Taking a Chance: What Is the Worst That Could Happen?


While reading Adam’s recent blog on grabbing opportunities the other day, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend recently.

We were talking about exactly this sort of thing, and the fear of letting opportunities slip by us. This could mean financial possibilities, new ventures or just the chance to do something different. After a long chat we decided that when you take a chance there is nothing that can go badly enough wrong to justify not doing it.

You Could Lose Money

Of course, the fear of losing money is one of the issues that stops many of us taking more chances. After all, unless you are millionaire then losing cash is going to have a real impact on your life. What I would say is that in my experience, I have always felt that there is some other benefit gained in exchange. For example, probably my biggest money loser was when I moved to my wife’s home country and we set up a business. It turned out to be a financial disaster but we learned so much about different aspects of life in doing it. I had to look for a real job after a while and it only took a few months to recover what we had lost. Having said that, the life experiences it taught us are worth so much more.

You Might Feel a Fool

Sometimes taking a chance means feeling like a fool. I used to be very self-conscious about doing something different and standing out from the crowd. Now I am a lot more confident about moving out from my comfort zone and doing something new. In fact, I go out of my way to try new things. I think that once you do this a couple of times you will see the benefits and keep doing it. No one wants to get to an advanced age and look back with regret at the things they didn’t do in their life. It is unlikely that you regret the things you did, so give them a try and see whether they suit you. You will either find something great for you or you will have tried something that you now know isn’t for you. This might be a new job, a new hobby, a different style or anything really. Once you feel like a fool a couple of times you will start to become immune to this feeling.

You Could See Your Career Go Backwards

If we look at your career for a minute, I have a theory that is kind of hard to express but that I would like to try and explain. You see, I think that every time you take a chance on something new in your career it takes you forward in some way, even if it doesn’t look like it at the time. In my time I have worked in insurance, banking, freelance writing, store ownership, pig farming (yeah, that was the disaster from earlier) and a few other things in 5 different countries. It might sound like a mixed up career but everything I have done has given me some valuable new experience or skill. Every time I look for a new job I always feel as though the things I have done in the past make it easier to get something better and more rewarding. I have spoken to other people about taking chances in your career and everyone who has tried new things agrees that this always leads to better jobs in the future. On the other hand, those people who don’t take chances and grab opportunities often find that their career stagnates.

What opportunities have you grabbed in the past that you are pleased with?

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