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How To Increase Your Tolerance Of Risks To Increase Your Level Of Success

This article will show you that you recover from setbacks faster than you expect to and has tips you can use to increase your tolerance of risks. Using this information will help you set and attain higher-level goals, which will move your life ahead even faster.

Dr. Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard recently published results of his extensive research on how people process setbacks. He determined that people tend to overestimate how bad they will feel in the future regarding a negative event that has just occurred in their lives. People tend to think they will feel bad for months after a loss or setback, when in fact; most of us tend to bounce back to normal within several weeks For instance people whose candidate lost in an election overestimate how bad they will feel several months after the election. Somehow all those promises to leave the country if X wins never come true. Certainly people that have had a negative occurrence in their lives do feel bad about it, but for most people the bad feelings just don�t last as long as they think they will.

Because we anticipate pain in the future if we fail in something now and overestimate its impact on us, many people tend to avoid risks. It is not unusual to have the fear of psychological pain rank higher than the fear of a monetary loss. This fear of psychological pain causes many people to avoid risk taking in handling money, relationships, careers and so on. As a motivational expert specializing in getting fast results, I think this phenomenon is important for us to explore if we want to be as successful as we can be.

We need to take risks if we want to learn and grow and these things are required if we want to be successful. Without taking risks, we tend to limit change, and change is also required if we want to be successful. Just as in the stock market, where higher risk investments pay higher dividends; this is true in life as well.

So if we want to increase our level of risk taking, it would be helpful to use what Dr. Gilbert has discovered. When you are considering a risk and find your anxiety is at a high level, step back and ask yourself if this anxiety is related to the belief that you will feel regret and pain for a long time, over a failure. It will help to reduce the anxiety over risk taking if you reflect on other setbacks you have had in your life and consider how you feel about them now in terms of pain. Use this information to reduce the impact of anxiety on the risk you are currently considering.

Some people are so risk adverse, they don�t even see opportunities to take risks, they just blank them out. It may be helpful to deliberately look for places where you could take risks, without actually taking the risk. Go through your day and force yourself to consider different choices you could make and the risks that the other choices entail but don�t actually change your actions. You will be surprised to find options you have not considered due to avoiding risks.

When considering risks, it is helpful to layout the possible outcomes. Then look at the worst possible outcome and ask yourself if you could live with that if it occurred. This step will drastically reduce your anxiety about a decision.

In order to reduce anxiety regarding decisions, it is also helpful to take the attitude that everything happens for the best, even though it may not seem like it. To help accept this attitude, look back at some failures you have had in your life and study them to find some positive events that occurred due to the setback. Perhaps you gained useful new information, or you discovered you could cope better than you thought, or the new road you followed after the setback turned out to be better than the road you planned. For instance many people, who lose jobs and have reinvented themselves, would never go back to their old jobs. Business and Life Coach Theresa Smith finds that many of the clients she works with to change careers have reported increases in happiness and lowered stress, after they have taken the time to review the path they were on versus the other opportunities available to them.

In order to build your risk taking ability, it helps to practice taking risks on a very limited level and build up your confidence in risk taking gradually. Do things like going to a different restaurant or going to see a movie you might not be sure about. Regardless if it turns out to be a positive experience or not, acknowledge that you took the risk. Look for the positive things that can be found in the experience and acknowledge them and begin to track how you feel about the experience as time passes.

As you begin to build your risk taking skills, continue to look for small risks among the larger risks you are considering. Break a risk into as many smaller risks as you can and attack them one at a time. For instance buying a new house consists of many risks that can be looked at separately. The type of financing you use is one risk; the town you move to is another, the construction of the house is another, and so on. Taking the larger risk and breaking it into smaller risks make it appear less formable and easier to handle.

Begin to associate risk with reward rather than pain and take a positive attitude toward risk, while taking baby steps toward building your tolerance of risk. Once you do that, you will find yourself moving to higher and higher levels of success, and the key thing is to start doing it now.

Submitted by:

Edward Smith

Edward W. Smith is the author of Sixty Seconds To Success, he produces and hosts the Bright Moment cable TV and internet radio show, is president of the Bright Moment Seminars, is a motivational speaker specializing in fast results, and publishes the free, daily, email of the One Minute Motivator (quick peak performance tip). His website is and his email is


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