Remove the Word “Risk” from your Vocabulary

“Risk; a situation involving exposure to danger.”

The phrase “it’s too risky” annoys me.

To me, it’s one of the most overused, uneducated, and crippling phrases in our society. Risk, to me, is simply fear. It’s the fear of failure. It’s the fear of danger. It’s an out clause for people who want to take the easy way out, or to get praise for doing something that isn’t normal. I believe it was first used by somebody who wanted to save face and cowardly pass off the fear of failure to a nonexistent thing called “risk.” Instead of investing time and effort into something, you just say “it’s too risky,” and people understand. People understand because we’ve all been conditioned that risk is a bad thing, and something that we should be praised for if we do take a risk. Instead of chasing success, people blame risk of failure as a reason not to chase success and we all happily accept it, feel for them and understand.

As a society, we enable people using risk as an out clause. We are our own roadblock in the advancement of innovation in our society. Why? Because we don’t take the time to think about what blaming risk really means. We just know risk is something that people don’t have to do because they could fail… but if they do it and succeed, they need extra praise because they took a risk. Fact is, you can fail at anything. Let me repeat that… you can fail at anything no matter the odds. But why are things that require more work, more effort, more research and more sweat considered to be more risky? Because as a society, we’ve been conditioned to be okay with laziness and it’s odd when people go above and beyond for their ideas.

Unless something has a significant chance of causing permanent physical danger, there really is no true risk in reality. When you take a “risk”, when you’re in the moment, isn’t it funny how it no longer feels like a risk when you feel closer to success? That’s because you did that action because you were confident in succeeding and realized the possibility of failure really wasn’t that bad. Everybody fails. Everybody will fail daily. We fail to buckle our seat belts, we lose money, misspell words, invest in the wrong stocks, and even fail to walk at times when tripping over our own feet. We fail so much, we don’t notice most failures anymore. So unless failing means physical harm or life… then taking that risk to better your life and others around you really isn’t that bad is it? Is it really risk then since we face failure everyday? Is it really risk then if the feeling of success always outweighs that feeling of failure? We fail as much as we succeed in life, but people don’t chase failure . Unless you’re a baseball player… in that case you fail far more than you succeed in life. So why not look at failure as a hurdle instead of something too risky to face? Why not chase your idea, your vision, and your feeling until you find success and understand that failure doesn’t mean the end unless you’re risking your life? If you do that, all of a sudden you won’t understand what risk is until you’re strapped to a parachute looking over the edge of the open door of a airplane. You won’t understand what risk is until you’re playing Russian roulette or taking your first flight on a homemade jet pack.

The best athletes in the world don’t see risk in their sport. They see success, and map out how to get there. That’s what sets them apart from the rest of us. They see success, understand they can get hurt and fail in front of the world… and understand failure is not the end. Failure is a learning opportunity. It’s not risky to fail. It’s normal to fail. Your mindset, what goes on in your head, is what creates the notion of risk… so if risk is created by your own mind and fears… then wouldn’t that mean that risk is essentially non existent unless death or physical harm is the possible outcome of your goal? Sure you can risk your money, your pride, and your things… but you can always get those back by trying again. Unless your actions take your life away, or permanently physically harm you, then you always have a chance to find success again at whatever it is you were taking that “risk” on.

Risk is now a roadblock in peoples lives and ideas. People aren’t afraid of risk, they’re afraid of failure. But risk somehow gets the blame. If failure, and risk, weren’t in the human vocabulary… there’d probably be a lot more skydiving accidents, but our society would also be SO much further advanced than we are today it’s unimaginable what we would have achieved as a human race. The word risk is for the bad people because they risk getting caught and getting locked up, the dumb people because they risk other peoples well being, and the dangerous people because they risk everyone and everything… They are the actual risk to our societies well being and the future and pace of innovation.

I’m not saying risk is a word that shouldn’t exist. It obviously has its place. I’m saying that it’s misused, and mis-blamed, especially in the business world, and the rest of us accept that misuse and embrace it. The only real risk that exists is when you’re cheating life and death. Everything else is created in your head. You are the only risk that you face. You not taking “risks” is the biggest “risk” that you will ever face. So don’t say your great idea is too risky… screw those that may disagree, and prove the doubters wrong.. If you fail, then pick yourself back up, and try again. Those that don’t blame risk or fear failure are those that change the world.

Risk is mental. Failure is temporary. Success is awesome.

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