Everyone has to take risks at some point in their life. Even if you’re not on the brink of a really risky move right now, you’ve probably already had to take some risks to get where you are today.
Depending on your personality, taking risks might feel approachable, or it might feel incredibly frightening. The thing is, most successes and triumphs rarely come our way without some element of risk involved. It’s really when we put things out on the line that some of our greatest joys (and learning opportunities)
So how can you approach risks with boldness? How can you step into the unknown without shrinking back? We’ve put together a few ideas for you to consider as you approach your next big risk.
1. Think positively instead of negatively
When taking risks, it can be easy to jump all the way to the worst possible scenario right away instead of dwelling on the idea that your risk might actually turn out in your favor. Negativity bias can be one of the greatest hindrances for a person about to make a big decision or take a big risk because it causes you to focus on and exaggerate the riskiness of the risk itself. Instead of just focusing on what might go wrong, try to zoom out and look at the risk from a more holistic perspective. Risk is a constant in life, and it will serve you well to consider what risks are worth taking, what will impact your joy in life, and what could pay off more in the long run?
2. Grow your self-efficacy
According to the American Psychological Association, the definition of self-efficacy is “an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments.” This means that the more you try things and take risks, the greater your confidence will be that you might succeed at a specific task.
As you make decisions and conduct experiments, you’ll continually get better and better at making them. Your confidence will grow the more you practice taking risks because you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t work. The measure of your self-efficacy will definitely impact the way you approach goals, tasks, and other challenges.
3. Practice wisdom and discernment
Growing in wisdom and discernment is no easy task, but there are some things you can do to keep moving in that direction. First of all, you should always pray about the risk and decision you’re going to make. The Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5) God cares about you, and He will help direct your way. Discernment is tied to spiritual maturity, and the closer you draw near to the Lord, the more it will become clear which way you should go.
Don’t be afraid to also consult with those closest to you and see what they think about your decision. Now, you have to be careful with asking everyone in your life about what you should do because you might start getting overwhelmed with all the opinions. Only consult your close circle of friends and family who you consider to approach life wisely themselves.
4. Failing is okay
Remember that even if the outcome of your risk doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, you’re still getting an opportunity to learn something. By failing, you immediately find out what didn’t work and what you could potentially do differently the next time in order to succeed. Know that failure is inevitable in life (just like risks) and try to do a little mental preparation for how you might grieve your losses and then get up and back on the horse the next time failure comes your way.
5. Just go for it
It can be easy to analyze a decision into the ground, but sometimes you just need to go for it. Sometimes taking risks involves learning or trying something new on the fly, and the chances are good that you’re going to grow exponentially in your ability to be resourceful if you’re having to do something hard for a season.
If you’ve gone through all the steps above, it might be time to trust your gut and get on with it!