When was the last time you put yourself in a situation where you could fail? I don’t mean playing a game of tennis or playing a fun game of poker online. I’m talking about a potential failure with actual consequences.
Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not interested in risk, that you like to “play it safe,” that you don’t want to “rock the boat.” Yes, you have heard the self-help advice about the importance of risk-taking. You’ve read some of the books, even listened to a guru or two. None of that has changed your mind. Risk isn’t for you.
Stop for a moment and think about times in the past that you tried something new, when you moved out of your comfort zone, or when you set some stretch goals. What happened? Did you succeed or fail? Was it worth it?
Perhaps you were accepted at the college or program that you felt was above your academic potential. Or you went camping with friends who were more experienced in the outdoors than you were. Or, on impulse, you agreed to a road trip with your sisters.
In the end, you may have decided you really wanted to go to a different college, or you hated camping, or you and your sisters couldn’t agree on anything. Or perhaps they were wonderful experiences. Either way, you learned something about yourself. You gained some insight.
Insight and growth are the basis for risk taking. They are why no job interview is ever wasted, or why it is generally positive to apply for that open position above yours, or to volunteer to be the team or project leader. You won’t always be chosen, hired, or successful, but you will grow professionally and personally. Each time you stretch or risk failure, you become more experienced and more self-aware.This serves you well not only in the business world, but in many areas of your life.