Visualize right now that you are a risk taker. Imagine that all of your fears have vanished, and there is nothing and no one to hold you back from doing the things that you have always wanted to do. What would your life be like? Would you be a successful businessman or businesswoman? Would you be living in another country? Or would you be a doctor instead of what you are doing now? Just let your imagination free.
In my last post, I talked about the importance of investing in yourself and your future. I am convinced that those people who understand the importance of being in the state of continuous learning, are going to be the ones that can attract the most success in life. The approach is extremely simple. You learn something new, and then you apply it. You learn another thing, and you apply that as well. But unfortunately, most people stop actively learning the day when they don’t have to anymore – after their graduation.
Nevertheless, after having written that post, I suddenly realized that not investing in yourself isn’t even the biggest problem – not applying the learned knowledge is!
Student vs risk taker
Some people are amazing students. They love theory, tests, and they are the ones to become straight-A achievers. And while this is admirable and even beneficial in certain fields of life, such as science or philosophy, this is not what will make you successful in other fields, such as business.
As a matter of fact, while some people would prefer not to study anything, others are addicted to information! They feel great about consuming as much of it as possible, but have a really difficult time putting that information into practice. I used to be the exact same way. I watched hundreds of lectures, read so many books, and I just couldn’t stop. I felt like there is always room to learn more. There was an illusion present that once I learn enough, I will be ready to take action and I will make no mistakes. Oh, how wrong I was…
Some of the most successful people in this world ended their studies ahead of time. They realized that they were spending too much time on theory, and as a result, used their potential to the fullest outside of educational institutions. Richard Branson, Quentin Tarantino, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are a few of the famous examples.
Nevertheless, as soon as I took my first steps into the business world, I instantly began to make mistakes. I felt pretty horrible about it, but it became very clear to me that practice is incomparable to theory. Practice always beats theory, even if you make a thousand mistakes along the way. It is what creates real experiences and real-life wisdom. Theory, on the other hand, makes you smarter. If you belong to the small group of people that can combine theory and practice in the most beneficial way, then I envy you. In a good way, of course.
Fear of failing
There are many reasons why people live the lives that they live, even if they don’t like it. But the single biggest fear that we all have is the fear of failure.
Fear of failure is what prevents us from changing our major in university, finding a new job, starting a business, and even letting go of a relationship that clearly no longer works. Who can guarantee us that our new major, job, business or partner will be better? That’s right – no one! But that’s what makes life at the same time so amazing and scary, the fact that no one can tell us what tomorrow will be like.
Regardless of what fears you have, one thing is always going to be for sure: if you don’t become a risk taker, you will not live the life of your dreams. As Wayne Gretzky once said:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Please don’t get me wrong here. You can live a decent life without leaving the comfort zone. There are people that already love what they do. But these people never visit my blog. The ones that do come here, are usually the ones looking for change and more fulfillment in life.
When you look at some of the most successful people in the world, you cannot help thinking how much stress and work they must be going through on a daily basis. Yet, so many of them love their lifestyle. As a matter of fact, they say that it is the amount of work, the fact they are risk takers, and that they constantly have new goals to pursue, is what makes them fulfilled. It is fulfillment that they talk about so much, not pure happiness. Happiness on its own is a rather vague term. It is more of an outcome of doing things that fulfill you in life.
Don’t be afraid of failing. Failing is just a natural part of the game that allows us to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid of those that may look down on you when you do decide to reach for your dreams. There will be plenty of such people. Being a risk taker isn’t easy and most are too scared to live that way, which is why they will make your achievements look insignificant and failures as if impossible to overcome.
Risk taking is a lifestyle
If you are a perfectionist and you have the fear of things going wrong because something is “unfinished”, then start small. You don’t need to quit your job and to leave everything behind in order to become a risk taker. No, you can play it safe. In fact, I encourage you to be smart about your decisions and to do things gradually. Do what you can and what you need to at first. When that has been completed and overcome, make a bigger step.
Risk taking is something you can get used to, just like we get used to everything else in this world. The more difficult decisions you make that take you closer to your dreams, the more accustomed to it you become. In psychology, this is referred to as desensitization. It’s simply the act of repeating something over and over, until you lose your emotional responsiveness towards it. In this case, a fearful emotional responsiveness.
If you start today doing the things that you have always feared to do, you will be surprised by how much you can change in a year.
Make risk taking your lifestyle. Don’t be discouraged by things when they go wrong. Just shift your strategy a bit and keep going. Also, get help from people that have already gone through the path that you want to take. Learn from them, but don’t forget to apply what they teach. Theory is wonderful and all, but taking action is better!
Hopefully, this was of benefit to you. If you have something to add, feel free to do so in the comment section below.
Thank you for stopping by and good luck!