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You Spell Faith “RISK”
Not everyone is a natural risk-taker. Perhaps you are facing a risky challenge right now. Maybe you are considering taking on a high-risk project. Or maybe you desire to do something significant, and you sense that something big but risky is on the horizon. Or you are considering taking on a project that will require you to learn new skills and go where you have never been (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and skill set wise) before. I am currently in such a place and so have begun to think about what I am risking. Of course, I also see the hand of God and know that He is asking me to take a step of faith. You Spell Faith “Risk”
On the other hand, maybe you have been risk averse your whole life, and yo recognize how much it has held you back and limited your potential.
No matter what your circumstances are, here are some things you need to know that will help you to step out in faith and take more risks.
1> Reality is your friend during high-risk times
When taking big risks, you can’t depend on hype or wishful thinking, because those things cannot withstand the heat of risk. You need to understand what you’re dealing with, examine the worse-case scenarios, and look reality dead in the eye.
How do you look reality in the eye when evaluating a risk? Ask yourself some questions:
- Who else has done it?
- How bad can it get?
- How good can it get?
- Can I try it on for size?
- Is there room for error?
- Do I believe in myself?
The more questions you ask and answer, the better prepared you are to weigh the risk and gauge whether the risk is smart or foolish.
2> You must learn to become comfortable outside of your comfort zone
Risk is rarely comfortable. It requires us to get out of our comfort zone. That’s where we need to live when we are risking big. How do you deal with that? For me, anything worthwhile that I have done initially scared me to death; made me uncomfortable. First sermon? Frightened out of my skin. First time I went witnessing? Scared stiff. I was never good at anything I attempted for the first time and I was always scared when approaching something new.
You have to deal with your emotions and doubts. To continually succeed in high-risk environments, you have to be emotionally comfortable being uncomfortable. How? Start with these three strategies:
A> Don’t look in the mirror
Take the focus off of yourself; you need to always keep in mind that life is not about you. You can’t worry about how you look to others. You can’t be afraid of looking bad.
B> Don’t count loses — Instead, count lessons
Instead of avoiding losses, learn from them. Ask, “What did I learn?” When you seek lessons more than you avoid losses, you become more comfortable with risk.
C> Focus less on your fear and more on your dreams
When you focus on your dreams, your heart is 100 percent in.
3> Good leadership gives you a greater chance for success
Everything rises and falls on leadership. That is never truer than during times of risk. The size of the leadership must be equal to the size of the risk. If you’re going to attempt something difficult, you need good leadership. You need to either provide it yourself or find a partner who can help you lead. And if you’re going to try something huge, you’ll need lots of leaders. Any great attempt without gear leadership is destined to fizzle out.
If you are preparing to take a big risk, it may require every leadership skill you possess to accomplish it. Don’t take that lightly. Keep growing as a leader. The more you increase your leadership potential, the more you increase your capacity for risk.
And it you’re already a leader, you also need to provide others with a pro-risk environment so that they’re willing to deal with their fears and take steps forward, outside of their comfort zones.
4> The bigger the risk, the more help you’ll need from others
While it is fun to dream about the potential upside of any risky venture, the reality of it can make you want to yell “HELP” at the top of your lungs. The greater and riskier the venture, the greater our need for help. And to be successful, you don’t just need help; you need the right kind of help.
Mass movements don’t begin with the masses. They always begin with a few. But if those few are the right people, there is the potential for a mass movement. What are the characteristics of the right people?
A> They like a challenge
When you cast a vision for something big or share your plan for something new and risky, it is both a uniter and divider. People of high capacity who like a challenge rally to you. Small thinking people leave. The size of the task or project determines the size of the person who signs up.
B> They play big
What’s more dangerous than playing big? Never taking a risk. When you’re doing nothing, nothing good happens. You want people willing to join you in taking a big risk, to try something new, even if it is difficult.
C> They are honest with themselves
When you are attempting something difficult, you want people on your team who know themselves and are honest with themselves. They have to know what they’re capable of and know what the stakes are. And as a leader, you need to help make sure they know those things.
Even if you’re not someone who owns a company, holds a leadership position, or leads some kind of team, you may still need help when you tackle a risk. Look for like-minded people who are willing to face challenges to assist you. It will greatly increase your risk capacity.
5> Taking risks always requires personal courage
If you want to expand your potential, and therefore your life, you need to be willing to take greater risks. You need to be willing to stand alone. You need to gather the courage to do what others might not do — not just for the sake of doing something bold and risky but because you can see the potential reward.
What’s great about taking smart risks is that it not only expands your possibilities, but it also inspires other people to want to join you in your efforts. People follow courage. When someone is willing to stand alone in the beginning and face opposition and challenges, they can earn respect and credibility. Eventually, others see their courage and rally around them.
So, what are you going to do? Are you willing to increase your risk potential? Are you willing to fail doing something big? Are you willing to count lessons more than losses? Are you willing to model the way by becoming comfortable outside your comfort zone?
There are not small things,. But if you’re not willing to do them, you’d better become comfortable with only small things and small accomplishments leading to small impact on others. Because you’ll accomplish big things only if you’re willing to take big risks.