To be encouraged to take risks sounds absurd, right? Why would you want to put yourself out there with the potential to get hurt? While instead, you can play it safe and stay within your comfort zone. Despite initial misconceptions, the importance of taking risks is evident in helping you grow and progress.
The benefits of taking risks include:
- learning from your mistakes
- standing out from the crowd
- a starting point for you to pursue goals or ambitions
- helping you feel alive and empowered
- enabling you to be creative and think outside of the box
- forcing you to take initiative
- learning about yourself and your boundaries
Taking risks is an immensely important and valuable action. They are indispensable to mental and physical well-being, career and academic advancements, relationship development, as well as overall levels of life satisfaction.
Taking risks forces you to get out of your comfort zone and become entrenched in new and rewarding experiences. It is these novel situations that allow you to adapt and grow.
If you are still skeptical about the importance of taking risks, then keep reading more about the 7 reasons below to help convince you otherwise.
1. Risk Taking Can Lead To Learning Through Mistakes
Taking risks forces you to enter an unchartered territory. An unchartered territory without a how-to-guide on how you should approach the situation you embarked on.
Indeed, a major importance of taking risks is the ability for you to learn from the potential mistakes you will make. Whenever you take a risk, you are stepping out of your comfort zone. As you are unfamiliar with your surroundings, there is often a chance you will make some mistakes when doing so.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, making mistakes actually helps you learn and grow. Indeed, although mistakes can be a costly and stressful setback, they help you become better equipped to handle stress in the future.
Additionally, mistakes help you foster more creativity, as they encourage you to come up with unique solutions to the situation at hand. Mistakes also help you revisit what you did wrong in order to rectify it for the future.
Take some time to reflect on the risk you took and what went wrong. As a result, you will undoubtedly be able to foresee this pitfall in the future and will avert it more rapidly.
2. Taking Risks Makes You Stand Out From The Crowd
The importance of taking risks does not only lie in the potential outcome that risks can elicit, but also in how the action makes you look.
Risks are a way to differentiate yourself from others. For example, you can do this by showing your leadership, willingness to step up, your confidence, as well as your uniqueness.
Indeed, in situations where no one else is volunteering to step up to the plate and take a risk, it can be very worthwhile for you to be the person who eagerly raises your hand. This is especially important if done in a competitive setting, such as in academics or your employment.
Your boss, professor, or a potential client, will undoubtedly remember you as the individual who was willing to take a risk while others remained silent. As a result, you will be remembered for taking the initiative, regardless of whether or not you succeeded.
3. Risks Are A Starting Point For Pursuing Goals Or Ambitions
Success is not something that happens overnight. Rather, it consists of a series of risks that align with your overall goals and ambitions.
Individuals who are successful do not just become so instantly. Indeed, they plan extensively and make calculated decisions in order to get themselves to where they want to be.
However, a huge part of that stepping ladder is concerned with taking risks. These risks do not necessarily have to be massive gestures.
For example, you do not need to quit your day job because someone tells you that you would make a great stand-up comedian. Instead, risks can take the form of smaller, day-to-day decisions and actions which are outside of your comfort zone.
For instance, if you considered becoming a stand-up comedian but work a 9-5 job, perhaps you should think about signing up for an open mic night at your local comedy club. If that step fills you with anxiety, then perhaps try performing in front of a trusted group of your closest family and friends.
If that risk also fills you with dread, then start practice in front of your dog or the mirror. As such, whatever your risk may be, the most important thing is that you go through with it.
Undertaking the initial risk is like riding a bicycle, it gets much easier the second time around. Over time, as you hop from one risk to another along your stepping stones to success, you will notice that your risks will begin to increase exponentially. Next thing you know, you will be recording your own comedy special.
4. Risks Help You Feel Alive
It sounds like a cliché, but risks are a great way to feel like you are alive. Do you go through the motions of your day while being on autopilot?
Do you make your morning coffee, get in your car, drive to work, sit at your desk, complete the tasks you have been assigned, only to go home, cook dinner and then fall asleep in your bed?
Although this might be an exaggeration, many aspects of your day are part of an ongoing routine. The steps are ingrained in your mind and body to such an extent that you can perform them without thinking.
As such, the importance of taking risks can be evident as they give you a chance to step outside of your prescribed and mundane routines. They are a way to embark on a new adventure and veer off from your regular course, even if it is only temporary.
This ability to mix things up is incredibly important for your mental well-being, and it is a key ingredient in making you feel human and feel alive. Being human is not about leading a life of monotony, but rather, it is about experiencing everything and anything that you possibly can.
Risks help you experience things that are new, exciting, which help to keep you positive, motivated and entertained.
5. Taking Risks Help You Think Outside Of The Box
Taking a risk enables you to embark on a journey that is outside your norm. Through this journey, risks help to break down your existing expectations, opinions and beliefs.
Indeed, risks put you in a new situation where you are forced to adapt and change your ways. Through this process of adaption, you will have to get creative and think outside of the box.
The most acute example of this is when you are traveling. Imagine that you are traveling in a beautiful, exotic destination that you are not familiar with. A place where you do not know anyone, and you also don’t speak the language.
One day, rather than going to a popular tourist destination, you decide to make a detour and explore novel areas. However, through your exploration, you end up getting lost.
Since you decided to take a risk and go somewhere new, you now have to think outside of the box to figure out how to get back to where you are staying.
Do you try to speak the local language and use your hands to gesture your points? Do you try to rely on your phone? Maybe you take public transit? In this example, since you took a risk, you now have to get creative around your solution. As such, over time, continually taking risks will help you improve your creativity and ingenuity.
When you put yourself in an uncomfortable position, you are on edge, and you are forced to take action. Forced to think up solutions that you otherwise would. The importance of taking risks is evident in the out of the box solutions you come up with when you are taken outside of your comfort zone.
6. Risks Allow You To Take The Plunge
When you go through our daily routine, it is often difficult to ignite a spark of inspiration. However, these “aha” moments are key. They might help you kick start a business, pursue your dreams or passions, consider areas of your life you would like to improve or set off a catalyst of motivation.
The importance of taking risks lies in the ability for you to generate these moments of inspiration and clarity. Indeed, T. S Elliot once said that “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go,” and he was absolutely right.
Risks help you get started on something that you may have always wanted to pursue. Oftentimes, you have ideas for certain changes in your life, but you do not take the plunge.
You might blame this hesitation on family responsibilities, work stress, or potentially a lack of time, finances, or energy. Risks help you push through the doubts and get the ball rolling.
Once you have decided to start something that you have wanted to tackle for a long time, the sky is the limit. The hardest part is always taking action and getting started. Taking risks help you by dive right in.
7. Taking Risks Teach You About Yourself
The importance of taking risks is not only centered around the outcome but also on what it can teach you about yourself.
Risks can help you more clearly assess how you handled a certain situation, which ultimately helps you learn about yourself.
Did you panic when you took the risk? Or were you confident and excited? Did you think ahead to the future and plan?
These are all important considerations when assessing your own reaction to a risk. Once you determine how you behaved in a situation, you can use that as a learning opportunity for future risk taking.
Despite the initial negative connotation that is associated with taking risks in society, they are a fundamental stepping-stone to improved mental, physical and emotional well-being.
So what are you waiting for? Now you know the importance of taking risks, get out there, and take a risk today.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count