A Few Words from Paul: Risk is Scary

Risk is scary.

Like watching a movie when you know something is about to jump out, but they keep you waiting and waiting and waiting until BOOM! That kind of scary. I get tingles in my stomach just thinking about it. Why do so many of us feel this way about risk?

I think I know why.

How would you like to be running for President these days? How would you like to be running for anything in the public eye? Shoot, just think of how long you wait before posting something on social media that could be perceived as “edgy” or controversial. Or maybe you don’t do any of that and just sit tight in your own little nest we call the comfort zone. Ahhhh.

It is so hard to take a risk for fear of being seen unfavorably. In fact, I believe it keeps us from living in possibility.

LSH-all-banners-LO-RES-13Don’t do anything stupid. Make sure the right lens filter is used for your picture. Double check your spelling. Ugh. It is so tiring having to spend so much time to be seen in a good light. And what does it do for us other than perpetuate the myth that we all have it figured out and we are perfect. Worse yet, it encourages us to be right and never be wrong. If I don’t risk speaking out or sharing myself, I will never be criticized or judged. No chance of messing up.

In an age where everything we do is monitored digitally, we can’t afford a mess up because it will eventually come out when we do something big, public, or courageous. Risk is something we just can’t afford. Or can we?

What if we all got a little bold, a little brave, a little less concerned about the outcome, a little more inclined to jump first and show the way? What sort of world would that be? I know it would be a messy world for sure. We would make a lot of mistakes. We would be held accountable…and, we may just achieve a breakthrough.

That is the cost associated with not taking a risk. We will never know what could have been.

We ask Institute participants, “What would the world look like if everyone led with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible?”

We will never know until we take a risk and try.


Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.

One thought on “A Few Words from Paul: Risk is Scary

  1. Jeffrey Cufaude (@jcufaude) says:

    I’ve stolen an engineering term when talking about risk, failure, and innovation: margin of safety. People sometimes get bogged down in the emotions attached with something they perceive as risky. When that occurs, I ask: what’s the margin of safety you’d need in order to get in action on this idea? It doesn’t always work, but often it shifts them into action planning mode and discussing how to create the margin of safety.

    Liked by 1 person

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