1 Way to Exercise Your Risk Taking Muscles

Actually there are far more ways than one to exercise your risk taking muscles however, for some, the very idea of taking a risk is frightening.

So where do you start?

In an article by Meg Duffy entitled the 3 Steps for Bridging the Confidence Gap, she talks about the importance of knowing/identifying your journey, taking risks and utilizing your community. We’ve talked a lot about all three of those things in past articles here on Purposeful Woman and certainly the primary message of my first book The Working Woman’s GPS: When the plan to have it all has led you astray speaks to these very points.

But if taking risks is a challenge for you, you must first face that challenge and learn to overcome.

Meg says:

What is the worst possible outcome of taking the chance: temporary rejection? Mild embarrassment? A chunk of time wasted? If the opportunity intrigues you, don’t count yourself out of the game before you get involved.

This is a great exercise. Take out paper and pencil and write down all of the worst things that might happen if you take a risk. Think about a specific risk you are considering that may take you to the next place on your journey to reach the ultimate life goals you have.

  • Finish college
  • Change careers
  • Ask for a promotion
  • Move to a new city

Whatever that challenge may be, what would be the worst things that might happen. Then ask yourself: “Could I survive if that were to happen?”

In most cases, the answer will be yes. Even our biggest embarrassing moments pass.

Okay, now that you realize that even the worst of the worst case scenarios is something you can live with or live through, let’s examine the ONE WAY TO EXERCISE YOUR RISK TAKING MUSCLES.

Do one thing.

Yes, as simple as that. Make a move. Take a step. Reach out to a person who can help. Ask for a meeting. Do one thing that will help move you forward.

I’m reminded of the movie City Slickers with Billy Crystal. There is a scene where Billy’s character is out on the range with the hard worn cowboy played by Jack Palance. Jack’s character confesses to know the secret to life.

He holds up one finger. Billy’s character doesn’t understand. What is the one thing? And Jack responds:


One place you might start is by expanding your network. Visit your LinkedIn account and think of the one person you admire most. Find their profile and then send them an invitation to connect. Make sure you take the time to personalize that message.

Don’t stop by saying “oh, they will never connect to me.”

Or “they are too big in the industry to consider my invitation”

Take the risk. Send the invite.

A few summers ago I had the opportunity to hear Julie Andrews and her daughter speak about children’s literacy. I was moved by their program and impressed with Julie’s daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. She has made quite a name for herself in the publishing world and when I reviewed her profile and connections, I was impressed but also intimidated. Then I thought, what is the worst that can happen?

I sent her a personal invitation and she accepted that same day.

You just never know what will happen if you take that one step; do one thing, move forward one step.

So how will you exercise your risk taking muscle today? What will be your one step, your one thing?