6 Steps to increasing your risk tolerance


Throughout my life people have often commented on my risk taking abilities. I have been called brave and tenacious, a high level risk taker. The strange thing is that I don’t feel like a risk taker at all. I often compare myself to others and feel disappointed in my ability to take risks.  Some of the things I have done include;

Moved across the world a number of times

Had a baby in a foreign country

Moved to a new city with a one year old and my husband, with no jobs and without knowing a single person

Left full time employment to study photography

Started a business

Purchased numerous  investment properties. I purchased  my first property when I was 19.

While people have said that these have all been big risks, I have never really felt like I was taking a risk at all.

1.  Always have a backup plan

I always have a plan b. I usually have a plan c, d, e,  and f too. I have as many alternate plans as needed to make me feel comfortable with taking the risk. When you always have a backup plan then the risk is reduced greatly.

2. What is the worst case scenario?

I always ask myself this. I will only take the risk if I am happy with the answer. When we moved across the world with a one year old and no jobs, we asked ourselves ‘what is the worst that could happen?’ The answer was that ‘everything could go wrong and we would have to move back again’  Moving back to the beautiful city of Bruges wouldn’t be such a bad thing. When investing in  property the worst thing that could happen would be to lose a lot of money.  I have never been too scared of this. I value health much higher than money and if I was to lose money then at least I would have learned a lot and become better prepared for next time.

3. What could I regret more: doing this, or not doing this?

This is another question I ask myself when trying to make a decision that could be seen as risky. Sometimes the bigger risk can be to not doing something.

4. Balancing risk with comfort

Taking risks usually takes us out of our comfort zones. Pushing our limits needs to be balanced with spending quality time within our comfort zones. This allows us to rejuvenate completely and make better decisions when taking risks.

5. Focus on your strengths.

For me I trust in my problem solving skills. Things don’t seem so risky when I know that if a problem occurs, I will figure it out. I am resourceful and not afraid to ask for help.

What are your strengths?

6. What would I want my daughter to do?

Sometimes our own insecurities and self doubts can get in the way of making decisions for ourselves. Often when I have a big decision to make, I contemplate this question. Focusing on what we would want a loved one to do in a situation can help us to make better decisions and take bigger risks.

Is there something you have always wanted to do but been too afraid?

Let us know in the comments below.

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