Taking Risks & Managing Fear to Build A Better Life

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal”
— Paulo Coelho


Our worlds and lives are filled with risks. The obvious risks of hurt, heartache and loss… Then, also the “risks” taken to drive us forward and the inherent fears that hold us back. It can be exhilarating and petrifying. It seems much more achievable and glamorous in our younger and wilder years — not as much, when we grow up and grow older. We tend to start shying away from more and more risky things, we become risk averse…

The old saying, “no risk, no reward” – is in reality, quite daunting. As scary as risk can be (and seem), it is an absolute necessity for progress, growth and achievement.

“The biggest risk a person can take is to do nothing.”

Taking risks is a fantastic form of discovery. It builds resilience and boost your self-confidence and helps you recreate your limits. When you are challenged, or you challenge yourself, and you’ve weighed up the risks and you decide to “do that thing…”. To “do that thing” and take that risk, one of the most important aspects is to control your focus. A proven strategy is to focus your attention on the moment before the event.

“Bravery begins with belief.”

In my case, the thing “I had to do”, was to break away from something secure and following my heart. And gut. To leave a successful career and start up “my own thing.” The nerve it took me to actually go through with it, had me shaking in just imagining walking in and actually doing it.

I played it out in my head so many times, weighed up the “pros & cons” constantly. Yet, that was the 1st step I HAD to take towards my goals and dreams. There was no way around it, and I ultimately was willing to take the risk…

In the above instance, I “stepped into” my fear(s), focussed my attention on the moment before the event and “managed my fear”.

To assist anyone with Managing their Fear, there’s a cool model, based on Grovian Psychology (named after David Grove). There’s a free-diver and performance coach, named Ant Williams, who discusses how he used this model, during a Ted-Talk. (Video below)

He suggests looking at your life, like a movie-reel, frame-by-frame. Picture 4 frames. The frame on the right is TIME – when the moment arrives of undertaking the challenge or doing the thing that scares you.

Rather than focussing on TIME, focus on the seconds before TIME. T-1, T-2 & T-3.

T-1 is the moment you most want to give up. [explanation in the video below (from 4:20 – 5:20)]

T-1 is just a fleeting moment, but how you deal with that moment will ultimately determine how successful you’ll be in your challenge.

Ant goes on explaining what free-divers do to “manage their fears”. Watch the full video below:



In the presentation Ant speaks about his T-1 he recently experienced. During this “event”, he witnessed something that should have left him filled with fear prior to his diving attempt, however, he found himself calm, happy and in bliss. It’s an incredible story of how one can manage their fears, by using this model.

He has learned that risk takers do something different than us – “they have learned to manage their fear and in the process, they build confidence, conviction, and a belief in their ability to handle whatever it is that might come their way.”

To achieve anything is this life, you have to be prepared to take positive, calculated risks. What you do before your challenge, has a massive impact on how you undertake your challenge! The best part is that anyone can learn how to do it…

When it comes to your dreams, what are you prepared to risk achieving them?


taking risks & managing fear

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7 Responses

  1. I avoid trying to pronounce some of my colleagues’ names. During our preparation for our presentation, it happened in such an order, that I now must introduce a colleague, who’s name I can’t pronounce. My husband is helping me every night to learn how to pronounce her name. He is good with languages, so for me it feels like a risk to try to pronounce a name via a MS Team presentation where everybody might hear that I struggle with her name and they might think I am stupid and I AM NOT STUPID.

    1. Hi Antoinette, it is always the small things that trip us up when we prepare for presentations. The trick is to get to a place where we trust our abilities, and if we prepare enough , we deliver.

      you did so well on your presentation,. well done.

    2. Don’t stress Antoinette, it’s not because you are stupid. Sometimes it’s not as hard as you think, it’s only because it is a different language and you expect it to be hard. 🙂 most names are pronounced as you read them. Try break it down it will be easier!! 🙂

  2. I tend to find that I love to try new things, and experimenting with new things, but then I am not a risky person.

  3. I have a fear of standing up and do presentations, my mouth does dry, i start to shiver, i can not remember my words and feeling absolute stupid but i know i am not stupid. I don’t know if it is a fear of being judged or is it just my imagination running wild with me. I know i have to overcome this problem, i have no problem having a one on one or or one on two but man i get extremely nervous if there is more that 2 people in a presentation.

  4. Hi IIesette, it was incredible to see you confront your fear of presenting on the live event. We are going to be working on this fear over the next few programs , so at the end you will deliver presentations to an audience like a Pro.

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