fear of failure tends to dominate their mindset and decision-making capabilities. Instead of thinking about both the pros and cons of taking risks equally, we tend to place more emphasis on the possibility of failure. People work hard to achieve a certain status or environment, and taking a risk comes with the possibility of losing that hard-earned status.
The problem with risk is this negative mentality that revolves around loss and failure.
Think about your life. What have you been able to achieve because you took a risk? For example, if I never took risks I would have never had the courage to ask Amy to be my girlfriend, applied to the college I am now attending or even something like getting my driver’s license. These are all examples of taking risks and earning the success that stands on the other side.
Think about how life would be if no one ever took any risks. There would be no cars, electricity, farms, or running water. The world’s most successful individuals, regardless of their specialty, had to take risks to get to where they are today. In fact, childbearing is risky within itself, so we would not even be here!
This isn’t to say to unconditionally embark on any risk that you can possibly think of, like setting an extremely high wager as an inexperienced gambler. Instead, take reasonably calculated risks that can lead you to your dreams, and the happiness and success you deserve. Talk to the person you admire at work, yet are too nervous to talk to. Apply for that job, even if you don’t think you are the most qualified person for it. Risk making a mistake, in order to achieve something.
Maybe the risk does go sour, and you deem it a failure, who cares? So the person you admired at work didn’t respond how you predicted, so what? So you didn’t get the job you thought you would, you didn’t lose anything. Maybe you even made a mistake. Spoiler alert, we all make mistakes because we are all human. By taking the risk, at the very least you fulfilled your curiosity. You answered the burning question, ‘What if I did take this risk? What would happen?’ Now that you answered the question, you have two options; you can enjoy the success that came from the courage or brush off the undesired outcome and figure out how to improve next time.
Anything that is worthwhile takes a risk. Anything that is extraordinary will take some effort and risk to fulfill. So be prepared, take a deep breath, and take the risk. See what happens, success might only be a risk away.
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