Aiming for Average: Why Humans Are Naturally Averse to Risk Taking

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Adolescence has often been linked to risk-taking behaviors. However, research has shown that risk taking naturally declines from childhood moving towards adulthood. As a person advances in age, sensitivity to economic risk also increases. The more variability in the risky payoff, the higher the degree of preference for assured economic gains over the risky payoff.

Risk aversion is modulated by a number of factors. For instance, you may find people accepting risks for smaller rewards and becoming risk averse for greater rewards.

Also, when individuals are given multiple opportunities to wager, they tend to be less risk averse than when offered only a single shot.

Embracing Your Risk-Taking Self

In spite of the success you may have had in life, times come when your confidence is eroded. This is known as imposter syndrome. People who struggle with confidence issues often erect mental barriers that keep them from assuming emotional risks that would have led to personal growth.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” — T.S. Eliot

The following are some of the ways you can embrace risks and scale the ladder of success.

  • Knowing Your Strengths and Successes – Instead of diminishing the importance of past wins, list all your successes and the qualities and skills that you tapped into to succeed.
  • Chart Your Own Path – Looking at the successes of your competitors may leave you feeling inadequate and fearful. To get out of this, start your own journey and only take inspiration from others.
  • Forgive Yourself – Memories of past failures should not be used to judge yourself harshly, but rather as little treasures meant for the classroom of life. Review these failures and jot down the lessons gleaned from them.
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When you begin taking risks, you will realize unforeseen opportunities and new paths to success. Remember success doesn’t fall in your lap, rather you have to pursue it with confidence and determination.

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