Not a Risk-Taker? Here are 3 Ways to Get Beyond the Fear

By EMP Staff

In today’s ever-changing business environment, a certain amount of risk is required in order to stay competitive. But what if you’re one of these people who likes to “play it safe”? Here are three things you can do to change your mindset:

Adopt an experimental attitude.

Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.
– Chinese proverb

Thinking of a risk as an “experiment” can feel a lot more palatable than thinking you have to change your entire approach. Start by challenging the status quo in small ways and be open to change. Treat every issue as if it’s brand new rather than immediately looking to “history” or what has been done in the past to guide your thinking. Think about the upside (rather than the downside) to taking risks, going for small wins at the beginning and building your way up to more challenging ones. Also, consider specific areas of your job that may benefit from experimentation in the upcoming weeks or months, and develop a plan to make that happen.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Do one thing every day that scares you.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Successful risk-takers aren’t afraid of failures; in fact, they often treat them as learning opportunities. If something doesn’t go right the first time, they revise, practice, refine—whatever it takes to get to the end goal! And even more important is the attitude you bring to mistakes: Do you act as if it’s the end of the world, or do you pick yourself up and try again? What your inner dialogue is saying about setbacks has a lot to do with whether you stay stuck in your emotions or move forward to something more positive. Sometimes learning from the small mistakes helps you to avoid big ones. If you’re a manager, try to create an environment where mistakes can happen without huge penalties.

Be sure to have a wide assortment of options.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
– Robert F. Kennedy

If you put all your eggs in one basket, and it doesn’t work out, then, of course, you’re going to feel the heat. But if you give yourself multiple possibilities for success, more than likely, one of them will turn out well. If you’re always thinking about how you might out-perform your competitors, it forces you to adopt more innovative solutions. Asking yourself key questions such as “What am I resisting?” or “What have I been putting off?” can accelerate the generation of new ideas.

For more information on the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® (EMP) and how you can use it in your organization, please contact us at emindsetprofile@eckerd.edu or 855-602-7765.