If you have ADD, you might be saying, “Of course I know how to take risk! Impulsive is my middle name!” Ba-da-bum!
Taking calculated risks and being impulsive are animals of a different stripe, however.
According to Merriam-Webster, a calculated risk is: “planned or contrived to accomplish a purpose.” Hmm… planning. Not a very thrilling prospect, I know.
Being somewhat prone to impulsiveness, I know that it can sometimes work to my advantage. I also have enough experiences, and the scars to prove it, to know that being impulsive can often hinder me in being true to my values and accomplishing what is important to me.
Being impulsive is easy.
Taking calculated risk is daunting. There is time to consider all of the potential pitfalls. There is time to feel the fear. There is time to reconsider.
Being impulsive is easy. Taking calculated risks is better.
About 8 years ago, faced with the prospect of being a single mom, I decided that I wanted to be closer to my sister. Without any jobs prospects, I sold my house, resigned from my tenured teaching position and moved half way across the country with a three year old in tow.
It may sound crazy. It certainly sounded crazy to a lot of people in my life. Some even thought that it was impulsive. It wasn’t.
Here was my equation at the time.
- I was familiar with the area and was quite sure that it would be a good place for us.
- My savings and the proceeds from selling my house could support us for a year, if necessary.
- I was willing to cast my net wide in terms of looking for a job and was open to taking a less than ideal job. My thought was that once I was in the area and had a job, it would be easier to get the next job. I was confident that I would find a job in six months and certainly within a year.
- I had a good support system.
- I was willing to take a less than ideal apartment.
- I was willing to start over in building a social network outside of my family.
- Other stuff I can’t remember now.
Then with a fearful glance backward and a great many tears, I jumped. And landed quite nicely. I’ll save the details of my excellent adventures since arriving for another post.
When you are ready to jump, stop! Being impulsive does not always work.
Take into consideration and plan for how you would deal with as many of the foreseeable contingencies as possible. Create a realistic plan of how to deal with each perceived challenge. Then leap! Don’t let fear hold you back.
It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult. – Seneca
Are there any adventures calling your name?