If you aren’t willing to take risks, you won’t get what you want


Do you want to be successful in life?

Are you risk averse?

Let me share one of the greatest truths in life: If you are not willing to take risks, you will never grow, change or get out of life what you want.

I loved my dad dearly. When he passed away in 2017, I was devastated. But my dad was risk averse. He did not like making waves. He was satisfied with the status quo.

The question I struggled with as a child and young person was, why? Do I really have to accept things the way they are? Do I need to be afraid of causing waves? Do I really have to be afraid of risk? The conclusion I came to was, no, I do not have to accept things the way they are. I can cause waves. I can take risks.

In fact, I concluded that if I was going to change or be successful at anything, I had to take risks.

Let me be clear — I am not talking about any risk, or taking risk for risk’s sake. I am talking about calculated risks.

Understanding the risk but doing it anyway. With risk goes the possibility of failure, and failure is sometimes the outcome.

But taking chances is the most direct line to success. By taking chances, you not only advance your life skills, but you gain experience. Experience fosters personal growth.

I wanted to do things in life, so I read about people who were successful. Do you know what I found? Risk was the common thread. So, my dad, as loving and kind a person as he was, was wrong.

Dad also taught me amazing lessons that I value today. I like to think I learned compassion, kindness and the virtues of value-driven life from him.

Success may mean different things to different people. But successful people take risks. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is necessary if you want to be successful in whatever way you personally define success.

Why don’t more people take risks? Fear of failure.

Do you know what? I am terribly afraid of failure. No one likes to fail. If you never do anything because you’re afraid you might fail, guess what? You will never do anything.

Risk builds tolerance. Risk builds self-confidence. Risk forces you to learn new things. Risk will get you places you never thought you would go.

So go ahead and take a risk. Start that business. Pursue that dream. Take a risk and do what you love.

Success could follow. If not, the lessons you learn in failure could lead to even greater success in the future.


Richard Stride is the current CEO of Cascade Community Healthcare. He can be reached at drstride@icloud.com.