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  • Writer's pictureCindy Saunders | Leaders Rise

Which one are you: The risk-taker or the risk-thinker? Here's how to stop waiting & start deciding.

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

Each day, we are confronted with situations that require taking action. Some actions come easily and without much thought; others can be difficult to take because we may not know what is best for us or have the big picture in mind.

Perhaps we have never been much of a risk-taker or think of risk in terms of major events, projects, finances, adventures - sky-diving! Risk-taking can involve each of those, but more often, we are faced with far simpler risks.

Some of the most important actions we make are on a smaller scale with huge impacts.

  • How will we improve interactions with our team?

  • What will we do about that unhealthy habit we have coddled forever?

  • Should we start that side gig?

  • When will we start setting aside time for the family?

It can become too easy to just think about taking action instead of doing it. That's when we become risk-thinkers. Always wondering but never doing.

Although there will be obvious exceptions to this general guideline, most of the time you should assume the approach of pushing ahead and: just do something.

Just handle what is in front of you now and the future will take care of itself. Otherwise, you'll spend most of your life wondering which foot you'll use to step off the curb when you're still only halfway to the corner. Dan Millman

Action Creates Momentum

There is a reason that the phrase "just do something" has become so popular. It doesn't have to be anything big, and you don’t have to know everything to get a project done. All you need to do is to take that first step.

Not only will you make progress, but taking action engages your subconscious to help you figure out what’s next. Getting started is often the hardest part. Once you get the ball rolling, momentum will pull you along, all the way to the finish line.

What can you do to take action right now?

Don’t wait until you have all the answers before you get started. Action creates clarity. James Wedmore

Wrong Actions Are Learning Opportunities

Never feel paralyzed because you’re afraid of doing something wrong or making a mistake. Doing something less than perfect, or even completely messing it up, is okay. It’s the fastest way to learn what does and what doesn’t work.

There is one caveat to this, though. You have to keep trying after each failure. Keep taking action and look at the results. Do more of what works and stop doing what doesn’t work. Take a closer look and see if you can figure out why something didn't work. Learn from it and get better at what you do.

Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. Mary Tyler Moore

Repeated Actions Build Habits

Last but not least, repeated actions build habits that will last a lifetime. If you can tap into your growth mindset and continue to do something every day to move you in the right direction, you will become the kind of person who continues to grow and improve. You’ll build those good habits that will lead to lasting change.

Taking action will become a habit as well. It will become your default reaction when life throws you another challenge.

Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit that, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex. Norman Vincent Peale

So often, our first instinct is to stop and not do anything. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Taking the time to evaluate and come up with the best course of action is good. Letting fear paralyze you into sticking your head in the sand isn’t.

If taking action becomes your default, you’ll always be looking for what you can do to make things better. And that’s a good feeling. Not only is it the fastest way out of any bad situation, but it builds your confidence and self-esteem. It gives you a feeling of control over any situation. Because you know that no matter what it is, you can do something about it.

Keep these three things in mind as you consider your next steps:

  • Action creates momentum

  • Wrong actions are learning opportunities

  • Repeated actions build habits

Go, take action - be a risk-taker, not a risk-thinker. just do something!


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