Randi D. Ward is a retired, 37 year veteran English teacher from Georgia, USA, and a published author. She was named “Entrepreneur of the Year 2014” in the Education Industry by Worldwide Who’s Who and was profiled in its 2015 calendar. Her other awards include being the 2014-15 VIP Woman of the Year by National Association of Professional Women, a 2015 Delegate of the International Leadership Women’s Association, a 2015 Top Female Executive, a 2014 Pinnacle Professional Member of Continental Who’s Who, and an elite member of Strathmore Worldwide Who’s Who. Her current projects in Africa are World Peace Forest (Africa) in Egypt and Africa Nomads Conservation in Kenya. She is an honorary president of World Peace Forest (Africa) and the USA Regional Director for Africa Nomads Conservation. Her book is entitledBecause I Believed in Me (My Egyptian Fantasy Came True).
Taking risks in our lives can be one of the most intimidating and frightening things we ever do. However, at some points in our lives, we must take risks in order to succeed and to be happy. Obviously sometimes we may fail, but if we do not take a chance, then we fail before we even begin.
Risk taking is the process of opening up oneself to change, accepting the need for change, and taking the behavioral steps necessary to accomplish this change. It provides a person with the opportunity to pursue one’s goals and dreams and to discover new talents and abilities. It will make one feel powerful and proactive—putting a person in charge of his future instead of waiting for something to happen which is out of his control. It helps him to overcome his fears. It can make a person feel alive.
Taking risks involves an honest appraisal of the current situation and then a thorough understanding of the risks involved in taking the needed actions. One must weigh the pros and cons and then hopefully choose the best action to achieve the change. If the choice turns out to be an unsuccessful choice, then it is necessary to try something else. Trial and error is often a major part of taking risks in one’s life.
Taking risks often involves courage, determination, and hard work. One may also receive criticism and lack of approval from those around him, but the risk taker must find a way to deal with this in an objective rather than a subjective manner. Taking advice from others can be helpful, but the ultimate decision on how to achieve one’s change or goal belongs to the risk taker. Thus, he must be willing and able to accept the final results.
Many obstacles or road blocks must be overcome in order for one to feel comfortable taking risks. First, he must get rid of the fear of rejection or failure, the need for approval, or the need to avoid guilt. He must not let mistakes stop him. These mistakes create new knowledge and thus provide greater strength and more resources than he had in the past. Secondly, making excuses must also be avoided. Since challenges can be difficult, it is too easy to fabricate reasons not to do them. It is absolutely essential to determine which reasons are real and figure out ways to solve them, and which ones are simply excuses and then eliminate these. Third, he must believe in himself but not always feel that he has to be right all of the time. Finally, if he is unhappy in his life, he must recognize that change could benefit him and provide him with the kind of life that he wishes to live. However, this person must first determine what it is that will make him happy and then decide what change is needed. The risk he must take can be extremely time-consuming with many hurdles or bumps along the way, but the rewards are endless if he reaches his dream.
Therefore, the risk taker must be unconditionally prepared emotionally, psychologically, and even physically for what lies ahead of him. As the saying goes, “Why not go for it! The risk taker has nothing to lose, and everything to gain!”