I am excellent at assessing risk.
Give me any plan, any product, any scenario, and my mind immediately jumps to what can go wrong or what is already wrong.
I could blame it on my dad. As one of the first certified Project Management Professionals in the country, my father was mitigating risk before it was cool.
Or I could blame it on my own personality. INTJs always know what is wrong and how someone should fix it before others have finished saying, “Wow!”
Or I could blame demanding music teachers and critical judges for drilling into me that nothing is perfect, everything can be improved.
Regardless, I can find the cloud in your silver lining in no time flat.
For instance, I was extremely reluctant to drive and only earned my driver’s license just before entering college because my parents demanded I do so. Every time I sat behind the wheel, the reality of everything that could go wrong crushed down upon me:
- I could hit something.
- Someone might turn in front of me and then I would hit him.
- A pedestrian could step out in front of me and then I would hit him.
- A car may rear-end me and then I would hit the one in front of me.
- Don’t get me started on railroad tracks, school buses, bikers, and little old ladies.
My husband forced me to drive. A manual transmission. Every day. It was only after doing so for weeks that I began to breathe and slowly relax my white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel.
Life is About Risk.
We live when we step out into the risk, embrace it, conquer the terror, and then thrive amongst it.
Risk makes us who we are, shapes the outcome of our ventures, and evaluates our impact.
Into every life, a little risk must fall.
I still don’t love risk, but now I have learned to put a name on it and manage it. My father’s daughter. And by experience, I have realized that while risk is temporarily painful, we grow into it. After a time, we will become acclimated to the risk itself, like sittting in a very hot tub of water, and may even relax with it. It seems that time is an important factor in risk toleration.
Success is engaging risk and rising above it.
We engage risk when we …
- learn something new,
- forge a new relationship,
- mend a fence,
- ask for help,
- admit failure,
- create anything,
- perform publicly,
- face new challenges.
Risk is scary. But facing these risks shapes who we are, where we go, and what we accomplish.
What are you risking today?