Many of us plan, schedule months in advance, and try to fit the future into a neat little agenda that can be easily predicted and expected. We try to stay as comfortable as possible because that’s what is safe. As much as we try to plan our lives, things almost never turn out the way we expect them to. Being willing to expect the unexpected and to take risks is one of the many ways we can ultimately take back our power and reach real success.
“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” ~
Many of life’s most wonderous moments occur when you take risks. How else would we find love, achieve our goals, or grow our businesses? The comfort zone is a great place for resting, but nothing ever grows there. Truly living means stepping out into the unknown, ready for anything— despite all the “what ifs” you can imagine: “What if others think I’m a fool? What if I lose all the money I invested? What if I get rejected? What if I fail?”
What if the experience of having taken the risk is more important than the outcome of it?
Failure does not define you. In fact, it is a crucial stepping stone to success. Risks that end in failure lead to experience. Experience builds character and resilience. The more you fail, the more you have to get back up again, and the more persistent you become when facing adversity. Failure is part of the grand plan to reach your own version of greatness.
Here’s some tips to overcome the fear of uncertainty:
- Stop exaggerating negative outcomes. We tend to magnify the riskiness of certain moves and underestimate the positive opportunities of others. Pro and con lists are incredibly helpful, and can give us insight on real outcomes of decisions.
- Take intelligent risks. Do your research. It might be helpful to build boundaries or conditions for each risky decision to make sure you’re making a smart choice.
- Know that it’s okay to fail. Make a plan on how to handle loss. Being mentally prepared enables you to make positive risk-taking decisions without as much fear of the unexpected—which is usually the most difficult part of taking a risk.
Risk does not mean succeeding every time, and that is part of growth. Taking a risk to achieve a goal requires courage and strength to face the fear of the unknown. No matter the outcome, we grow through the process and become more resilient and confident. Building those skills helps in taking more risks and improves the chances of achieving future goals. Success is not linear. Give yourself permission to take risks, build character, and fail.