What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail? Do you have dreams that you’ve dismissed or neglected because the risk of following them feels too high? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, it is important to understand that the fear and perceived risk associated with being ambitious, changing your path, and/or failing is a common and often inflated internal barrier to your success.
During a recent internal Leadership Advisory Session, an overwhelming 82% of our employees recognized that the biggest dangers impacting their dreams are self-imposed and come from their own personal fears and aversion to risk, rather than from external pressures. It is true that there is risk associated with any action that is worthwhile, like following your most ambitious dreams, but people clearly overestimate the magnitude of this risk all the time, mistakenly giving it the power to stand in the way of their dreams.
While it may seem like sticking with the safer, more familiar route is less dangerous, the greater risk truly lies in staying in a place where you are not completely fulfilled and inspired. In other words, the alternative risk of complacency and refusing to grow is much greater than the risk of failure. By considering the risks of following your dreams relatively, you can lessen their weight and move past the fear within your own mind. This internal acceptance of your dreams’ relative risk will help you to eliminate those large mental hurdles and courageously move toward meaningful achievement and success.
About our CEO Perspectives series: These insights and perspectives were adapted from sessions and conversations hosted by our CEO and Founder, Rob Siegfried.