You Want Me To Do What? - Risking to Win

Written by Jim McCormick

In Brief

Although settling into your comfort zone may be tempting, it will not put you onrepparttar track to success. Growing personally and professionally requires you to bolster your risk-taking skills.

Becauserepparttar 123978 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 ofrepparttar 123979 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 inrepparttar 123980 face of some extraordinary risks. I'm amongrepparttar 123981 few who has successfully made one ofrepparttar 123982 most challenging stadium jumps inrepparttar 123983 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 amongrepparttar 123984 few to ever stand atrepparttar 123985 North Pole.

Skydiving is notrepparttar 123986 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 wasrepparttar 123987 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 forrepparttar 123988 last eight years.

The Lure ofrepparttar 123989 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 leaverepparttar 123990 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 withrepparttar 123991 resulting fear,repparttar 123992 better you will be at adapting.

Change can be frightening. It confronts us withrepparttar 123993 unknown. It is common and normal to be fearful of change. Unfortunately, left unresolved,repparttar 123994 fear response can profoundly limit your performance.

The Critical Step - Responding Effectively to Fear

Heed Your Confidence Voice

Written by Jim McCormick

You know fear can be powerful, controlling, limiting, and immobilizing. But did you know that when you accept your fear and tune in to your confidence voice, you can regain control and reap immeasurable rewards? Letrepparttar author, a full-time professional speaker, share how some thoughtful and constructive risk-taking can lead to higher job performance and greater personal satisfaction.

How do we keep fear from controlling us? Trust me: I didn't develop skill in this field solely by earning a skydiving World Record or jumping out of a jet overrepparttar 123977 North Pole--but it helped. Let's start with some background, then weave in a couple adventure stories that illustrate how to face fear and heed your confidence voice.

We know fear is going to be there, and that it will be intensely powerful. It can control us, limit us, and make our decision for us. If we don't deal with it effectively, it can immobilize us.

There are two responses to fear: constructive and destructive. The destructive response goes something like this: We're confronted with a situation that clearly and appropriately justifies fear, but instead we respond with, -I'm not afraid. That doesn't bother me. Another sign we've invokedrepparttar 123978 destructive response is that we put a barrier between us andrepparttar 123979 fear source. We waste precious time and energy shielding ourselves fromrepparttar 123980 fear source. We could instead put this energy toward seeking solutions and resolutions torepparttar 123981 problem if we could only acknowledge that we are experiencing fear.

The constructive response to fear requires a simple, but often difficult, step. Andrepparttar 123982 step is difficult for a perfectly legitimate reason, because it attacks something that is important to all of us our pride. The constructive response to fear requires us to admit we're afraid. When we admit that we're afraid, even if only to ourselves, when we accept our fear, something very powerful happens. We regain control. We're back making decisions for ourselves. The fear doesn't disappear, but its power over us wanes.

Early inrepparttar 123983 space program,repparttar 123984 National Aeronautics and Space Administration did a study. They had observed that a certain number of their pilots and astronauts were completing their missions successfully without suffering motion and stress sickness. Another group was consistently havingrepparttar 123985 problem. Based on empirical research, NASA found that there was one factor, and one factor alone, that maderepparttar 123986 difference betweenrepparttar 123987 two groups. The ones who were going throughrepparttar 123988 mission without a physical problem wererepparttar 123989 ones who had acknowledged in advance that they were going to be afraid. They had a constructive response to fear.

For all of us, but particularly for people who are achievement oriented,repparttar 123990 idea of a feeling like fear exerting so much control over them can be hard to accept. The thought that a mere emotion--something that did not spring from their imposing intellect or determined will--could have a significant impact on them is extremely bothersome. To get comfortable withrepparttar 123991 fact that fear doesn't necessarily make sense, yet has tremendous power over us, can be one ofrepparttar 123992 most consequential events of our lives.

The process of identifying fear starts with a "feelings inventory. To get started, sit where there are no distractions. Answer honestly: Are you angry, happy, sad, or afraid? You may feel more than one ofrepparttar 123993 emotions, or all of them. Identifyrepparttar 123994 source of each of these feelings-the real source. This may sound simplistic, but if you do it with commitment, you will quickly grasprepparttar 123995 value.

To understand more completely how a feelings inventory can help you understandrepparttar 123996 interplay between emotions, think of a spacecraft inrepparttar 123997 weightless environment of space. It has retro-rockets that propelrepparttar 123998 spacecraft when they fire. They are there to enablerepparttar 123999 spacecraft to maneuver in all directions.

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