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How to Embrace the Fear of Risk to Achieve Your Goals

Written by Nicole Arndt on December 07, 2017

"Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not that one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act."

-Andre Malraux


If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time networking with New Yorkers, it’s this. Across all industries, the successful people I meet have one thing in common and it’s not talent or resources. It’s mindset.

People who are doing the things you want to do simply believe that they can and they take the risk to do it.

Is there something you want that seems slightly out of reach? Did you simultaneously come up with 99 reasons why it’s not possible?

Successful people start with 99 problems too. Through my conversations with them I’ve learned if you’re passionate about your goal, there’s actually only one problem you need to solve and the rest falls into place - overcoming self-doubt.

Start silencing the voice in your head that’s telling you why you could fail using the inspiring advice I’ve picked up from people who launched their success by doing the same.

Follow the Fear

Confronting your fears = Identifying opportunities for growth

You will feel fear when you’re taking a risk so you have to get comfortable with it. Sit with it and recognize that you may not get the exact outcome you’re striving for. Trust that your goals and ideas will evolve through the experiences and knowledge you gain in the pursuit. This could be as simple as introducing yourself to someone new at a networking event or as big as quitting your job to pursue a new path on the other side of the world. Ask yourself if fear is the reason you aren't acting.

Seek Vulnerability Hangovers

Brene Brown introduces this conversation in her Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability.

For me, vulnerability means keeping it real at the risk of disapproval. Vulnerability is an outlet for showing you’re authentic and authenticity is magnetic. How does it work? Put yourself out there in a way that is just outside of your comfort zone. Do the thing you don’t feel quite qualified to do, speak up. Sign up for the public speaking opportunity, go for the promotion, share your ideas! The more you do it, the more you begin to realize your only boundaries are the ones you give yourself.

Think in Abundance

I first heard this concept at Google while attending a tech talk by a successful female entrepreneur. An abundance mindset recognizes that there are endless possibilities and opportunities for everyone to get what they want. It’s thinking big and embracing change. Shifting your focus from what you lack (scarcity) to what’s available (abundance). Are you sitting on job boards, applying to what’s available and hoping something falls into your lap (scarcity)? Or do you know that the opportunity you want is out there for the taking, and you’re going to get it (abundance)?

If you’re bored or uninspired, is it possible that there’s an opportunity out there that you’ll be passionate about? Of course.

Surround Yourself with YES People!

When I fell in love with NYC and told my friends and family I wanted to move here, most people responded with concern. “How will you afford it?” “Won’t you miss your family?” “You want a tiny apartment with bugs and rats!?” Were these people really worried for me or expressing the fears they would have? This is a problem. It’s hard enough to overcome our own personal fears without having the fears of others, that we may share, magnified. Surround yourself with people who view obstacles as opportunities, not barriers. Dreaming without limits is contagious!


About The Author

Nicole Arndt

Nicole is a Career Advisor who is passionate about motivating others in gaining the confidence and skills they need to pursue freedom and success in their careers. While earning her Masters degree in Education, Nicole spent several months exploring SE Asia, where she was inspired by the unique career paths of the people she met. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to mentor, recruit, interview, and hire candidates from diverse backgrounds within the NYC tech community. When she’s not working you can find her chasing down the best live music, indulging in her new interest in astrology, or researching the latest homeopathic remedies.