The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.
– Mark Zuckerberg
Look back on any moment in time that changed the course of your life. What was it? What chance did you take? Whatever you did to take a risk for yourself, you are probably a happier person because of it. Odds are when you take a risk in any aspect of your life; the primary motivation is that the possibility that something really great will outweighs the possibility of nothing changing. In other words “want it more than you are afraid of it.” How are you to know if you never took that risk? You took a chance at some point in your life for the better, because you were brave enough to try.
It doesn’t even have to be a risk that adds up to some greater picture. Being spontaneous, taking chances is part of taking risks that will make you a happier person and it just might help you to become more successful (career-wise).
As seniors in college, it’s easy to fall into a very narrow, patterned schedule of the same routine. Going to the same classes every other day, having the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner, going to bed at the same exact time every night. These are all good things and in no way am I saying routine and schedules are considered a bad thing. But how can anything exciting come from the same boring day to day routine? Skipping a school day and taking a trip to your favorite city, saying f*** it and doing something out of character. Getting a tattoo you’ve always wanted. Ordering something on the menu you don’t know how to pronounce much less know what it is.
1) Knowing how to plan is good & all but knowing how to take risks is even better (and can help lead a successful career)
Some people easily adapt to spontaneous chances than others. Taking chances comes more naturally to some, while difficult for others. The results are the same for both types of people. Half the battle is making the decision to try. You never find room to grow if you aren’t trying in the first place.
Even if you are a planner and like to know ahead of time what you are doing, you can still hang loose and take chances. Embrace your scheduling ways, just remember to allow room for spontaneity. It could be as simple as making the decision to call a friend and go out for dinner instead of cooking, or taking a road trip because you need to get away. ‘Taking risks’ can be anything out of your ordinary daily routine that makes you comfortable; anything that scares you in a good way. We like change when it happens because it’s exciting, but it’s also scary if we cannot control the plan. We’re scared of change, yet nothing good can come if we aren’t even trying in the first place. Take action, take a chance and try.
2) We learn from the risks we take, success or failures
Whether the risk we took succeeded or failed, we learned something new about what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t matter what those things we label as ‘risks’ are, they count for a big leap in our minds. It doesn’t matter if the ‘risk’ is telling someone you love them or selling your business product to a new franchise, taking a risk leads to possibility.
3) Success doesn’t happen to you, you have to happen to success
And you only do that by trying. Part of that is learning to become comfortable with the uncomfortable – that is taking risks, essentially. Part of becoming successful in any aspect of your life, (especially career wise) is taking risks. Failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success, and in order to get where you want to be, you have to take more risks.
Get out of the habit that everything has to be planned. Comfort zones are safe to be in, but does change ever happen there? My guess is no. People stay in the comfort of their own routine because they know what to expect. Getting out of your comfort zone is allowing yourself to not know and go with the flow and see what happens.
4) Failure to take risks is failure to try.
Nothing stops us more than the idea that we might fail at something. Who cares? Stop letting the fear of failure stop you from taking the chances you need to in order to get where you want to be. If something doesn’t work, that’s fine, at least you know where to go from there. Take risks if you want something in life, especially if you want a career that leads you somewhere. Don’t be so afraid to fail, be afraid to never try in the first place. You will never be fully ready to do anything, start now, and take the risk to simply try.
5) To want is to desire, to try is to act.
Whatever it is you want, wanting something is not enough. Part of taking risks, (like I’ve said so many times, I know) is trying. Acknowledge what you want and then act on it. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. In whatever form that is, say what you want and take a risk in action. If you like someone, tell them. If you want a certain job after graduation, start doing things NOW that will make it happen.
Small changes to your day-to-day life can help you become more of a risk-taker. Baby steps. By the time graduation rolls around you will be more willing to take risks in areas of your life you truly WANT to do. Yet we often step back from those chances because we are scared to fail. BUT we’ll never know if we don’t even try and take the risk.
Teeny tiny changes to step out of your comfort zone and unleash the risk taker in you:
- Order something you’ve never tried before at restaurants.
- Add new music diverse stations on Pandora.
- Start a new show on Netflix – switch up your favorite shows.
- Take a different route. Whether it is walking to class, the gym, or back to your room, change up your direction.
- Tell that person you think about a lot that you still think about a lot. And do it without a need to hear a response, but just because you’ve always held back.
- Go out someplace you’ve never been to. Try someplace new and different each weekend you and your friends go out.
- Find a new study spot – anywhere that comes to mind first that you’ve never before sat, go sit and study there.