25 April 2014,
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Creative risk-taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high. Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity. – Gary Ryan Blair


Risk-taking and I have an uneasy relationship. To me, risk-taking generally means choosing between life and death with the odds falling on the side of death. Just thinking about the word makes my belly start doing flip-flops. I’m not going there – at least not willingly.

Having my own business is teaching me to see risk-taking differently. Everything in life is a “risk” if you haven’t done it before. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it if it matters to you.

Here are a few risks I’ve taken that I have only recently been willing to give myself credit for doing.

  • Moving out on my own right after high school and supporting myself without assistance.
  • Entering a profession that was, at the time, risky and challenging for women.
  • Going back to school to earn my degree In the middle of my career.
  • Starting my coaching business rather than seeking another “safe” job after I was laid off.
  • Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane

You may think some things on this list aren’t especially risky. But on my personal risk tolerance scale, all of them ranked higher than a five. A couple of them spilled over the brink of ten, if that’s even possible!

What I’ve learned is that creative risk-taking requires you to go beyond who you know yourself to be. Each risk you take teaches you how capable you are of achieving more than you think is possible.

Yes, sometimes risky choices include a certain amount of naiveté. Ignorance can sometimes be your best friend.  You might never jump if you knew what you were getting yourself into.

But when it matters, you must jump or take the bigger risk of killing your spirit. You won’t regret taking the plunge when it comes to something that matters. Failing at the goal is less risky than failing to be true to yourself.

Where do you rank the quality of your life on the aliveness scale? If it falls within the ho-hum range, maybe it’s time to design a Sexy Second Act that invigorates and engages your mind, body, and spirit.

You might not be someone who starts a business or a company. But when you think about it, aren’t you the entrepreneur of the enterprise called Your Life? What creative risks are you willing to take to make your life fulfilling, purposeful, and ecstatically rewarding?


Having trouble getting in touch with what inspires you to become a creative risk taker? Start with a Personal Insights Profile to gain clarity about what you value and how to get into action toward the goals that are important to you.

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