Being Risk-Averse Is Actually Keeping You Stuck

limited beliefs about self (control/competence)
Being Risk-Averse Is Actually Keeping You Stuck

Learning to avoid risks is an evolutionary trait, but when you spend your life following a risk-averse mindset, you can find that you are missing out on many opportunities for happiness and success. Always playing it safe isn’t necessarily the best choice in life and learning how to change your risk-averse mindset can help you learn to appreciate when risks are a positive thing. 


In many ways, you can view the risk-averse mindset as a type of fixed mindset. Conversely, having a risk-ready mindset could be analogous to a growth mindset. Let’s examine these more closely to see how they compare. 


Understanding Risk-Aversion


When you consider your mindset, you need to ask yourself how comfortable you are with taking chances and risking failure in life. If you have a fixed mindset, you likely don’t see much benefit in taking chances, as your abilities and talents will help you succeed in life. But, if you have embraced a growth mindset, then you are more likely to embrace risks and understand that you can learn a great deal from making mistakes.


Risk aversion is something our brains naturally do, as our minds seek to keep us safe from danger and avoid physical harm. However, our brains are not really capable of differentiating between certain types of risk at this primeval level. They just know that you are feeling stressed and sense possible problems, so you should get ready to run away to avoid the problem.


Avoiding risks is excellent if you’re talking about an encounter with a deadly animal, an armed assailant, or a possible car accident. But avoiding all dangers in life means you never really grow or thrive. Learning to adapt to change, try new things, and learn from our mistakes is what makes us most unique among the animal kingdom and masters of our own destiny. 


Becoming more open to risk means that you see the benefit in making changes in your life, allowing yourself to be vulnerable to other people, and to taking chances on reaching new levels of success and happiness. When you have a risk-averse mindset, you allow your fear of failure, rejection, making a mistake, or exposing your faults to others rule your decisions in life. 


How To Overcome A Risk-Averse Mindset


To shift away from a risk-averse mindset, you should start by questioning your unwillingness to take chances. What are you afraid of? If your worst fears came true, what exactly would happen? Is there another way to think about this risk and how it might actually benefit your life?


Take your worst-case scenario and carry it out to its logical conclusion. 


Take each fear you experience along this path and consider what would really happen if it came true? 


Would that be the end of the world? 


Could you overcome these obstacles and still be able to succeed? Confronting your fears often sheds light on the unknown and makes it less daunting. 


Often, the anticipation is worse than the actual thing you are avoiding. Instead of sitting around worrying about it and talking yourself out of doing something, just dive in and do it. 


Start by taking smaller risks. Do one thing today that scares you just a little. Learning to accept the consequences of risk, and to actually experience both success and failure after taking smaller risks will help learn to take larger ones later on. 


Becoming less risk-averse and learning to embrace the challenges and possible setbacks in life is the hallmark of embracing the growth mindset. Learning to be more risk-ready can help you set higher goals, accomplish what you want in life, and be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. Today, focus on conquering your fear and taking some risks. 


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