Foiling your fear of risk.

Author:Thompson, Andy
Position::Business & Finance

"The process of understanding your fears, taking calculated risks, and achieving the success or parlaying the failure into something positive is a far more rewarding journey than a life lived without any risk-taking, regardless of the outcome."

All of us have fears--especially when it comes to taking risks in our professional and personal lives. In fact, it has been said that 'fear' stands for 'forget everything and run," which is a logical reaction given that, by definition, risk is "the possibility of suffering harm or loss," and involves "uncertain danger." However, amid the vast upside possibilities, I prefer to reject the negative connotations associated with risk and the debilitating aversion to learning the hard way." People actually team best by feeling the result of their actions, whether that result is positive or negative. Indeed, our most powerful knowledge base comes from taking small and large risks in life, and experiencing the consequences--the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So many understandably are fearful of getting out of their comfort zone and taking those barrier-busting leaps of faith. However, for me, the word "risk" evokes a sense of excitement, of limitless possibility. It reminds me of the notion to "go out on a limb, because that is where the fruit is." Risk is the preeminent propelling force that helps companies and individuals alike accelerate and achieve key success benchmarks.

* Define and debunk your fears. Acting upon something with an unknown result can be an uneasy feeling, especially if something of value is at stake, but what exactly are you afraid of--the amount of work involved for you; the potential financial loss if it does not work out; the possibility of being perceived as a failure? Start by defining your fears with specificity, either in your mind or, better yet, by writing them down.

During this process, be sure you conceive what you believe to be the worst case scenario and the probability of that coming to fruition. Once all of your fears are itemized, for each and every one detail how you would move past it if it were to materialize. Determining the likelihood of each feared event and how each would be dealt with can give you an invigorating sense of reassurance.

* Embrace fear. Many people are deterred from taking risks because of the fear of failure, disappointment, and others' perception of the failure. However, while failure is not something that anyone wants to experience, it...

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