risk and reward

If you’re the kind of person who shies away from any type of risk and runs towards security then it’s highly likely that your brain is programmed to always look for the negative in everything as opposed to the positive.

When we think about making a decision, after the initial excitement of the new possibility wears off, buyers guilt kicks in…even if you haven’t already completely committed you may have just given a verbal agreement.

You need to remember that this is completely natural, we are naturally afraid of change!

Right now, your brain is automatically programmed to look for the negative and not the positive.


In the beginning we are really excited and the rush of adrenalin sends positive energy signals and it seems like we are making the right decision. Then after a little while, seeds of doubt begin to creep in…”what if”

These “what if” queries are signs that you don’t trust your own judgement, maybe you think that you have made bad decisions in the past and therefore think you have bad judgement.

As long as you learned from that ‘mistake’ then it is never a mistake, anyone who has never made a wrong decision has probably never gone much further than their own backyard.

Because the decisions which we remember are usually the one’s that didn’t work out so well, we tend to remember what went wrong and the one’s which went right get filed in the ‘good luck’ or ‘meant to be’ folder and we don’t give ourselves credit for making that great decision or taking that risk!

fear of change

Acknowledging your fears is a huge part of being able to face them. As a child my fears were physical – scared of swimming, scared of heights, scared of swinging too high on the swings. All the things which other kids got a thrill out of, scared the shit out of me.

Things I wasn’t scared of though were the things that other kids seemed to shy away from, being in the limelight – I loved acting and was the world’s most confident kid at drama class. Literature had a huge appeal to me and I loved telling people about the latest book I was reading and what I was learning about the world. Going places by myself and doing things by myself did not scare me at all – I was more like a miniature adult than a kid. I don’t have any childhood photos but the one below is not a million miles away 🙂

kid with glasses

When given the chance to change schools at age 5 or 6, I jumped at the chance because I loved new experiences. And my 6 year old brain told me that if I loved this school so much and had so many friends then the new school would be just as great and I would have twice as many friends.

group of kids

Friendly schoolkids communicating at break

Well, it wasn’t that great – I hated the new school, I hated the teachers and I made next to no friends. I begged my parents to let me ‘change my mind’ and go back to my old school. But there was no convincing them, and this was my first experience of making a bad decision.

Now, had my parents made me stick it out for a little while and seeing that I was still miserable let me go back to my old school. Things may have turned out a little different, because as adults we are in control of our lives. If we make a bad decision, we can take steps to undo it. Nothing stays the same, no matter how bad or how good things are they eventually change and as fully awake, self aware adults we have control of how things change. We literally do have the power to change channel and turn the volume up and down on the things we want in our life. Want more money? Turn up the focus on work and income. Want more love? Turn up the focus on friends, family and relationships. What you focus on is what you will get.

take control

If we do happen to make a ‘wrong’ decision, it’s highly unlikely that it is completely unfixable. However, it could still have consequences, one of the ways in which Venture Capitalists make decisions is to weigh up the risks against the rewards.

So, instead of just looking at what could go wrong, start thinking about what could go right.

Make a list of what could go wrong and what could go right, a bit like a list of advantages & disadvantages:

Should I move to a new/different location?


Closer to work (usually) and family

More social opportunities/know more people in that area

Close to the beach

Nicer living environment (inside & out)

More social opportunities/know more people in that area

More things I like to do in that area

Close to the beach

Nicer living environment (inside & out)




Slightly more expensive

Lose rental deposit

May have to pay extra for internet/inconvenience of getting internet fitted

Some areas/people there I don’t like

Annoy landlord of old place by breaking existing contract

This is a list that I made a while ago, while I was ‘agonising’ over a decision, when you put it down on paper it makes a lot more sense and shows you what your primary concerns are.

When I made this list, it seemed obvious to me that everything in the advantages column was to do with me and my well being and everything in the disadvantages column was to do with either possible financial loss or inconveniencing other people.

After writing it down, it seemed a complete ‘no brainer’ why was I even wasting brain space ruminating about this decision.

Of course, not everything is as clear cut as this or as easy to fix. At the end of the day, if I don’t like somewhere that I moved then I could just move again.

Another technique which I use is to test every decision against my core values – my core values in life are: love, personal development & independence.

love written in sand

Is the decision in line with your core values or against them? If it is in line with them then it is unlikely to go wrong. Of course, now after writing that I automatically think back to my 6 year old decision to change school. Was that decision in line with my core values? well as a six year old I didn’t have a clue what my core values were, but I just saw that the grass was very much greener on the other side.

As an adult would I have chosen to move from somewhere I was having a great time to somewhere I didn’t know, probably not but if you don’t try – you’ll never know!

If you would like to find out more about your core values you can test them for free here or try this free Udemy course – Find your truth and live it.

Always take the time to way up the rewards against the risks and make an informed decision based on what is best for you and then whatever happens you will have made the best decision with the knowledge you had available to you.

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