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Seven Ways To Cure Your Aversion To Risk

Imagine the Worst-Case Scenario

When you take the time to consider the downside possibilities, it will be less frightening if they happen. This will give you the confidence to stay the course.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Seven Ways To Cure Your Aversion To Risk

Seven Ways To Cure Your Aversion To Risk

https://www.fastcompany.com/3045577/seven-ways-to-cure-your-aversion-to-risk

fastcompany.com

7

Key Ideas

Start With Small Bets

Risk should preferably be viewed as an experiment. This helps with testing innovation and reducing risk if things don't turn out as intended.

Imagine the Worst-Case Scenario

When you take the time to consider the downside possibilities, it will be less frightening if they happen. This will give you the confidence to stay the course.

Develop A Portfolio Of Options

If you have only considered one possibility, you should probably worry about it.

Find many possibilities for success, then you can be positive that at least some of them might work out.

Have Courage To Not Know

You will almost always have to take action before you know all the components your success will depend upon.

Be willing to commit to the path even when you are unsure of all the details. You can adjust your path along the way.

Taking A Risk ≠ Gambling

Going on the offense does not mean that you place your trust in theories that you have not thought through.

Looking at your inner fears will help you to see things more realistically, creatively and move more directly.

Take Your Eyes Off Of The Prize

Embracing risk can be difficult if you focus on the outcome.

Instead, break the decision-making and the action process into smaller steps.

Be Comfortable With Good Enough

What prevents people from taking a risk is thinking that you can't start until everything is perfect.

We need the courage to make decisions with imperfect data and move forward as information becomes available.

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Pioneers
Pioneers

Those with a pioneer working style are big-picture thinkers who want to take advantage of opportunities or create new ones.

They tend to not be det...

Guardians

Those with a guardian working style like stability, order, and rigor.

They’re pragmatic, detail-oriented, and risk-averse.

Drivers

Drivers are goal-oriented.

Those identifying with this working style thrive on challenge, results, and winning. They tackle problems head-on with logic.

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Risk register

Before you start risk management, it is important to identify the risks the company is exposed to.
Establish a catalogue of risks or a"risk register"

Definition of a risk

A risk can be defined as an effect of uncertainty on the objective. It is a different outcome from what you expected and can address, create or result in opportunities and threats.

  • Risk is not an expected adverse development. If you expect the outcome, it is not a risk.
  • Risk is not a difficulty or a challenge if you are already aware that the situation exists now.
Risk terminology
  • Threat – the source of the risk event that causes uncertainty.
  • Risk exposures – the amount that theoretically is at risk if the threat becomes a reality.
  • Risk – the collection of threats/causes and exposures that are treated and managed as a single whole.
  • Risk levels – risk level indicates how serious the risk is.

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Perspective-taking

It involves being able to see the point of view of someone you usually consider to be part of an outgroup.

Research finds that being able to offer another point of view - especially if...

Bridging differences

Both perspective-taking and perspective-giving are powerful tools to help negotiate differences, particularly between groups of different power dynamics.

Empathy isn’t enough

Although similar, perspective-taking is not the same as empathy. Empathy falls short in trying to reduce polarization. In fact, empathy appeared to make things worse.

We tend to feel empathy more towards people like us, that we can relate to. If an outgroup attacks an ingroup, the empathic concern doesn't help.

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Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives
Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives

When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are ...

Curiosity and innovation

Encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements.

When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.

Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

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Start with “why”

Why am I doing this?  Ask yourself why until you understand your actions and decide how to reach your goal.

For instance, ask yourself why you are doing this job. If your a...

The modern workplace

In the last decades, organizations are increasingly becoming more global, complex, and demanding of workers’ time. In the always-on, always-connected work environment, boundaries are overlapping and combining. 

If you can’t adapt, can’t see situations in versatile ways, can’t find meaning in the most dreary circumstances, you might not survive.

The downsides of too much adapting

The downsides to always adapting, always flexible, always changing gears could lead to a lack of direction and commitment. In turn, a lack of direction could lead to failure.

We don’t want to entertain the possibility that it might fail. We just imagine that things are definitely going to work.

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Rejection

Rejection and failure and disappointment are a regular feature of ordinary life, no matter how successful someone may be. 

Any set of circumstances in which one reaches out for so...

Keep the odds in mind
Know ahead of time what the chances are of a particular effort for being successful. 

If the odds are long, that is not a reason for not trying; it is a reason not to be discouraged by failure.

For instance, sending in a resume in response to an advertised job has been studied. Approximately two percent receive a response. That is not an argument for giving up. It is a matter of the odds. Sending in a couple of hundred resumes shifts the odds in your favor. 

Keep more than one iron in the fire

Having a manuscript rejected by one publishing house is less devastating if that book is being considered at the same time somewhere else.

An unsuccessful job interview does not feel so bad if another one is scheduled for tomorrow.

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Napoleon Hill - A Flawed Character
  • He did not publish "The Laws of Success" until he hit rock bottom in his mid-forties. Before this, he experienced very little success and seldom had a steady source of income. 
Short lived success
  • A combination of the stock market crash, royalty checks that ended, overextending himself while owing creditors left Hill worse off than before. 
  • He attempted many business ventures related to inspirational writing and publishing projects but to no avail.
  • Hill's wife divorced him during this time, grown tired of his poor decisions and failure to care for his family.
Think and Grow Rich

Just after the great depression, Napoleon Hill married again and also wrote and published "Think and Grow Rich", with the support and persistence of his wife.

This was an enormous success, but Hill and his young wife wasted no time spending more than they earned (a clear violation of Hill's own principles). Not long after, his wife duped him out of all the royalties of all of his works and left him penniless.

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Not Celebrating Your Success

It's never good enough, so you get sucked so far into the details that you become frustrated.

Even when your goal is complete and results in success, you believ...

Pursuing Perfection, But Never Feeling Perfect

Even if you have a clear goal of what perfection means, obsessively pursuing it is a sign of insecurity.

And insecurity, when not addressed directly, doesn’t go away because a concrete objective has been achieved, it manifests itself into self-criticism or a new overvalued goal.

Not Allowing Yourself To Fail

Instead of forgiving and viewing mistakes as a learning opportunity, you criticize and put pressure on yourself for not predicting a less than perfect outcome. You feel inadequate, and these feelings preoccupy your mind, often to the point of losing productivity.

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Geoff Colvin

“The best performers set goals that are not about the outcome but about the process of reaching the outcome.”

Geoff Colvin
The journey is the destination

We never arrive. We work hard to succeed, and then we have to work twice as hard to maintain that success.

It’s a slow grind. And it starts with our mindset.

Don’t rely on your talent

We all have some type of talent, something that sets us apart from the rest of the world. This can also be a potential trap.

Never just rely on your gift or talent alone. Work on your craft. Investigate your weaknesses and make an effort to minimize them.

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Manage uncertainty and its related risk
Manage uncertainty and its related risk
  • Control the “controllable.” Certainty is vital in business, but also elusive.
  • How people cope starts with their attitude. Where there is change, there is opportunity.&nbs...
Unhealthy Ways to Deal with Uncertainty
  • Throw up your hands and give up. Then risking it all on the next big move for the company. Learn to fail faster - take lots of smaller risks instead of one big one and get feedback quickly.
  • Not wanting to make a decision at all because of fear of failure. Learning from failure is a valuable part of your education. If you make a couple of mistakes but outweigh those blunders with successes, you are okay.
Changing How We Evaluate Success with Decisions

... is critical in uncertaintyWe too often judge people by the outcomes of the decisions instead of on the process that was used to reach them.

However, isn’t it better if people had an unfortunate result and a great process than someone who had a successful outcome but flipped a coin to get there?