Wanna Get Risky? 8 Ways to Enjoy the Fringe Benefits

Risk-taking is the path to success, not failure.  You don’t achieve your dreams by playing it safe.  Staying in your comfort zone will only hold you back.  Success won’t fall in your lap; you have to actively pursue it.

“I believe that one of life’s greatest risks is never daring to risk.” – Oprah Winfrey

Just because you’re taking a risk doesn’t mean you should do so haphazardly.  Take calculated risks.  Thoroughly research what you want to do and how you want to do it.  Get comfortable with uncertainty and be willing to experiment with new ideas.  Watch your desired outcome come to pass through careful execution.  Just in time for National Career Development Month throughout November, here are eight positive side-effects of putting yourself out there through risk-taking.  

Taking risks show that you’re ambitious, that you’re truly living your dreams

“Women don’t take enough risks.  Men are just ‘foot on the gas pedal.’  We’re not going to close the achievement gap until we close the ambition gap.” – Sheryl Sandberg

In this world, you can’t have everything.  You can, although, work to achieve the things that really matter to you. Working really hard for a long period of time on something that you’re passionate about will empower you like nothing else.  When it comes to the things you want in life, be an unstoppable force until you get everything you want.  Move beyond just talking about your ambitions and allow the story of your success to unfold before everyone’s eyes.

Taking risks give you the satisfaction of doing the right thing

“Take risks:  if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Author Unknown

Taking a huge risk is an incredibly personal endeavor.  Everyone wants different things in life and everyone’s view of risk is different.  What comes naturally for others may be very risky to you.  Only you can really know what you need in your life and what you need to do to reach a higher level of personal achievement.  Following your heart can get lonely and alienating times.  No matter what happens in your future, nobody will ever be able to take away the feeling of knowing that you followed your heart and accomplished an incredible feat.

Taking risks allow you to express your ideas and show everyone your creativity

“Don’t stop at the first no. You have to be a risk taker.  If there weren’t room for creativity, the patent office would close down.” – Debbi Fields

Every visionary has dreams bottled up inside.  The only way to make them visible to the rest of the world is to take the risks that are required to bring your dreams to life.  Not everyone will understand the reasons why you feel compelled to do certain things; it’s not always helpful to consult family and friends for validation.  The moment your risk pays off and the results of what you have been working for can finally be seen by others is the moment that your ideas and creativity can be fully appreciated by others.     

Taking risks open unexpected career opportunities

“If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing things can happen.” – Marissa Mayer

When you have your eyes fixed on a target for so long there’s a tendency to get tunnel vision.  Risk-taking requires flexibility.  On the road to your dreams, everything may not go exactly as planned, and sometimes it’s a good thing.  Begin to view risk as a door that can open a world of possibilities to you on your quest for professional success.  You may get unexpectedly promoted within your company.  You may discover a completely new career path.  Always stay open to internal growth.  Embrace the process of discovery and train your mind to know that more is always possible.         

Taking risks give you new challenges to expand knowledge

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso

Nothing quite pulls you into new learning experiences like risk-taking.  Allow your ambition to take the lead by doing something you’re not quite ready to do.  Sometimes it’s easy to pull away due to feeling inadequate, thinking you need more training and preparation.  Every risk-taker must embrace progressive learning.  Valuable “aha” moments can only emerge as you take risks and move into unfamiliar territory.  Taking risks is never boring.  For risk-takers, this is the most exciting way to learn.

Taking risks show confidence and help you stand out as a leader

“When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you’re going to be successful.” – Lillian Vernon

A higher level of confidence accompanies risk-taking.  Every bit of knowledge that you gain through accepting greater challenges serve to continually boost your confidence.  As your deepest-held dreams begin to work their way out for the world to see, you will begin to stand out among others in your industry.  The effort you expend to grow, learn, initiate change, and break the status quo validates your position as a leader among your peers.   

Taking risks help you overcome a fear of failure

“Security is mostly a superstition.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

Don’t allow anything to become a roadblock to your success.  When you put yourself out there, failure is always a possibility and that can get scary sometimes.  What starts out as a defense mechanism to protect yourself from failure can easily lead to a paralyzing “fear of failure” that’s hard to overcome.  You will never get anywhere if you’re always expecting perfection from yourself.  Instead of refusing to take risks, why not readjust your view of failure as a valuable learning process.  Learn how to quickly indicate mistakes and make strategic adjustments.  On your path to success, you won’t be defined by a few mistakes made along the way; you’ll be remembered for your resilience and ambition to persevere and succeed.

Taking risks encourage you to act quickly on your dreams, to keep up with a world that’s quickly changing

“I’ve made lots of mistakes.  Probably the worst one – I would say they tie.  It’s either when I didn’t move fast enough on something, or I didn’t take a big enough risk.” – Ginni Rometty

Life is too short to hold back from taking risks.  The biggest risk is not taking any risk; waiting too long can rob you of amazing opportunities.  Jump in with both feet and always be ready to execute your plan.  Be quick to make adjustments to allow you to continually reach your desired outcome in this ever changing world.  Time is valuable, so don’t waste a minute of it!