Risk is risky. Going out on a limb is risky. Taking a risk is by its very nature something that you should avoid. There’s the possibility of something bad happening. That’s what makes it a risk. That bad thing is usually some sort of loss – loss of money, of reputation, of a job, a romance, even your health or your life. The more you have to lose, the greater the risk. Risk is all about loss, by its very definition.
If only good things came from taking a risk, it wouldn’t be a risk, would it? So, if there’s so much bad, so much potential loss, associated with risk, why does anyone ever dare take one? Because mastering risk is what brings out the best in you.
Sitting and waiting for good things to come to you is rarely a successful strategy. Watching Life from the sidelines is a risk, itself, in that you risk missing out on a greater, deeper, more fulfilling life. Life requires effort and sometimes that effort has to take you out of your comfort zone. That doesn’t mean you should rush into something without being fully informed and fully prepared to conquer the risk.
Contemplating a risk can pay off even if you don’t decide to take it, because it requires you to take stock of your situation, your abilities, your resources, and to confront your fears. Is what you are trying for worth the risk of what you could lose? Are there other people who might be harmed by your taking this risk? Is it worth the risk to them? Are you ready to accept the consequences of failure and able to recover should the risk not pay off?
Accepting risk is not about the importance of getting what you strive for, but about knowing who you are. Blindly rushing into risk is foolish, but taking a risk as an opportunity to know yourself better, to maximize your potential, to stretch your life beyond the boundaries set by your fears, that is the true reward. It’s not what you do in taking a risk that brings the truest sense of success. It’s what you know and are willing to expand and improve about yourself in taking on the risk that is the genuine success.
Going out on a limb can reap the fruits of your labors, but the real harvest is what grows within your heart and spirit when you push past your fears and try to reach your fullest potential.