• Although settling into your comfort zone may be tempting, it will not put you on track to success. Growing personally and professionally requires you to bolster your risk-taking skills.
• Because world is changing at a rapid and accelerating pace, those who are unwilling or unable to take risks will become ineffective if not obsolete.
• Being nimble and quick to adapt is part of being effective as a risk-taker.
• It's important to let your judgment skills override a reflexive - and likely negative - response to fear of unknown. _________________________________________________
People who consistently perform at a higher level have certain things in common.
They are committed to their success. They have a passion for their profession. They have clear goals. They are comfortable taking well-reasoned risks. Their ability to take thoughtful risks is an important ingredient in their success. It is also a significant determinant in their level of achievement. Top performers are talented and persistent risk-takers.
By contrast, sub-optimal performers often settle into their comfort zone, fall into recurring patterns and stop challenging themselves in significant ways. The good news it that you can improve your risk-taking ability and hence your performance.
I am pretty knowledgeable about successful risk-taking. As a Professional Exhibition Skydiver, I've had to learn how to prepare both intellectually and emotionally to prevail in face of some extraordinary risks. I'm among few who has successfully made one of most challenging stadium jumps in United States into wind-buffeted Candlestick Park. By being willing to take some significant risks, I have been able to earn two skydiving World Records and be among few to ever stand at North Pole.
Skydiving is not only setting where I've found effective risk-taking skills to be valuable. It has also been vitally important in my business career. I had to risk effectively when I was Chief Operating Officer of an international design firm. The same was true when I was responsible for a portfolio of more than $140 million worth of commercial real estate. If I had not been willing to take some significant risks, I would still be someone else's employee instead of working for myself for last eight years.
The Lure of Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is seductive. We all desire comfort. It's human nature. However, too much comfort does not serve us well. An inability to occasionally step out of your comfort zone - to challenge yourself, to leave familiar - will ultimately limit your performance.
Adaptability is vital and becoming more so. Change is pervasive and accelerating. Single-employer careers are nearly history and single-profession careers barely remain.
If you are going to thrive in a world of rapid change, you have to be adept at adapting. The more comfortable you are with taking risks and dealing with resulting fear, better you will be at adapting.
Change can be frightening. It confronts us with unknown. It is common and normal to be fearful of change. Unfortunately, left unresolved, fear response can profoundly limit your performance.
The Critical Step - Responding Effectively to Fear