Why Risk It?

Gut wrenching fear. Sweaty palms. Blood rushing. Hyperventilating.

The above could be describing your response to hearing the unmistakable rattle of a diamondback. Even if you are fairly comfortable around snakes, your body will have a fear response. We are wired that way as a survival mechanism. Your body is raising a red flag, saying “DANGER, proceed with caution.”

Some people are more afraid of snakes than others. My mom is TERRIFIED of them. As in, put our house up for sale because there was one in the yard level of terrified. I’ll never forget the time we were at a dog park, just hanging out and watching the pups play. Before I could figure out what was happening she LEAPT off the rock she was perched on, yelling SNAKE but leaving me to fend for myself. I didn’t know where it was, what kind it was, anything like that. It turns out it was just a little garter snake, which didn’t quite make it out of the incident as harm-free as my mom did.

I STILL tease her about leaving her only daughter to fend for herself, and this happened years ago.

I don’t really blame her though, humans are inherently wired to avoid risk. Why go anywhere near the venomous snake, when it could mean the end of our life?

That’s why your stomach turns, you literally start having a physical response to a fearful situation, such as risk. 

Now let’s say that instead of walking along and hearing the warning from a snake, you are working toward a goal. I’ll let you in on a little secret – there will ALWAYS be situations that trigger your fear response on the path to greatness. Here are some examples of common fears:

  • Public speaking
  • Asking for a raise
  • Negotiating your salary
  • Furthering education

Probably the absolute most common fear, however, is trying new things.

If you fear any of the above, congratulations, you are human! What do you do in one of these situations?

IF you want to grow, IF you want to surpass your expectation of yourself, you have to take risks. It will be uncomfortable, you will likely have a physical response to the fear associated with a risk, but you take risks anyway.

Let’s take a look at those common fears, and what could happen if you are in those situations:

  • Public speaking
    • You could misspeak.
  • Asking for a raise
    • You could be denied that raise.
  • Negotiating your salary
    • The original offer could stand.
  • Furthering education
    • You could struggle with the coursework.

NOW, let’s look at what COULD happen:

  • Public speaking
    • You could become a respected leader in your field, enrich the minds of your audience, captivate the listeners, and gain confidence.
  • Asking for a raise
    • You could be financially rewarded for the superb work you have been doing, and respected for knowing your worth.
  • Negotiating your salary
    • You could be fairly compensated for the experience and skills you bring to the team.
  • Furthering education
    • You could have the qualifications on paper that perhaps you have already built through experience. Or learn to think in a brand new way.

So what do YOU think, is the risk worth the possible benefit?

When I bought my first house, I’m fairly certain my parents were terrified. I was buying it alone, and it was at the top of my budget. Looking back, the neighborhood really wasn’t great. The house itself needed a lot of work, no one had touched it since the builder in the eighties. Nothing beats the fact there was a raccoon in the attic before I bought it, which scared the inspector half to death. Okay, the insect exterminator telling me I had a ”spider farm” in my basement comes in a close second. 

Now I’m not saying you should run out and buy every raccoon inhabited, spider infested house you can find. I was fortunate that the investment paid off, the raccoon was removed, and my financial risk was in fact rewarded. That became my first rental property, setting up residual income for my future.

To move forward in your career, in your finances, in your relationships, you will have to take risks. Not every single risk will pay off, but the alternative is leaving your dreams as merely that, dreams. 

So, the question remains, what are you willing to risk to live your dream?



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1 thought on “Why Risk It?

  1. “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Elizabeth Appell

    I just came across this quote and thought I should leave it here. 🙂

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