Risk averse? 6 ways to relax into taking a risk

Does taking a risk scare you so much that you don’t allow yourself to follow your dreams? Do you stand back from stepping out — and end up disappointed and stuck in the same place year after year?

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Inspiration from Women on Fire- www.womenonfire.com

Last week on our monthly Women on Fire members’ Live Chat we discussed ways to ease the fear of taking a risk.  The response was so great that I want to share some of the tips so that you, too, can learn to relax around risk.

But first …

Nicole Brisson, right, joined me during last week’s video Live Chat to discuss how she overcame her fear to share her life’s story — and the benefits of taking the risk! (Photos by Rob Berkley)

I want to introduce you to Nicole Brisson, one of the 21 co-authors in the latest Women on Fire book.

In her chapter “Getting Off The Bipolar Roller Coaster,” she powerfully describes what it was like to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the strategies she crafted to live with, cope, and ultimately be successful at managing her mental health.

“The first thing I had to come to grips with is that bipolar disorder is a disease, just like diabetes or high blood pressure,” she wrote. “(It) takes compliance with medical treatment, hard work in therapy and acceptance of the illness.”

Still, she felt at risk to share her story publicly.  She’s a successful business owner and well-known in her community. Would people judge her?  Would she lose business?

Yet, she knew that her story had the potential to help and inspire thousands of others.  With support of people who cared about her, she took the risk, stepped out into the world, told her story — and she has never looked back.

In fact, the encouraging, positive responses she’s received in sharing her journey have melted away the fears she once had.  Strangers and friends alike have told her she’s an inspiration. “It was worth the risk!” she announced to Women on Fire members last week.

So how can you manage the risks that scare you and hold you back?

Here are five strategies that have worked for me personally and for many of our coaching clients over the years:

1)  Solicit support from people you trust who have your best interests at heart — Nicole is a great example of this. She gathered support from her husband, her writing coach, her Women on Fire co-authors and others.

Ask the advice of others who’ve done what you’re wanting to do. Being able to “see the way” and anticipate any pitfalls is one way to minimize the risks that scare you.

2) Check your passion level – If you weren’t frightened to take this risk, and you could easily attain it, would you be thrilled?   Sometimes we get mixed up with what other people want or we see them doing something when it’s not really our passion.

Make sure if you’re taking a risk, it is for something you truly want to attain or achieve.

3)  Take small, actionable steps — In the coaching business, we call this “chunking down.” So, if you are feeling risk-averse to a goal you want to accomplish, ask yourself, “what’s the teeny, tiniest step I can take toward this?”

It’s much easier to mitigate risk in smaller doses.

4)  Be very clear about the risk – Do your research; know as much as you can; learn all your options. You’ll feel more comfortable when you know details, if possible.

5)  Ask yourself this important question — When thinking about the risk, what is the worst thing that can happen?

Then, when you know what it is, ask yourself what percentage chance is it likely that that will happen?  Now, ask yourself: can I live with this? What would I do if the worst thing happens?

Your answers will help to guide you in moving forward.

6) Have an exit plan — Sometimes the risk is reduced for you when you know how you would end the situation, if it didn’t work out.  Having a full-court view of something in that instance can be valuable if it helps you to burst through taking the risk.

As always, thank you for being a part of this incredible, amazing circle of phenomenal women (and a few Men on Fire here, too!) Together, we are making our dreams come true.

I look forward to hearing how you handle risk and I am here to support you to be your very best!


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