How to start taking risks (and why you should do it)

We’d all like to be described as mavericks, trendsetters and risk-takers, but how often do we get noticed for stuff that isn’t just making a really good pot of coffee? Or making an excellent pie chart?

Stepping out of your comfort zone to do something different can be refreshing to extraordinary. You never know: maybe you’ll inspire friends and family to do the same. Learning a new musical instrument seriously engages your brain and can give it the power boost it needs to stay agile.

Surprising ourselves and others around us can be a huge confidence amplifier. When’s the last time you tried an extreme sport, gone back-packing off the beaten track, or tried out that idea you’ve been thinking about forever?

Although it might seem reckless at the time, taking a flying leap into the unknown can have its advantages. Nothing’s worse than regretting those things you didn’t do. You might as well try something out and learn from your stumbles, or you’ll end up dwelling on missed opportunities and what-ifs.

Back in 2000, Sara Blakely founded Spanx with her personal savings of $5,000 – now she’s gone from putting her butt on the line to toning the thighs of the globe. In an early TV appearance, Blakely hustled together something that looked like a workforce for the cameras. Spanx currently boasts a workforce of 194 – and to date over 6 million Power Panties have been sold worldwide. Not bad for what started as a battle against VPL.

So how do you become a risk-taker? Well, you can fake it till you make it – just like Sara Blakely. If you tell yourself it’s true, it soon will be.

Don’t give yourself time for glass half-empty thinking. When your glass is half-full, there’s always a simple and workable solution waiting around the corner. And with the right attitude it’s easy to plan for overcoming those potential hurdles.

Jumping in at the deep end will help you get over that initial fear of failure and you’ll come to understand that risks are like stepping stones to take you wherever you want to be.

You can start by making a few everyday risks – like taking a different route home, walking the dog around a new neighborhood, or giving a presentation at work. Just do it and you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve.

Check out the infographic below to read more about taking that first plunge.

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