Risk taking is a natural part of our everyday lives. Many risks we probably don’t even think of as risky: pouring our tea, driving our car, crossing the road etc. We are so used to these things going right that we no longer associate them with danger.
Other risks we take on after careful consideration of the dangers/ pitfalls, the potentials and the overall feeling of worthiness it brings. The risk is at the forefront of our brain and it takes a level of consciousness before the final decision is made. These might include such things as a new job, a big role, parenthood or embarking on thrill seeking adventures etc.
It is important for us to be able to weigh up all the risk factors to make good decisions and keep ourselves safe in our daily lives. Often this can be done without too much consideration, if any at all, as we have the benefit of past experiences telling us the likely outcome.
At one point, though, nearly everything we have done in our lives was a new experience and one that came with an element of risk.
Pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone is often daunting but our ability to do this with a degree of confidence largely stems from our childhood experiences. It often goes hand in hand with how many risks we have been exposed to, how we handled them, the outcome and how the whole experience made us feel; our accomplishment.
That feeling of accomplishment is what makes many of us strive to achieve more and more in life. It makes us jump at the opportunity to take on projects and roles that we might have otherwise shied away from lest we fail. The emotion of pride, stemming from achievement made with an element of risk, is a powerful one and one our children deserve the chance to feel genuinely and often.
It is for this reason that I give my children a certain freedom in their explorations. I weigh up the risk
to benefit ratio for them, consider the worst that could happen and the likelihood and then let them go for it. Continue reading