This is a powerful quote, but I’d like to reword it in order to consider a slightly different perspective. Here it goes, “He who would accomplish little, must RISK little; he who would accomplish much must RISK much.”
Highly successful people accept that risk and success are deeply intertwined. They view risk in a positive light. Risk does not invoke a response of fear and anxiety. In fact it is quite the opposite. Risk is seen as a gateway to progress.
So then, why is risk such a scary concept for the multitudes? I personally believe the answer is quite simple. Every risk presents the potential for Failure.
I was recently reading the story of a consultant who held a series of interviews with successful business leaders. During these meetings a pattern began to emerge. When these business men and women were asked to recall past successes, the responses were somewhat vague and generalized. On the flip side, when asked to recall past failures, the responses were articulated with a higher level of specificity and detail.
What did this reveal?
Failures tend to have a greater impact on our lives than successes. There are certainly exceptions to this rule but for most of us we need to be extremely aware of how this truth impacts our decision making process. To state it simply, each time we step into the valley of decision (personally or professionally) our emotions and feelings are being influenced by past failures, more so than moments of past successes. Hence the crippling anxiety and fear that promote an all too familiar position of stepping back into safety, instead of blazing the trail ahead.
Based on my experience and research there is one key difference between people who experience greater levels of success and those who live average lives. And no, successful people are not immune to fear and failure. They have resolved however, to move forward in spite of them. They regularly practice stepping into the unknown and staring RISK in the face.