Monday, 4 January 2010

Achieving Success - Are You Risk Averse?

Many people sabotage their chances of achieving success by being risk averse.

When we are young we tend to be much more adventurous. Often this is because we don't appreciate the risk associated with our actions. For instance, one evening I saw a father walking along with his two young daughters. It had snowed recently and along the pavement the snow had partially melted making the pavement slippery – much to the delight of the young girl. She was running along and gleefully skidding along the slippery snow quite oblivious to the possibility that she might fall.

Her father, however, was none too pleased. He yelled at her and told her stop upon which her exuberance vanished. To be fair her father, laden with heavy shopping looked weary and you can imagine that the last thing he wanted was for his daughter to fall and get herself all wet and dirty and possibly hurt herself.

You can probably remember similar occasions yourself where you were having fun and an adult yelled at you to stop and literally put a damper on your spirits. Now, don't get me wrong, the risk to the little girl was very real. I usually walk very briskly but I had reduced my stride to small, cautious steps especially after almost falling backwards at one point when the grip I was expecting as I stepped was severely lacking. However, it takes a skilful communicator to be able to alert someone of potential danger without destroying their sense of adventure.

And what happens is that after several such incidences a child may find that when it comes to other situations where physical danger may not even be an issue, they seem incapable of taking a risk. And without positive intervention they may go through life being ultra-cautious and, as a consequence, achieving nothing of any real significance because they are afraid of taking a risk.

For instance, you may be in a job that you hate yet you don't even look for other opportunities far less apply for them. With every successive year that goes by it becomes more and more difficult to prise yourself from your position. What's more, because you're not in a position for which you are ideally suited then you're not as enthusiastic about your work and your performance is sub-par.

And, because you're afraid to take a risk and move onto to something more fulfilling, you remain in your present role even though deep inside you actually fear being replaced or simply being made redundant.

Hopefully, this example does not apply to you but I'd be willing to bet that you know of someone to whom this does apply because, sadly, this is not an infrequent occurrence.

And even, if this particular situation doesn't pertain to you, I'm also willing to bet that there is an area in your life where you are risk averse, where you are not playing out full. In fact, you may be holding back from getting into the game at all. You may be sitting on the bench watching the other players in action all because you're afraid of taking a fall or perhaps getting hurt.

There will always be risks in life. However, to be too risk averse will mean that you will reduce your chances of enjoying many of the rich rewards that life has to offer.

"The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live."
Leo F. Buscaglia

To download a FREE Risk Report that will help you overcome obstacles standing in the way of you taking the risks you need to achieve the level of success you desire in life please click the link below:

Risk Report