It is just too risky

One of the problems we have is that once we have had a problem we avoid facing the issue again. We are just too frightened because we think that we will fail again.

Susan and ladders

When I was 9 or 10  used to walk along a certain part of the climbing frame at school but one day I fell and after that I watched other people walk along that part of the climbing frame but I never tried doing it again. In fact even as an adult, I have not been very confident when climbing ladders. I have still done so but if the ladder has moved it has sent a shiver of fear through me.

Strange thing is that I had put what happened to the back of my mind and not made the connection between that and my fear of ladders. Once I made the connection it was much easier to overcome the fear of falling from the ladder I use to climb into the storage space above my garage.

There is a saying that if you fall off a horse the best thing that you can do is to get back on again as soon as possible. Maybe it would have been better to have gone back to using the climbing frame in the same way as I did when I fell. That way maybe I would have become more confident using ladders as an adult. The longer you avoid doing the same thing the harder it will be. Sometimes there are circumstances where you simply have to face your fears.

Susan and border collies

I was 16 and before going to school I went to the village shop and took our little West Highland Terrier with me. I had just left the shop when this border collie jumped out of a car, bounded towards me and scared the living daylights out of me and my dog. The other dog owner rescued us but I was in a state of shock for a few hours. It was hard to concentrate on school work for much of that morning.

Fast forwards a few years I am married and living miles away from the original incident. I have a toddler in a buggie and I am again walking to the shops. This time I have to walk past another border collie to get to the shops. It is lying at the end of the drive, totally placid, and would not do anything to frighten me. Yet every time I walk past it I feel the fear from what had happened years ago. Slowly and gradually that fear began to subside. Eventually I was able to walk past that dog without a twinge of fear.

Fast forwards a few more years and the toddler is older that I was when I first overcame that fear and I have another encounter with a border collie. This time it lived next door but it managed to get through the fence. When I go outside to encourage it go back to its own side of the fence it moves pretty quickly. That border collie is more frightened of me than I am of it. Umm what would have happened that time if I had not already overcome that fear enough to have taken a risk to go into my own garden when there was a border collie in it.

Fear can hold us back from what is good for us

Sometimes we are afraid of stepping out into strange environments because we are afraid of the effect that that a different environment will have on us. This can apply to someone who is married but finds the other party is seriously misbehaving. They can be so frightened of what life would be like on their own that they continue to live with bad behaviour such as physical abuse because they struggle to take the risk of walking away.

Fear also stops people from walking into situations. We cannot change a situation or find out exactly what is going on somewhere unless we go there. We cannot reach out and help people unless we are willing to go where they gather and find out what their true needs are.

Another issue is that we try to avoid making mistakes by gathering information so that we can identify and eliminate as many of the possible risks as possible. There is a place for this but if it goes too far it can become analysis paralysis. Sometimes the more we find out about a situation the more concerned we become that we will be not able to do it well. This often means that we are less likely to do well. Like many things, it is a question of balance.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Setting up a business can be a risky activity as 90% of new businesses are no longer in existence after five years. On the other hand, this means that 10% are still functioning after five years. When something is risky, there are two alternatives.

  1. Don’t do it
  2. Go ahead and do everything possible to reduce the risk.

Reducing the risk when setting up a business includes learning how to do the right things in the right way so that business is to survive. In fact, the way that many people learn to develop strong businesses is by trial and error. They start one and it fails so they try again and avoid making the mistake that led to them failing last time.

Robert Kiyosaki’s first two attempts at setting up a business failed but the third one succeeded. We will never know if the third one would have succeeded if he had not learned his lessons from the first two failures. What we do know is that the lessons that he learned from these failures have led to him making sure that people that come into contact with his teaching materials or coaching service do not make the same mistakes.

Take the risk and good things can happen

It is only because people are willing to take risks that some things happen. For example if no one had tried to create a computer or telephone or build a plane then we would not be able to use them today. Edison was known for his many inventions. He developed a system of recording the results of each trial sometimes making hundreds if not thousands of attempts to achieve the same end. Each time he learnt a bit more and therefore was better equipped to try again.

Imagine if no had taken the risk to sail across the Atlantic or fly along the Nile. We need trail blazers who go ahead and take risks. It makes it so much easier to reach things when we are able to stand on the shoulders of giants. In other words someone has to be first and go that direction. They may succeed or they may fail but both they and those who follow after them will have learnt a bit more about what not to do.

Of course, whatever we do we often have some ideas about what not to do. We know the risks and we can put plans in place that mean that if whatever we are fearful of does happen then the consequences are not as severe as they might have been otherwise.

In recent years, the British government has tried to encourage businesses to develop continuity plans so that they are more resilient. This is because experience has shown many businesses disappear from areas that have been flooded or experienced terrorist attacks. In other words, there are risks in just living every day life that we need to be ready for, hence the materials you will find on Surviving a Household Emergency. You see you cannot escape risky situations even at home things can go wrong but you can do something to lessen the consequences when they do go wrong.

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