In order to achieve anything significant, we have to take risks. We must leave areas that are comfortable and launch into the deep. Taking risks can be very costly. The fiscal, emotional, and social costs of risks often cause us to avoid them. But the potential pay off of risk-taking can be worth the cost. Here are five things I’m continuing to learn about risk-taking.
1. No one can take risks for me.
Sometimes when my friends and I wanted to do something risky as children, the person who came up with the idea would say, “You go first.” The person wanted someone to take the risk first to see if it was safe. If it is my idea, it is my risk to take. I can’t depend on others to jump in the ocean for me. The responsibility of the vision lies in the hands of the visionary. I must remember, no one can take risks for me. My risks are mine to take.
2. The failure of others isn’t a barometer of my success.
When we share our dreams with others, people will be quick to compare us to others who experienced failure or success in a similar venture. How much of it really matters? Just because someone failed doing something I desire to do, doesn’t mean I will fail. Likewise, just because someone is successful doesn’t mean I will be successful. At the end of the day, I have to take the risk regardless of another person’s experience. Yes, I can learn from their experience, but I can’t make a decision solely based on it.
3. I’ve learned to make peace with failure.
Taking risks mean that I may fail. I can’t be afraid to try something new out of fear of failure. At least I will be able to say that I gave it a try. Sometimes, it’s better to try and fail than spend the rest of your life wondering if something will work. Failure is often the launching pad to greatness. Failure sends us back to the drawing board. Very rarely is some thing great discovered on the first effort.
4. I can’t take credit for a risk someone else made.
Very often, when someone has to courage to do what we are afraid to try, we attempt to take some of the glory. We say things such as, “To be honest, I thought of that first!” Here is a popular one! “I could have done it, but didn’t sense God was leading me.” If God wasn’t leading us to do it, why are we even bringing it up? Let’s be honest. We hope to appear significant even though we didn’t have the courage to try. I can’t take the credit for a risk I wasn’t willing to take.
5. I must take risks with grace.
Everyone one will not co-sign on our risky ventures. It’s so easy to label non-cosigners as “haters” or “unsupportive.” Sometimes, people genuinely care about us and don’t want to see us experience harm. Other times, people don’t understand or agree. I must be understanding when others don’t understand me. In the same way it took me time to accept the vision and venture of others, it will take time for others to accept mine. Some people need to see a vision come to fruition before believing in it. In the meantime, I may be the only one that sees my vision. That’s OK. God gave the vision to me, not them. I must show grace to others in the same way God shows grace to me.
Question: What are some things you have learned or continue to find challenging as it pertains to taking risks? You can leave a comment by clicking here.