How Dare You

Living in an economy bound by caution can stifle motivation to take risks. But while nobody suggests you skydive without a parachute, corner cowering isn’t the answer either. So whether you’re ready to leap for a big dream or just need a nudge to follow Cupid’s arrow, heed some of these risk-reward assessments… then strap on your parachute.

Shift perspective: You can’t succeed unless you try. But fear forces people into stagnation, which carries its own risks. Staying inside the box doesn’t guarantee protection from failure — a fire is most dangerous if you can’t flee. Try to fairly gauge not just what’s at stake if you step out of your comfort zone… but what’s at stake if you stay in.

Revel in the lesson: Studies show that failure strengthens character and actually enhances brain function and capacity more than perpetual accomplishment. Like the athletic adage of no-pain, no-gain, suffering with purpose has value. Gather up the rubble of your failures and build a platform from which you can better evaluate your next venture.

Improve your vision: Blind bets are based on chance. Increase your odds by adding to your knowledge. While there will always be uncontrollable factors influencing your outcome, they don’t all have to be unknown. Learn as much as you can about the path you’re about to follow by talking to those who blazed similar trails. Information, not courage, may be all you need to take the plunge.

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