Why are We Afraid of Risk

One of the biggest impediments to forward progress is fear of risk. We continually overestimate the risk of change while underestimating the risk of the status quo. Every so often, someone manages to make the rounds on television or talk radio from pointing out this strange non-symmetric way that we deal with risk. The reality is that we just feel safer with the evil we know, even when we know that it is pretty evil.

I, on the other hand, take the opposite approach. Discoveries, new things, novel approaches come from taking chances. Besides, as real estate mogul Trammel Crow once said, “There’s as much risk in doing nothing as in doing something.” With that in mind, I’m always willing to take a risk. The risks that catch us up are the ones we don’t even know we’re taking so I don’t worry that the risks I take are “calculated” or not. If I know about them, I probably don’t need to worry about them.

My seemingly cavalier attitude toward risk is disconcerting to many people in my life. Over time, my family and friends have come to understand that my risky behavior isn’t as dangerous as it might seem. I don’t put life and limb at risk very often. I’m just excited by the chance to do something new or to do something old differently.


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