Taking Risks

by Ron Haynes

People avoid taking risks for different reasons. Some avoid risk because they fear looking foolish to their peers. Some avoid risk because they fear change. Most avoid risk because they have an understandable desire to maintain what they have and hold on to what they have. They believe a “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and thus never even try to capture those in the bush.

Technology has caused a great deal of fear in many people. They see others who are more technologically savvy as a threat because they don’t like some of the changes that technology has brought about in business and society. Just yesterday, I overheard someone talking about how robotic technologies in a local plant have “taken jobs from hardworking people.” By taking this very shortsighted approach, a business would be sentenced to failure because it would never change, never grow, never achieve higher levels of productivity.

Let’s face it. Everything changes. Customers change, the economy changes, the marketplace changes, the competition changes. What is a bigger risk: going after those two birds in the bush, or falling behind the times in a constantly changing world?

Risk takers become risk takers because they take risks. That sounds like a “duh” moment, but consider this: When someone takes a risk, they learn, whether they succeed or fail. Some of the most successful individuals in the world boast that they learned the more from their most abysmal failures than they did from their most astounding successes.

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Fear of failure robs you of confidence, but risk takers build their confidence every time they take a risk.

Here are some tips to help you overcome the fear of failure and get in the game:

  • Achievers learn more from their failures than they do from their successes.
  • Action reduces fear, so take action.
  • Closely scrutinize every failure to learn what doesn’t work and adapt your next action step accordingly.
  • Don’t dwell on your failures, learn from them, but don’t let them get you down.
  • Realize that you cannot change the world, but you can change yourself and how you look at it.
  • Use common sense when evaluating whether you should take a risk.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Every failure brings you closer to success. Make sure you examine your failures as well as your successes to insure that you can capitalize on what works.

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About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.