Minimize risk and rise |

Minimize risk and rise

Machen MacDonald
Special to The Union

The greatest risk in life is not taking any. If we live a life devoid of risk, can it be said we have really lived at all?

In order to raise our game and thereby achieve more, experience more and connect more with others, we must take risks. Often, if not always, what we really desire is on the other side of the perceived risk. I intentionally used the word "'perceived" to describe risk.Risk has varying degrees, based on our perception or interpretation of the data or situation.

I am not advocating putting yourself or others at risk. I am, however, encouraging you to think about how you can minimize risk so you can achieve more.

Why does one person jump off a bridge tied to a bungee cord while another won't even walk across the bridge? Assuming they both have the same information as it relates to the situation, each person will start to create his or her own perception of what the risks are.

In the above scenario, the data around jumping off the bridge would be the same for both people. We will assume that the two people are of identical physical fitness and injury-free, using the same equipment and getting the same instruction. What is different is their judgment of what that data around the jump can translate into experientially. If we look at the two ends of the spectrum of emotional imaging, one person is envisioning a thrilling experience, while the other may be imagining malfunctioning and whatever the worst possible outcome could be. One person minimized the perceived risk while the other didn't.

The important element to extrapolate here is that it is not the situation but rather our judgment of the situation that throws up the wall of risk, preventing us from going for the end goal.

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Think about it. How many times have you been fearful of something, only to eventually go for it and then realize it wasn't that big of a deal, wondering why you got so worked up at the thought of it? Well, it was the thought of it — the judgment that either kept you from going for it or permitted you to move forward.

It's not who we think we are that holds us back. It's who we think we are not. Again, just thoughts. You are amazing just as you are. Regardless of your success level, you are capable of so much more. All you need to do is rise to the occasion by minimizing the risk in your mind.

There are various studies that have asked terminally ill or very old people if they had any regrets with regard to how they lived their life. The majority of those people indicated they wish they had taken more risk during their lifetimes. One might argue, at that stage of life, that they had nothing to lose by taking the risk and it not working out. Notice where else you may be arguing for your limitations. Endeavor to live life unencumbered of any regret. Minimize the risks.

When you step into the perceived risk, there is a reward on the other side, either in the form of an accomplishment or an opportunity to increase your capacity. Either way, it is a winning situation.

An easy way to increase your capacity of stepping into your power and conquering more risk is to trust that you can handle whatever may come about. Trusting minimizes perceived risk. Expanding risk in our mind brings on suffering. If you are not trusting, you are suffering.

People complain about things they think should be different in their life but are not willing to take the risk to make it so. If your life is not what you want, then take the risk to make it better. Minimize risk in your mind and rise to the occasion.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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