Why it's worth the risk

Why is risk a noble cause? In order to succeed, at some point in your life you need to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself at risk.

Many of the strategies used in professional and amateur sports are applicable to both business and personal life. One of the lessons I learned from ski competitions was the 40-30-30 rule. At the very beginning, during training, I tried to move as quickly as possible and at the same time not fall. When I entered the lift, my coach told me that I did not understand the main thing. He explained to me that success in ski competitions, like in most sports, is only 40% dependent on physical training. The remaining 60% do not depend on physical effort. Of these, 30% are technical skills and experience. The remaining 30% is the desire to take risks.

Specifically in competitive skiing, this means taking the risk of sharp turns, balancing on steep slope angles, and not avoiding more pressure on the outer edge of the skis, all of which increase the possibility of falling. But my trainer explained that if during the day I didn’t fall at least once during training, I wasn’t trying hard enough. Yes, in order to succeed at anything, at some point we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. Bodybuilders call this the "pain period". Only if you try new things, fight and learn, and then try again, can you improve your results. It's just a matter of exploring uncharted territory. In order to succeed at anything, we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone at some point.

And when we pass this test, we can't help but wonder why we were so timid in the beginning. That such fear exists is undeniable. Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert found that it's easier for us to deal with failure than to expect it. His study says: "When people are asked to predict how they will feel if they fail at work... or fail at competitions, they tend to overestimate the severity of their feelings and their duration." In other words, "we overestimate the depth and duration of our suffering in the face of future misfortune."

When we try to focus only on honing our skills or deepening our knowledge, the greatest success and the greatest learning comes from action, experience, and risk. And our regrets in life reflect this. According to Gilbert, studies have shown that "in the end, people of all ages and all professions regret what they didn't do more than what they did."

While it makes sense to play it safe in some professions such as financial services or healthcare, we need to focus on the last 30 percent for our own creative development. Our internal inhibitions were formed to protect us, but in many cases they limit us. The problem is to restore the balance of your being. Ultimately, it is those who overcome difficulties, can be resilient in the face of failure and master the last 30% of the risk, achieve the greatest results in their activities.

Photo: Ivan Malafeyev flickr.com/malafeyev

Michael Schwalbe 99u.com