Today I led a group discussion on the topic of risk taking. The only guidance I was given in leading the discussion was to ask each participant to tell me why she had chosen this particular topic (the attendees could choose from 7 different topics). As we went around the table, each woman talked about wanting to take more risks but being afraid to do so. Some talked about taking risks when they were younger but since they had gotten older, gotten married, and had children, they were much more risk averse.
When we talked about why they didn’t want to take risks, they said that they were afraid of making a mistake or of failing. That is was easier to stay in their comfort zone rather than to possibly take the risk and succeed. The fear of failure was that great! So I asked them to name a time when they took a risk and it worked out well. And each one of them came up with a great example! I told them that they were risk takers and they didn’t even know it! I think just realizing that they had been successful in taking a risk helped to open their minds to the possibility of taking more risks!
We also talked about thinking about the things that could go wrong if they took a risk and coming up with the mitigating factors or a “Plan B”. If you’ve really planned out what could go wrong and figured out what you’d do, it makes it much easier to take a risk. We also talked about not needing to be perfect but that just stepping out, one small step at a time toward their goal, was the best way to experience progress. As one of my favorite business strategist Marie Forleo says “Progress, Not Perfection!”
At the end of our time together, I shared this article from Bruce Van Horn’s website – I think you’ll enjoy it!