Rearranging your risk equation

Isn’t life fun when you know exactly what to expect, who you’ll run into, that you will be perfectly safe and that this brand new day will feel just like the one you lived through yesterday?

No, of course not.

We live to seek difference, change, evolution into who we strive to become. Our deepest longings often go unspoken, secretly tapping on our shoulders in quiet moments, saying, “Hey… give me attention! I can come *vibrantly* alive with a little nudge”. It comes down to risks- and whether or not you are willing to take them, make them, shake them and break them.

Today, I took a big ole risk, as I have been known to do. When assessing my risk, I went back to the age old question, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” What am I risking? This particular risk has to do with pride. If the answer to my question is no, or “not interested” it would be a blow to the ego. Common translation in my mind would be, “I’m not good enough to pull it off” or simply, “they don’t like me and what I have to offer”. Right before I pushed the send button to shoot my risky request off into the interwebs, I had that sinking feeling of, “this is such a long shot- no way in a million years will this lead to something great”. My posture even changed… where the hell was this coming from!?! I sat up straight, got my brain back and remembered what made me want to send the message in the first place.

*Fortitude*Confidence*Alive Decisions*Possibility*Excellence*

Classic risk equation goes like this: R = f(T, V, A)

In other words, risk is the probability that a threat will exploit a vulnerability to cause harm to an asset.

Consider inverting the equation… What if you emphasized your assets as ways to *reduce* your vulnerability to threats when it comes to risk. 

What I am saying is this… all too often we think that the risk should be our focus when making the decision to act. What am I risking in order to reach my goal, make the deal, get to the next level? These risks can scare the bloody hell out of us if we aren’t careful. Why not asses your rockin’ qualities and use those to propel your goal?

Risk calculation then becomes an equation of your skills. Are you ready to take the risk?

What if my feelings are hurt? What if I fail? What if I am trampled by a giraffe on my way to the grocery store??? All of these things are theoretically possible but the likelihood of these things taking place depends on circumstance, preparedness, experience, confidence and reality.

Emphasis on REALITY

The giraffe will not trample you.

Your feelings can only be hurt if you decide they are open to being and staying hurt.

Failure is only meaningful if you let it stop you from further attempts.

Here’s the deal

When you have that rockin’ feeling that you are able and smart, ready and willing, eager and tough, anything can happen. You can crush the concept of risk when you let these facts vibrate through your veins.

Stop thinking about what you can lose by taking a risk and start thinking about what you have to offer that makes the risk a non-issue.

Why are you the best one for the job?

What makes you the best leader for a new project?

Why would she say yes to you if you asked her out to dinner?

Why would they support you in your efforts to change the world?

Be so great, that they can’t say no.

Because when you are on fire, you are unstoppable. 

One more thing- part of crushing risk is acknowledging that you get to keep trying, and trying, and trying, until you get it right. Unless of course, that giraffe finds you. Good luck.



5 thoughts on “Rearranging your risk equation

  1. Sun-Tzu writings reveal the concept of Danger/Opportunity in terms of assessing a situation: Yes, the situation may present a danger, but what opportunities are presented as a result of risking that danger?

    Great writing as always.

  2. Very well put Amelia. Even for someone who has forced himself to overcome the fear of failure many times in order to succeed, I still find myself assessing the risks to the extent that I don’t take action. Your post reminds me that without risk, there is no reward.

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