This post, I wanted to focus on risk taking. Why? Because for a long time, it has been said that women are risk adverse; that women don’t like to take the leap of faith or believe anything good will come out of it. I disagree wholeheartedly.
I believe that women can, do and will take risks; calculated thought out risks. Unlike our male counterparts, we are generally more likely to weigh up the pros and cons fully and that’s not a bad thing. However, what must be avoided is the overthinking or allowing the weighing up to take so much time it leads to procrastination.
Why is risk-taking worth doing? In my experience when I’ve taken a risk – usually because an opportunity has arisen and I see its potential but I might not be in the best place or have the necessary resources to hand to action it – it has led to something greater. Quite often it has been a financially associated risk and those type of risks can bring up all manner of fear, depending on your relationship with money. Yet focusing on the benefits of the potential outcome has allowed me to ‘do it anyway’ whilst also preparing myself to manage any fallout.
In business risk taking is part of the journey… and so it is in life. It’s hard to avoid.
We often avoid taking risks because:
- We overestimate what might go wrong and the consequences it will bring about
- We underestimate our ability to deal with what goes wrong
- We forget to assess the consequences of not taking the risk; what we will miss out on, the growth opportunity, etc
When we do take risks we can often:
- Discover otherwise hidden opportunities
- Develop our confidence and decision-making skills
- Learn new lessons from our mistakes and successes
- Begin to overcome fear of failure
So when you are faced with risk-taking situations, ask yourself the type of questions that will guide you to appropriate action:
- What are the benefits of taking this on?
- What is the worst-case scenario of taking this on?
- If I ignore this opportunity, what will that inaction cost me one month/year from now?
- Where is my fear of failure stopping me from pursuing this; am I overestimating the risk, underestimating my ability or focusing on an exaggerated worst outcome?
Don’t shy away from taking risks; they are an essential element in creating the success you want in your life. Providing they are calculated and not ‘risks for risk’s sake’, they are likely to serve you well and move you towards achieving your goals.
Embrace the risks & live blissfully,