Risk taking is necessary to to succeeding in one’s career, relationships or life. When we trade being risk averse for the sake of short-term or long-term security, we’re missing out. We know taking risks must happen, but sometimes we’re too paralyzed by fear to take those big leaps.
I’m not a natural risk-taker. I like being safe, calculated and strategic about everything I do. But I know for a fact that God is not at all pleased with my addiction to security. Why? Because he paired me up with a risk junkie. Ces loves risk and thrives in it. She’s the type who signs up for a surfing class while I watch Alex from the shore.
You might be coming up with a big decision that might become your big break. An investment, a relationship, a career shift, a church plant or a relocation. You know those risks are big, but things are holding you back. But you don’t know what they are.
I’ve come to see hindrances to risk taking after five years of marriage to a daredevil (Thank You, Lord, for my wife). As I have been “forced” to take risks, I have identified these walls and have found ways to break them down. I’d like to share with you today four of the major hindrances to taking more risks.
The fear of failure chains us to our seats when God and life call us to leap. We’re too afraid to go for ideas thinking that our failures might separate us from God’s best and from His love. But Romans 8:38 reminds us, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
Risk taking is not about whether you will fail or not. Chances are you will! But your failure will not stop God’s best. Even when we fail. God will not.
Other People’s Opinions
Another thing that holds us back is the opinions of others. We’re too afraid to make big leaps. Our boss, officemates, followers, friends, parents or critics opinions matter too much to us. We don’t want to rock the boat.
Being careful of people’s perceptions is important. Yes, we should listen to people’s advice, opinions and ideas. But never let the opinions of others paralyze you from taking risks.
What if the money never comes? What if weather does not permit our vacation? What if God doesn’t give me the words to say when I go up the stage? Many of our what ifs cling on to things we can’t control. I won’t sugar-coat things. The likelihood of external circumstances going against our favor is often high. But we should learn to focus on the good we could achieve as much as the bad that could come out of our decisions. Is the good far greater than the risk? Then it’s time to take the leap.
Weaknesses and Limitations
There are some things that we can do well and other things that we can’t do at all. Most times God will call us to do things we are bad at. What is something you cannot do well? Stop looking to how you can deal with areas you are weak at. Instead, start praying for people who can be strong where you are weak.
God wired us to partner with others to be great where we are bad at. When building teams, my first default is to look for visionaries. I’m a good “how to” person but a bad “where to?” person. By God’s grace he allows me to meet and work with people with audacious dreams and big visions and I help them get there.