We’re throwing it back! This week we’re showcasing a guest post from Scott Mautz about taking risks (just in time for New Year’s resolutions, perhaps?).

As we take risks and try new things, we expand our horizons and get exposed to more. Our fear of the unknown diminishes as a result, and we’re more likely to try yet more new things.

As we broaden our horizons, we narrow our inhibitions.

What a wonderful virtuous cycle.

So, what holds us back?

For certain, many of us are working more in a culture of caution than courage. A study conducted by Blessing White found that 41 percent of employees said their manager never encouraged them to take risks, while another 33 percent said their manager only sometimes encouraged them to take risks. Behind this reluctance may lay fear, born from precedent or perception, for the negative consequences of failure.

Perhaps we don’t account for the cost of status quo, we don’t feel equipped to succeed when we do take risks, or we don’t feel we have the capacity to invest the effort it can take to see a risk through. Maybe the poison of practicality seeps into our veins – “I’d like to go for it, but realistically….”

Or maybe we don’t live our lives as if on any given flight someone won’t switch their phone to airplane mode.

Anyway, whatever the culprit, one thing’s for certain.

When our hesitance rules the day, inspiration can’t be our knight (see what I did there).

You can start small in risk taking. You can go big. Either way, the wonderful freedom from familiarity will encourage more and more risk taking.


Read Find the Fire to learn the 12 tactics of risk taking.