The Benefits of Risk-Taking

in Risk

Our risk preferences can change over time. As we pass into adulthood, experience quickly teaches us that we are less invincible and more mortal than we had previously believed. For many of us, as we age, reckless and impulsive risk-taking behavior becomes less desirable or appealing. Yet for others, they never seem to outgrow their thrill-seeking personalities.

So, keep in mind that when you ask someone their opinion about whether a risk is worth taking or not, that a calculated risk to one person will not be the same as a calculated risk to another. What makes a risk worth taking will vary by person and by circumstance, often based on what is perceived to be at stake and its likelihood of occurrence. Not all risk is created equal.

Our risk preferences are unique to each of us. There is no right or wrong way to be, though some will insist that one way is better than the other and vice versa. In the end, we all have to live with our own decisions, so we should make our own assessments about what makes sense to us.

For those of us that avoid risk, we probably tend to focus more on the potential downside than the potential upside. Yet, just because risk has its downside doesn't mean it should always be avoided at all costs either. Taking risks isn't always a bad thing.

Let's consider what is good about taking risks:

  • As we face and overcome smaller fears, we are better able to face bigger and bigger fears.
  • After successfully overcoming a fear, we realize that what we once feared is not nearly as scary as we thought it was, so maybe there are other fears that we might be unnecessarily exaggerating, too.
  • If we never take the risk, we will have no chance to enjoy its associated rewards.
  • Awareness of the potential risk of loss gives us an appreciation for what is around us and within us.
  • If things don't go as planned, learning that we can recover from those challenges strengthens us to know we can do it again if need be, making it easier to face other fears.
  • Being able to change our focus in order to confront and overcome a fear trains us to be able to control and manage our emotional states in other areas of our lives, too.

Either way, having a healthy respect for risk is a good thing. Regardless of your risk-appetite or need for that adrenaline rush, the consequences of risk, no matter how small, always exist, otherwise it wouldn't be considered a risk.

Weigh the possibilities on both sides of the scale. And, ultimately, don't forget to consider the downside of unnecessarily avoiding calculated risks. How much better could things be if they worked out as good or better than planned, too?

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Helen Hoefele has 1 articles online

To read more articles written by Helen Hoefele, visit her blog at: where she focuses on writing thoughtful articles that encourage more people to think in ways that are constructive to improving their lives and the world around them. On her blog, you can easily subscribe to her free (only once monthly) newsletter. (You can also follow her on Twitter at: @figmentations)

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The Benefits of Risk-Taking

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This article was published on 2010/04/01