In our latest Podcast, we spoke with Dr. Jason Karp, author of The Inner Runner. During our conversation, one of the topics that we spoke about in detail was the importance of taking risks. When trying to achieve a goal, we all face that pivotal point in which we need to make a decision to do something that is outside of our comfort zone and 'go for it' or continue to stay comfortable. The most successful people in business, sports, and life all have decided that taking the risk was worth the gamble, as they cannot achieve their goals by continuing to act in ways that detracted them from their goal.
So, if something is stopping you from taking a risk, here are three reasons why 'going for it' is worth it:
Nothing Great Can be Achieved by Being Comfortable
One of the things that high achievers understand is that doing the same thing that everyone else is doing is not good enough for them. They are willing to take a chance and put their mind and body in an uncomfortable space in order to achieve their goals. It may be something simple as saying no to someone, or something complicated like trying a type of training that they have not done before. Whatever the case may be, pushing themselves outside of that comfort zone is a risk that they are willing to take.
If you have a goal, more than likely you are going to have to do something that you have not done previously. That introduction to a new stimulus is taking a risk. When Roy Williams was the Assistant Coach at UNC, one of the players on the team was a Freshman named Michael Jordan. Williams spoke to Jordan and told him that if he was going to be successful, that he was going to have to 'work harder and do more than anyone else on the team was doing.' Jordan's response was that he was 'doing the same thing that everyone else was doing' Williams then asked him, 'do you want to be like everyone else?' In essence, this is someone telling Jordan that being comfortable is not good enough.
Take a risk and be uncomfortable, it will be worth it. Just look at how it worked out for Jordan.
Taking a Risk Involves Becoming More Self-Aware
Being self-aware is vital to anyone's success in anything. The more you know not just about yourself, but how you react to certain environments and situations - the more you increase your chances of becoming successful. Knowing who you are [having self-awareness] is vital to taking risks. The more you understand your reactions, the more you will understand what is stopping you from taking a chance that will lead to furthering your success.
Lets use baseball as an example. When a player with low self-awareness is up to bat and they swing and miss, more than likely they will become frustrated. That frustration leads to tension, poor self-talk, and bad mechanics. However, someone with a heightened level of self-awareness will understand the physical and emotional sensations that correspond with their levels of tension. They then go to their routine which involves observation, proper breathing, and moving on to the next pitch with focus and relaxation. Hence, doing something uncomfortable, which is going against their emotions, and doing the right thing so their body can be in an ample space to succeed.
The next time that you are in a situation in which you need to make a risk decision, pay attention to how your body is reacting. Step back, take a breath, and take a chance. Even if the result is not what you want, at least you went through the process of doing something different. Then do it again.
Don't Live your Life Full of Regrets Because You Didn't Take a Chance
Let's admit it, we all regret something in our lives because we did not take a chance. If we would have said something or done something out of our comfort zone, we each may be living totally different lives. So why live a life like that? This does not mean you need to go and take risks that involve you putting your body like doing drugs or putting your life at risk. More so it means that [again] going out of your comfort zone and taking a risk will relive your anxiety later on by not having to ask yourself, 'how may my life have been different if I would have taken a risk and done that?'
Live your life the way that you want, not dictated by others, but by having an awareness of yourself, being uncomfortable, and taking a risk that you would not normally take. Something as simple as pushing the pace in a local 5k, or speaking up in a meeting maybe something that changes your entire life, increasing your self confidence, and making you a stronger person.
Taking a risk is worth it. Don't settle for being uncomfortable. Take a chance and see what happens.