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In our uncertain world, are you a risk taker? Or not so much?

Written By | Nov 6, 2016

WASHINGTON, November 6, 2016 – While no one can predict the future, wouldn’t it be great to have several tactics for evaluating future risk?

Often, what we consider to be “safe” behavior is actually much more uncertain than we think. One reason is because safety generally involves the consistency of a given condition. So whether you’re talking about job security, stable relationships, or even the value of a national currency, there are few environments that remain static over long periods of time. That makes sense, too. After all, change is what is consistent even if we act as if the current state will persist.

Here are a few tactics that may help when dealing with risk in your own life, business or investment situation. When confronting new or perceived risks:

1) Do Your Research

Take your time and do a thorough job researching possible outcomes.

For example, you are ready to purchase a new house. Whether you are a first time buyer (or, on the other hand, a current owner looking to sell), make sure you check out your local housing market and buy something else if the pricing or the home itself differs greatly from the norm. Also, for current homeowners, is it a good time to sell your current home and purchase a new home?

Make sure you do your research by using books or websites that are generally regarded as credible sources. Additionally, do you need to talk to your accountant or financial planner? Do you need to investigate the school system in a potential new neighborhood because you have kids or plan to have them in the future?

What about the research you need to do when looking for a job? What is the potential new company’s business and fiscal track record? Have you looked into the spending habits of this employer? Do they take reasonable risks or unnecessary ones, or is it too risky for them to remain in their current status quo? By this I mean that sometimes the cost of inaction is higher than the cost of taking action.

Here are a few statistics I once read about the risk of taking a year to try something bold and daring:

First, the average person in the U.S. lives approximately 80 years.

Next, assume it takes one year to see if your new adventurous idea has potential.

The result is that you have consumed only 1/80 or 1.25% of your life.

When you look at it from this perspective, what you’re proposing to do really doesn’t seem risky, even if what you are working on now didn’t succeed. In the end, a new home or career move may not be as daunting as you may have thought.

2) Listen to Your “Gut” Intuition

Often we have a natural or “gut” reaction to a situation. Take some quiet time and listen to your gut. Try and separate elements out and examine them so that instinctive fear and caution don’t stop you from what that gut-feeling tells you is right. Keep things in perspective. While your worries and concerns may be legitimate, the magnitude of your various hesitations can get blown out of proportion, leading to a potentially wrong decision.

3) Set a Timeline

To add some buffer to a risk you propose to undertake, set a timeline for the process or effort involved. Setting a firm timeline with a concluding goal will help you feel more in control as you set boundaries and limits. For example, give yourself a certain number of months, during which you’ll work on a new project to determine if it will be productive or rewarding to continue working on it or not. It’s like giving that project a “sell by” date.

Overall, thorough research, getting expertise from credible sources, and evaluating the proposed risk in combination with listening to your gut and setting a realistic timeline can serve as a strong foundation for those who are less risk averse than others but want to get out of that rut.

You can’t totally avoid risk in life. But you can try to limit its downside.

Now: Go out there and take a risk today. You may find it’s not as much of a risk as you think!


For more Information Contact:

Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC
Certified Business, Life & Career Coach
Focusing on Confidence & Resilience Strategies and Transition
Certified Mediator

Twitter: @SelfTalkCoach

301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039!/susan.samakow

Ask Susan about her coaching packages and the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT (Tapping) and Breathing Exercises.

Susan Samakow

Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, is a Certified Business, Life and Leadership Coach. Susan focuses on life and career transition, business and leadership, and confidence and resilience strategies. Susan is also a speaker and facilitator, as well as a Community Content Producer for WUSA 9 TV. She is the former president of the ICF Metro DC Chapter, the largest in North America. Susan’s clients are individuals, any size business and the government. Visit Susan’s website: Susan is on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.