Non-Scary, Risk Taking
– by Coach Colle Davis
There is an old saying, “The bigger the risk, the bigger the rewards.” This statement carries some implied acceptance that one is actually willing to take risks. What is not said is that taking risks of any size that don’t work, will still give you experience that you can use later. You always achieve an outcome, it simply may not be the one you wanted.
Whenever you take a BIG risk there are several possible outcomes.
- The most desirable outcome for taking a BIG RISK usually involves an expectation of BIG REWARDS. This process is sometimes referred to as the cocaine effect. You get high in the process (behavior that involves risk) and you get even higher when you score, achieving your desired outcome. See the connection? No wonder success is so addicting.
- A second outcome is that you don’t quite, but almost achieve your desired outcome. The feeling is incomplete and a bit hollow. The reward was not up to your expectations. However, you learned about how the process works. After all that work and all that appeared was THE BIG LESSON and not the BIG REWARD. Yet, there it sits, in our heads, waiting for its next big opportunity to practice what we’ve learned.
- The third outcome is total failure, or near total failure. “S***, well that didn’t work. Ugh.” What did you learn from the experience? It’s clear that you learned at least one thing and that is the outcome didn’t happen the way you wanted. THAT’S ALL YOU LEARNED. Yes, you may have lost money, time, and a dent in your reputation but you are not a failure. The process failed to achieve your outcome, you did not fail if you learned a lesson in the process, and you achieved an outcome even if it was not what you expected. You’re still alive and you have another chance to find some other ways that actually will work to achieve that desired outcome.
For those of you who have ever been involved in a sport, you are aware that your body and mind need some training for you to become competent at the game. Practice and discipline are both required to ‘master’ the sport so you can actually compete. Did you ever fail in the practice sessions? Yes. Many times. Do you get better? Yes. Much better. Did you take it personally? Well, sometimes. Do you get better faster if you took the failures personally? NO. You sulked, get mad maybe even quit. No risk, no rewards. You can use this same structure now in the game of life.
You have to take some risks to get ahead to become a raging success. What level of risk are you willing to risk? Small. Medium or MASSIVE?
How can you learn to become more effective at judging which risks have a better chance of succeeding? Practice. Begin by taking small risks to get used to the shaky feeling of risk taking. Take a different route to work. Wear your watch on the other wrist for a week. Start shaving from the other side of your body. Say ‘hello’ to a stranger. Return a phone call or email to someone who is irritated with you. Practice.
Stop taking this whole ‘risk thing’ personally. It’s just the business of success. You can win and be rewarded, BUT you have to play the game. If you accept your own limitations, your growth will stop. By doing small slightly uncomfortable behaviors, you will learn to understand that the feelings of fear and anticipation are VERY close to the same feeling. Only by practicing the behaviors will you be able to recognize their differences.
Never ask anyone to change, anything. People who work with me are so relieved to hear this, because the one thing people fear and dislike above everything else, is change. What I ask them to do, is to continue to do what they are currently doing, slightly differently to see how it impacts their expected outcomes. Oddly enough, everyone I have ever dealt with is willing continue to do what they have been doing, SLIGHTLY DIFFERENTLY and notice the ‘changes’ in their outcomes. They are not being silly, and the request is not a semantics play, they can hear what I’m saying and it does not appear to be RISKY to them. ‘Same-o same-o’ is so easy, no problem, I can do that.
Here’s the best part: They begin to see immediately that the results they are getting are different and they adjust their behavior slightly a little more and pretty soon they have moved away from their old behavior and are enjoying much greater success with no, I repeat, no scary risk taking on their part.
You say, “It can’t be that easy.”
Okay, make whatever you’re doing hard, do IT whatever way you want, as long as you DO SOME BEHAVIOR, DIFFERENTLY. Any behavior done differently will condition you to taking those risks with little or no scariness, maybe all you’re feeling is only some exciting anticipation.
By doing anything differently than you are currently doing it, you will achieve different results. Guaranteed.
If you want some more suggestions on how to reap bigger rewards, contact me. Or if you really want to increase the size of your rewards quickly, hire me as you coach.