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Taking a Chance Vs. Taking a Risk (They Are Not the Same)

  • 2 min read

You know those moments when you know exactly what to do…but somehow you stop yourself from doing it at the very last second?

• Maybe you need to quit your job

• Maybe you need have a conversation with someone that may hurt them or make them angry

• Maybe you just want to “cuddle” someone’s brains out really hard

Whatever it is: Most of the time what is keeping us from doing it is the fear of one particular possible outcome. Getting yelled at, losing a friend, getting rejected, etc.

So to avoid that outcome, we don’t “take the risk”.

On the surface this seems like a very reasonable choice . We see a situation coming up that we don’t like, and choose for it not to happen.  Phew… Disaster avoided! Am I right?

Well, not exactly…

Yes, you’re effectively dodging one particular negative outcome (which you were actually not sure would happen).  But you’re also saying no to many possible positive outcomes. In other words: You are sabotaging yourself.

• If you don’t quit that job you hate, you’re saying “yes” to a life that doesn’t make you happy and “no” to all possible lives that would.

• If you don’t tell them that harsh truth, you say “no” to making your relationship with that person more honest. (Also: Most likely, you’re still saying “yes” to making them pissed off later when they find out you didn’t talk to them about something important.”

• If you don’t make a move and “cuddle” their brains out you’re actually rejecting yourself, which is what you were trying to avoid. If they were interested, then you’re also rejecting them.

In all of these examples it’s pretty clearthat not doing it it is actually a bigger risk than taking the chance.

So next time you find yourself afraid to take action because you care a lot about the outcome of some situation, realize that the fact that you care so much, is actually why you should definitely do it.

The only thing you do when you think “I’m not gonna risk it” is making sure you’re getting a predictable negative outcome, instead of taking the chance to maybe make it a positive one.


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