To become more comfortable with risk, we must first determine our personality regarding the various measures of risk-taking and acceptance of possible outcomes.

Our personalities are developed over years, and are shaped by experiences that have occurred throughout our lives. These experiences often result in subconscious mental conditioning.

An example is someone who has been reprimanded at work for making a mistake or fired from their job. This could result in the individual “playing it safe” in the future in an effort to avoid a similar negative experience.

As a result, little growth, if any, may take place, and their potential may be stifled and unfulfilled.

Breaking Conditioning

Connecting with a coach and getting feedback on behavior may help you begin the process of identifying conditioning and setting goals to break it. This can be accompanied by enrolling in a program that offers the opportunity for assessments and a development process occurring over a period of weeks or months.

A strong process includes goal-setting and action steps. As you make progress, your confidence will increase as you find yourself taking more calculated risks. You may also become more accepting of decisions or actions that result in a lack of success.

Ultimately, personal fulfillment and growth will occur as you shift toward a mindset of accepting and learning from both successes and failures.

Practice Failing

What would happen if you sought out opportunities to fail, or if you practiced failing? It would be scary, but it could lead to growth.

I have found that when I decide not to take action in an effort to remain comfortable, I do not grow. I become stagnant and complacent.

When I stretch myself and put myself in situations that I cannot control, or have unpredictable outcomes, I embrace and foster skills or obtain the information necessary to succeed. But if I do not succeed, I am then more open to learning what went wrong.

Learn from Your Mistakes

If you are not currently in a situation where failure is an option, you should rethink things, because in all likelihood, you will not experience the growth you desire and deserve unless there are obstacles to overcome.

This is true in all areas of life:

  • How did things work out when you first tried to ride a bike?
  • If you are like me, it was not easy, and there was quite a bit of falling, getting up and starting over again.
  • Remember learning to swim?
  • For me, there was a certain level of fear.
  • This led me to getting water in my ears, nose and mouth, and almost drowning at one point.
  • Nevertheless, I had a strong desire to learn how to swim, so I kept trying.
  • I learned from my mistakes and gained a little momentum, and eventually, signs of success.
  • This led to confidence and ultimately learning the techniques necessary to swim well.

Embrace Scary Opportunities

Do not fear failure—embrace it and be all right with being uncomfortable.

This can be difficult when it comes to work. Failure is often not rewarded. Nevertheless, fear can be useful:

  1. Have you ever been immobilized by fear?
  2. How did it feel?
  3. Was there anything good about it?
  4. At that time, did you feel that you were the best version of yourself?

A culture of fear stifles creativity, innovation and the ability to grow and change.

Life is short, so know your purpose, create a compelling vision of your future and add a meaningful mission statement. Do not let a fear of failure stop you from becoming all you can be.

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