The Fear — And Courage — Of Taking Risks

Let’s face it: whether you want to try out a new business, a job opportunity, or targeting a high position, there are always doubts, most especially to yourself. Suddenly you will ask yourself: Is this really for me? Do I really see myself in this line of work several years for now, with success? Can I really do this? Yet, you decided to jump ahead and take the job interview, only to end up either failing to get the job, or regretting what you have put yourself into. That is where fear of taking risks will come up, and I’ve been there several times to the point that I end up not pushing it anymore. Basically, fear of taking risks is a dangerous premise to procrastination.

It’s normal to get scared, but like they say, nothing will happen if you don’t try. That was what I’ve learned from doing the same boring routine at work and after watching and listening to a certain webinar hosted by Sir Miguel Campaner and after watching helpful tips from YouTube. Trust me, YouTube will be your best friend when it comes to learning how to fight off procrastination and be more productive than you were before.

But first off, what exactly do we fear about that we are scared of taking risks? Based on my own experience, I decided to list down my reasons that I ended up having doubts during my days searching for jobs and opportunities:

  • Lack of Experience. Most job offers are looking for candidates who already have experience in the job they offer. Most firms and companies would do so because, well, they aim for more efficient manpower that will cost them less from providing training programs for new hires. So some courses have on-the-job trainings and mostly, fresh grads who underwent OJTs are more prioritized than those who obviously have no experience, but you might find it a bit unfair if you need the job with a good pay but they will prioritize more experienced ones, right?
  • Overwhelming Experience. What if you already got the job and you find it quite different from what you expected, like you were given additional jobs that you’re not good at, sometimes jobs that are not stated in your contract? That no matter how big the pay is, you will lose motivation because of exhaustion and lack of knowledge to try what was new to you.
  • Fear of trying new things. The problem for most of us, whether newbies or already experienced employees, is that we’re afraid of getting out of our comfort zone, like we’re already happy with what they’re doing, no matter how boring it is, as long as it pays you — no matter how low it is. What happens later on is that when an opportunity knocks, in exchange for doing something you haven’t done before or you find it too complicated, you’ll end up declining the opportunity, which in turn will be a waste of time and money.
  • Fear of losing investment and revenue. Shout out to business owners on this one: Whenever you find a product opportunity but then you were hindered with a possibility that it might not sell as quickly as you wanted, you’ll end up backing out without learning it further. Same goes to those who invested on a course worth more than a thousand bucks or into direct selling, you’ll have doubts spending money just to give them a try.
  • Fear of making mistakes. You want everyone, especially your bosses and clients, to be impressed by you, that you have this notion to become perfect in their eyes. Get this: the more you want to be perfect, the more you will be prone to mistakes, so that holds you back from taking risks because you’ll get to overthink if you’ll suddenly make the wrong move or say something that will offend your prospect.
  • Lack of communication skills. Bad news for introverts (like me), either you’re not a talkative type or have problems making a good conversation, or you’re just allergic to human interaction, this alone will surely make you lose an opportunity — even if it has already been offered to you.

If any of these fears — or if all of these fears apply to you, then welcome to this post! The next list will surely help facing these fears, so I thought of listing up possible ways on how to face this kind of fear in a positive approach. A little disclaimer again, just like in my previous post: I haven’t tried most of these things myself, but I thought sharing these with you can make me sure that we help each other out facing our fears:

  • List down your job description, from previous to recent. After realizing why most job postings look for some candidates with experience, I thought of listing down my previous job descriptions as detailed first as possible, and compared them to what they were looking for. For example: they were looking for experience sales experts, while I, myself, interjected product sales while doing customer service. That is already an experience in sales! They’re looking for content writers, and you’re running a blog — that’s already experience in content writing! Just look for an opportunity in every old task you did and you can now consider those as your experiences, as most of the time, they happen, unexpected or not, that you didn’t realize that you’re already working at it.
  • Study. Some jobs don’t offer trainings right away just for you to work on the job, so try to study on your own pace. Better yet, research ahead before you submit your resumé or while waiting for an invite from your prospect to interview you. Apart from learning their company background, try to learn things that you have never tried, like learning Excel or Photoshop. Good thing is, there are available tutorials on YouTube for free that you can check out without spending a lot just to learn them.
  • Ask for a second — or even third opinion. If you need to seek help and want to find out which idea will be working for you, don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion especially if you’re planning to invest for a product or a course. The more ideas you get that most will agree upon, the more certain you will be in making a decision.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up or ask questions. If you are unsure on what you’re getting yourself into, speak up. This is also a good chance for you to set aside your introvert nature just for once if you want to get answers from those you thought will have answers. Remember that no one is a total expert. They have ways to help you, who knows if your thoughts and questions can also help them, because you’re not, and never, alone in this kind of problem. Don’t be afraid to ask your future clients, too. You have the right to know what they want and what they need because after all, they’re needing people to help them with their service.
  • Trial and error always works. What I mean is, if you failed at something for the first time, try to assess what went wrong first, what you did good and what you think you can do differently, then apply it the next time and see if that will work for you. But please — don’t do the same mistake like you did before, whether it’s intentional or not, or you’ll end up forming it as a habit and obviously, it will not be good in the long run.
  • Be patient and own your mistakes. You wanted to get things done as soon as you could and as perfect as your clients or bosses would like to see. Remember, all experts started as beginners, they also make mistakes and they ended up correcting them by doing better or find a solution to the problem. If you will own your mistake, chances are your relationship with your clients will grow stronger and assuring them that it will not happen again. There is always a second chance.
  • BE CONFIDENT TO YOURSELF. Simply put, to face the fear of taking risks takes a lot of confidence. You know you’re craft, you’re willing to learn, you know their background and such, it’s now up to you how you will carry yourself in doing these things. Remember, there are things that your future prospects don’t know that you do, and they are the ones who are after you and not you after them. Show to them that you’re up to the challenge. After all, it’s also one way for you to gain another experience.

I hope these tips will help you forget your fear. We all have fears, even me (most especially), but if we don’t do a single thing to change ourselves and succeed, we’ll end up sticking to the same routine. Who wants to have the same old boring routine in their lives, right?

Again, if you have any ideas that you can add, or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out for me. It’s one step towards facing fears of taking risks!

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