Think Like A Risk-Taker

I read an article recently by Doug Sundhehim called “Taking Smart Risks” that really helped change my perspective.  I love the strategy of getting started, but I didn’t realize how purposeful this thought could be.  I’ve heard many people make the self-depreciating statements and with a simple switch in thought, they can be self-empowering statements.  I challenge you this week, think like a risk taker and see what changes. I bet you’ll be pleased.

The timing isn’t right ->The timing will never be perfect

The truth is, the timing will never be perfect to get started, to make change, to have everything you want.  But the people who make the most of their situation are the people who get started anyway.  Risk-takers get started anyway.  When you think like a risk-taker, you remember what you want to accomplish and realize that now is as good of time as any to get started.  Then you start making goals, making plans, making actions to achieve your accomplishments.  What do you want to start? Get started anyway.

My ideas aren’t good enough -> My ideas are good enough to get started

That saying, “You’ll never learn if you don’t try” is genius.  Your ideas are good enough to get started.  Everyone has ideas and as you start your process, your ideas will grow and change as you grow and change.  You don’t have to know everything to make a difference – you just have to know you’re good enough.

I don’t know what I’m doing -> I won’t know what I’m doing until I do it

I’ve spent the last decade working with college student leaders.  Many of them are brand new to their leadership roles and have no idea what they’re doing.  But they have the skills to change the world – they just haven’t discovered it yet.  I love working with potential and pushing them to achieve what I know they’re capable of.  Love it.

You see, so many people are capable of amazing things, but they think because they lack the experience or the knowledge, they can’t do anything.  I love developing risk-taking thought and educating, empowering and challenging the people around me to learn from their experiences to learn what they’re doing as they’re doing it.  And I’ve not been disappointed by the results.  Think like a risk-taker and start doing it.

I don’t want to make mistakes -> I have to make mistakes in order to grow & improve

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my day. Some still make me blush to this day.  Sometimes I’ve felt like a full-on idiot.  But I’m ok with this.  You see, I make a lot of mistakes because I try lots of things.  I know change is messy and frustrating sometimes, but to grow and improve, I have to keep moving forward.

Mistakes aren’t always of giant proportions. Sometimes, you can run multiple tests and realize the best path.  Are the failures mistakes? Well, technically, yes. But they are also your risk-taking discovery to success.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, that would be the biggest mistake of all.

I’ll regret it if I fail -> I’ll regret it if I don’t try

Many years ago, when I was a brand-new store manager, my boss asked me to attend a special meeting in her place.  In that meeting, the group was asked a question about a new product and I thought “I have the right answer, I know!”, but I didn’t say anything.  Many of my superiors in the room offered their answers, but none of them were what the trainer was looking for.  I never spoke up. And when the trainer announced what he was looking for, it turns out I had the right answer all along – and I was the only one. What a missed opportunity!

I thought because I was the youngest and the newest in the room, that it couldn’t have been right.  I wish I had tried.  I regret now that I didn’t try back then.  But I learned an important lesson that day.  I was too worried about failure to try and that was the wrong perspective.  I needed to trust my ideas, trust my decisions and trust my confident voice.

Have you ever been in this situation? Learn from my mistakes – Think like a risk-taker and regret it if you don’t try and put yourself out there.

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Thinking and acting like a risk-taker is more important than many of us realize.  It’s the path to confidence and change. Both are essential for you, for me and to develop in others.  Think like a risk-taker until you know you’re a risk-taker.  Then I challenge you to build this skill in others around you too. We’ll all be better for it.

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One thought on “Think Like A Risk-Taker

  1. This is huge! I’m terrified of risks and my experience looms over me, reminding me why I feel that way. But change is a direct result of risk taken and real change is never preceded by complacency and stagnancy. ((Brushes off dust and straightens collar)) time to jump!

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