Taking risks naturally brings about varying degrees of fear. The fear of rejection, failure, and change are typical examples. However, the problem is not fear itself but allowing fear to prevent us from moving forward. Fear paralyzes and brings doubt, while action gives us confidence and courage.
Some experts believe that a bit of fear helps us take that leap of faith. This is how many people react more clearly when under pressure or in an emergency. Authors like Harvey Mackay belong to this school of thought. Mackay is a writer of several New York Times best-selling books that address the fear of risk and suggests some recommendations to overcome it:
1. Review your responsibilities
Life is full of responsibilities, but not all of them are priorities. Which ones scare you? Which ones make you unnecessarily stressed at the end of the day? Why? Delve deeper into these questions and continue asking yourself “why” until you have found the root of that fear.
2. Imagine the worst possible scenario
When a particular situation brings about anxiety, try to think of the worst possible scenario that could happen. Imagine it realistically. It may seem counterintuitive, but it will help you ground the situation in reality. More often than not, the worst-case scenario is not as severe as one would initially believe it to be.
3. Change focus
When faced with an overwhelming task, take a moment to think about all the positive benefits it will produce in the end. It is easy to get caught in the weeds of a project. Focusing on the result helps one let go of all the minor worries.
4. Try something new, something different
Take on a new task or a different responsibility whenever the opportunity is presented. Building on the previous point, stimulating your mind with new challenges will increase your risk tolerance. The new skills and perspectives will also increase your confidence when dealing with the core issues that initially created fear.
5. Analyze past risks
Look back and remember some of the risks you have taken. Most likely, many of them turned out well. As for those that did not end well, lessons were learned that have likely contributed to future success. Analyze what did and did not work.
Ask yourself: What external factors influenced your actions? Was everything really under your control? Can the good be repeated and applied to other situations?
6. Learn to live with the inevitable
Mackay argues that occasionally there will be moments when fears resurface. This is part of human nature and cannot be avoided. Therefore, he recommends preparing to live with the inevitable. As one faces their fears and looks back at their accomplishments despite their fears, fear’s grip lessens over time.
In the life of every entrepreneur, taking risks is a constant. From hiring talent to fundraising to expanding your business to the world, everything carries risk. The key? Go out and face it.
This article is a translation of “Lo que necesitás saber para perder el miedo al riesgo” by Endeavor Argentina