2 Surprising Reasons Why People Don’t Take Risks
May 17, 2022 8:30 AM EST | 4 min read
What is our motivation, or lack thereof, when it comes to risk?
In this post, let’s explore two reasons why people limit themselves, fail to take the leap of faith, and leave their comfort zone.
Our success, happiness, gratitude, and contribution come from our ability to grow and expand.
We cannot live our most fulfilling life if we do not take any risks.
If we don’t take risks we don’t grow.
If we don’t grow we can never be at our best.
And if we cannot show the world our best, we cannot be happy.
True happiness is when we can show the world the best of ourselves on a daily basis.
Life is easy when we play small.
It is easy to do what everyone around you is doing.
Playing it safe, staying in a box – you have heard the clichés.
When we do not become our dreams, we actually get smaller.
Moreover, it is much more meaningful and difficult to live the large life we are destined to have.
If we do not live out our dreams the whole world suffers – since each of us has something amazing to offer the world.
Why people don’t take risks and what we can do about it
So, why can’t we do it?
Why can’t we take the leap?
What is it that makes rediscovering who we always were and were always meant to be so challenging?
Is there a reason we don’t take the risk to shed the layers?
Why can’t we take the risk to change careers or to fall in love?
How about living in a foreign land?
Or to start the business, non-profit, or enterprise of our dreams?
In my relatively young years, I have been blessed to have a depth of experience, including working with thousands of kids and hundreds of adults.
I also constantly reflected on my own life and growth.
When we boil it down, kids and adults alike, don’t take the risk to go after our dreams and our highest, largest life because of two main reasons.
Reason #1: We don’t think we are good enough
We have spent too much time listening to our own doubts and the doubts of others.
Think about how much time you have spent focusing on the obstacles instead of the goal.
All that wasted time judging, evaluating, and attempting to control outside forces.
It feels impossible to get out of our own head, out of our own way.
We have forgotten that we are great enough to make it happen with passion, persistence & faith.
Reason #2: We don’t t think we will be loved the same way, or loved enough
We are afraid that by making certain decisions we will lose the approval of the people closest to us.
As we grow up we look for approval from parents, teachers, and friends.
Our childhood is spent looking for the pat on the back.
Then as adults, we do the same thing in the workplace.
Many of us grow up to become people pleasers and lose our sense of purpose in the process.
We think that if we do certain things our family, friends, and coworkers will become disconnected or even think we are crazy.
Yes, that might happen, especially initially.
A small number of family and friends might not understand or even think you are crazy, weird, and out there.
Honestly, that’s ok!
More people will be inspired.
Imagine all the people who will be inspired by your ability to make such a big decision.
They will be inspired by your passion, fortitude, confidence, and belief.
You might even spark an awakening within some of the people closest to you.
Your action of taking a risk and forging your own path might be just the spark they needed.
Live your life as an example of someone who will not settle for less than what they are!
“Your life is your message, make it an inspiring one!” – Gandhi
As always, I hope this helps.
Share this with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Leave us some comments below about what held you back from taking risks.
Or, share the story about a big risk that paid off!
We want to hear all about your brave and courageous risks!
May 20, 2022 at 9:00 PM
Thank you, Toast Master, for the kind introduction.
Good evening beautiful people of Dhaka Toast Masters club.
2 real-life stories to set the stage for my speech and then the speech itself on Why We Don’t Take Risks.
As a pharma marketer, my job involves meeting all kinds of doctors.
So, I was meeting this doctor in the Moulali Area of Kolkata one evening. The doctor’s clinic was at one end of a long verandah and the waiting area for patients and visitors at the other end. There was a long empty space in between. There was a staircase of a few steps from the verandah onto the road. The doctor’s daughter, a child of about 2 years used the empty space to ride her tricycle. And the doctor was checking his patients and we were waiting to meet the doctor.
All was fine. Suddenly we saw that the doctor’s daughter lose her balance on the tricycle and roll down the staircase. All of us rushed to pick up the child. But from the other end, the doctor shouted at us not to do anything. We froze. We observed that the child got up, dragged her tricycle up the stairs, and go straight to her dad. Maybe expecting some kind words from him. Instead, the doctor asked her sternly, ‘what did you learn?’ And surprisingly the child replied, ‘I should ride my cycle slowly and not go near the stairs.’ The doctor patted her lovingly and set her off.
He had a career of 27 years in the Indian pharma industry. He rose from zero to the rank of a Vice-President riding on fabulous successes. One fine day, he gets a job offer in Bangladesh. For a general Indian, Bangladesh is an orthodox Islamic country where Hindus are tortured, the capital Dhaka is polluted, and dirty, women are not respected, and Dhaka ranks as one of the least livable cities in the world. To make things worse, his father who left Bangladesh as a refugee, had all unkind words for the country. As did everyone who came to know about the plan to shift
This person is unrelenting. He begins his research. He reads about the country and is amazed at the progress the country has made in the last few decades. He asks those people who actually stayed in Bangladesh and worked. He gets fabulous reviews. One of them told him that if he had even a single Bengali gene in his body, he would love Bangladesh. The decision is made
Fast forward to just about a year and a half. The person turns around his loss-making pharma business by clocking all-time high sales for a 2-decade old company as well as its key brands. Not only that, Revlon Bangladesh, another key assignment grows from 40 lacs sales in 2020 to 1.8 crs in 2021, the year that he joined and already crossed 2021 sales in the first 4 months of 2022.
Yes, this story is about me.
Now, my actual speech on why we do not risk.
I would ask you to go back into your childhood days as far back as your memory takes you.
You would recollect that back then as a child, you were eager to try out new things, explore new places, taste new foods, and climb up trees to see how the world looks from above…
And every time you tried doing any of these, someone came in the picture. Your parents. You wanted to rush off into one dark room, and your parents said, ‘don’t go there, there is a ghost inside.’ You wanted to chat up with your watchman. Your parents would say, ‘don’t talk to strangers. He is a child lifter.’ You wanted to climb trees. Your parents would say, ‘Don’t do that. You shall fall and hurt yourself.’ And it went on. This was the age where your brain was continuously collecting information and stimuli and it went on receiving these preventive and restrictive signals. It became a part of your psyche. Later in life, if you tried anything new and it went wrong, this psyche got reinforced and you thought that you should not have taken this risk. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the primordial reasons for us not to take risks.
Am I saying that our parents are to be blamed for a restrictive upbringing? Not at all. Protecting the offspring is a key element of parenting in the animal kingdom and we are no different. The only difference between us and other animals is that they train their offspring to fight for food and mate. We don’t do that.
So, if that is an issue with us for us not taking risks, what can be a simple solution? You can neither change your parents nor change what happened in your childhood.
Well, I’d say, do your research. Every time before you embark on something that you perceive as risk, research. Read up. Know more about it. And once you are armed with the knowledge, go forth, and instead of taking a risk, take a calculated risk. And succeed.
Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
May 23, 2022 at 12:10 PM
Wow, your stories are powerful reminders about why we don’t take risks and why we should! Thanks for sharing with us, and we are glad you enjoyed the article.