How to Know When it’s Time to Take a Risk in Your Life?


We’ve all heard the term, “life is short”, yet so many of us live lives that we hate, counting down the days until the weekend or scrolling our Instagram feeds with the yearning for everyone else’s life. So often, as humans, we play it safe. We choose comfort over fear or pain, certainty over unknown. 

But as we all know, your comfort zone is never where the best things happen. 

I am not sure who quoted it, but “everything you want in life is on the other side of fear”, and from my now 30 years of life, I can tell you that this statement is 100% true. 

It is scary to take a risk, bet on yourself, jump with no net. But, as so many people before me and before you have done, you often find the best things in life on the other side. 

But when is taking a risk too risky? And when is it the “right” time to take a risk in your life?

When I decide on a risk, I ask myself a few main questions and then I do the Worst Case Scenario Exercise. 

Here are the 3 main questions:

  1. Why do I want this? Or What am I trying to achieve?

Get real with yourself. Is this to please others, gain love, receive validation from others? Or does it fuel your heart, your soul?

  1. Would you still want to do this even if you make no money and it doesn’t work out in the end? Do you want this THAT much?

Often risks or chances can be for a specific outcome and if that outcome doesn’t happen, we would never have taken that risk. So it’s important to know that even if it doesn’t work out, you wouldn’t have regrets. Ex: Even if I ended up hating Paris, even if my career went downhill from moving here, I would’ve still chosen this move. I needed to do this, regardless of outcome. 

  1. What is the best case scenario and what is the worst? 

This exercise is one I love. It really helps you actually face what may or may not happen and feel calm about any outcome. It gives you the courage that you can handle anything this risk throws at you. 

Here’s the exercise.

Worst Case Scenario Exercise for risk takers

On a piece of paper write out the number 10-1 down one side of the piece of paper. 

Next to 10, write “best case scenario”.

Next to 1, write “worst case scenario”.

Now starting with 1 and 10, write out a brief note of what those scenarios would look like. The best and the worst. And really go low and high. Your biggest dream and your worst nightmare.

Then as you go up from 1, write out the slightly less “worst case scenario”. 

And down from 10, write the next “best case scenario”.

Do this until all the numbers have a scenario that kind of follows a sliding scale. Meaning that 5 and 6 are in the middle of the best and worst case. 

Now look at this list and either make a mental note or write out how you would handle, recover, work through any of the scenarios (especially the ones 5 and below). 

Now see how EVEN if you get to a 1, the WORST case…you will be ok. You will survive, you will recover. 

And my last tip is. 99% of the time, you will only hit a 6 or above. Which I’m sure looking at your list, is still a pretty great outcome for taking the chance. 

So as COVID comes to an end this next year, take inventory of your life. Are you taking chances for the life you want? Or are you playing it safe?

with love,

Danielle Barich

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