Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Risk Taking

Posted at — Aug 4, 2020

This is a reminder to myself. Here are all of the others.

If it’s still in your mind, it is worth taking the risk.

- Paulo Coelho

One particular facet of my personality I’d like to improve on is my ability to take risks.

Risks are imperative to growth as they can propel you personally by amounts not tied to the input required to take the risk.

Positionally, I’m in the optimal age range to feel encouraged to take risks. I don’t possess any social liabilities, like a family. I’m also young enough to recover from failure.

Being aware of this, why then, is it so difficult for me to take risks?

I think my hesitance to take risks sprouts at not wanting to fail. What I realized recently is that my apprehension of failure is what’s causing me to fail in the long-term.

The problem really is multi-dimensional, because I’m:

  1. Attached to the work I produce.
  2. Attached to the result.
  3. Not used to taking risks.

Being attached to the work I produce, I perceive the quality of the work to stand as a reflection of me.

Being attached to the result, and caring whether I succeed or not, has me frequently dismiss opportunities because I don’t see a clear path to success. I only take on tasks that I’m certain I can succeed in, which is few and far in between.

Not being used to taking risks is simply an aversion to the uncomfortable.

These are all terrible reasons.

To address these problems, it’s important for me to realize, and perhaps detach, from the outcome and results. Once I detach myself from my work, and its status, I no longer conflate and feel as though failed work is a reflection of me. Perhaps further, realizing that “me”, is a trivial notion of the self that isn’t physically tangible.

If there is no self, there is no self to perceive as a failure. This reduces its blow.

Detachment solves most of these problems. Detach from the work I produce, the result, and this notion of the self.

Like anything else, taking risks is a muscle that I’d propose you need to strengthen overtime. It’s uncomfortable at first, but all good things are surrounded by this blanket of discomfort.

Get used to feeling this way. Part of taking risks is uncomfortable.

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