Calculated risks are chances of exposure to loss or injury that might be undertaken after their advantages and disadvantages have been carefully weighed and considered.
Because I want to steer the narrative in this post, I’m going to change the word CHANCE to OPPORTUNITY and I also want to shift the negative words of LOSS and INJURY to GAIN. Just follow me…
Any time we attempt to undertake anything, there is a chance that we may fail. If I decide I would like to drive from Chicago to Detroit, there is a chance that I will end up in an accident. Shift that same scenario to a cold, snowy January day and those chances increase. If you apply for a new job, there is a chance that someone else will be hired. Apply for a job in an industry in which you have limited experience and those odds shift against your favor even more. Basically, all decisions have a possibility of going one way or another. The only thing that pushes the most conservative of us over the edge of decision into action is that we have carefully weighed and considered that the pros outweigh the cons.
There’s a common saying, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I often tell people, opportunities don’t present themselves until you step to them. It’s like going to Target (don’t we just love going to Target…. I digress). Until you step up to the automatic door, it won’t open. You can try to transcend into Target from the parking lot all you want, but you will never make it to see all of the glorious trinkets, baubles, and everything else that you will end up throwing into your cart (when you only meant to get toothpaste) until you walk up to the door and the door offers you an opportunity to shop.
This is LIFE, sis! We all want to see the end of a situation and know that everything will be OK before we take the steps to make things happen. We want to be absolutely sure before we wager something that will cost us. It’s human nature – fight or flight – to want to self preserve. But at some point living in a Ziploc bag that becomes stagnant and you suffocate. We go to the same job day in and day out because we know what that looks like. We stay at the same church even though we are spiritually starving because we’ve been there since we were kids and everybody knows our name (cue: Cheers theme song). We remain in stale relationships because we don’t want to be lonely and having a piece of a man is better than not having anybody at all. We place our gifts, talents and resources in a vault, rarely if ever to be uncovered, because we are comfortable where we are and don’t want the spotlight on us that we know those treasures would warrant if we truly stepped out into them.
But calculated risks are those in which opportunities of exposure to gain are undertaken after their advantages have been carefully weighed and considered. I want to challenge you this year to stop considering all of the many ways you can fail and realize that you are magnificent – fearfully and wonderfully made. You got it, girl! I want you to step up to the doors of opportunity and let the bright lights and amazing air on the other side invigorate you just like it does me every time I step into a Target store. LOL!! Yes, I want you to be wise. But I also want you to use your fear to propel you into your destiny. If you don’t feel even a little bit scared, you’re not stretching yourself.
Calculated risks requires consideration, thought, planning and then action. It doesn’t mean you focus on all of the negatives and then talk yourself back into a corner. Oh contrare! It means you objectively look at a situation, see where you may come up short as well as where you excel, make a plan to bridge the gaps, and even if all things don’t perfectly meet (they never will) you take that leap and keep it moving.
So whether it is changing careers, moving to a new city, dropping that deadbeat boyfriend, separating yourself from frenemies, or embarking on a side hustle – don’t just consider it, DO IT! YOLO!