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“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy

Have you seen a successful person who is not a risk taker? I dont think there is any because one of the attributes that got them to the top is their ability to take risks.

What separates achievers from ordinary folks is their willingness to take optional as well as necessary risks. For example, lets assume I have a good job. I enjoy it and earn enough to get by. Im not rich, but comfortable. Suddenly I receive a new job offer. The job comes with much more responsibilities and a significant increase in salary. What shall I do? If I join the new company, how do I know I will like my boss and co-workers? What if I cant handle the responsibilities? What if Im found incompetent and fired? What if after losing my new job, I cant find another one? Should I risk my present security? Some people would say no. “No, it isnt worth losing your security. If you take the new job, lose it, cant find another one, and cant pay your mortgage, youll lose your house. And then, your wife will probably divorce you.”

My own life is about taking risks. I started my career in the entertainment industry in Nigeria by gatecrashing into the launching of Tera Kotas album where I met the whos who in the entertainment industry when I was 17. Since then I have become a calculative gambler and a realistic risk taker. I have left many certainties for uncertainties and that has enabled me to grow very well. Life is all about taking risks; we should be willing to take risks every day. Whether you drive, take public transportation, or walk to work, you are risking getting into an accident. Every time you go to sleep, you risk not waking up! But you go ahead and do it anyway.

My role models are risk takers; they are common people doing uncommon and extraordinary things. They often sow the seeds of revolution – and not just once or twice but time after time. They dared to be different because they took the road less travelled. They are my inspiration and I get energy from them.

The reason why a lot of people refuse to take risk is that they do not want to move from their comfort zone. They love the security of their comfort zone.

People who think like that dont understand what true security is. Security can never depend on outside circumstances. It only comes from within. If I stay with my present job, wheres the security? Cant I lose it due to corporate downsizing? (Thats happened to me.) Even if Im indispensable, what if the company I work for goes bankrupt? (Thats happened to me too.) On the other hand, if I were used to taking risks, I would have built an inner strength, become resilient and learnt the ability to cope in tough circumstances. Those who refuse to take risks to protect their security willingly live in cages, trapped by their own fears. If we desperately want to fly, we will be willing to give up being a caterpillar. Turtles cant advance without sticking their necks out and we cant either.

As we try new things, we become more confident and develop a better self-image. If thats all there is to it – if a little step outside your comfort zone is all it takes to grow and improve- then why dont more people do it? What makes that little step so difficult? The answer is simple; we dont like pain.

The moment you leave your comfort zone, you experience pain and discomfort. Since all positive changes take place outside the comfort zone, change is painful. The very moment most people feel the pain; they pull back inside the comfort zone. The life in the comfort zone may become a life of regret. Perhaps, we may regret that we did not do the things we wanted to do. Regret is a killer.

The statement “no pain, no gain,” has been perverted, criticized and labelled as nonsense. The people doing the criticising are almost always “comfort zoners” who havent achieved much with their lives.

Brian Tracy says, “90% to 95% of people will withdraw to the comfort zone when what they try doesnt work. Only that small percentage, 5 or 10 percent, will continually improve themselves; they will continually push themselves out into the zone of discomfort, and these are always the highest performers in every field.”

You have to risk failure and try new things. I have met so many people who were always taught to play it safe. And guess what? They are playing it safe, leading, as the quote says, “Lives of quiet desperation.” It is the people who risk failures and try new things that change the world and lead the lives they want to!

Dayo Olomu is a UK-based motivational Speaker, Writer, Business/Life Coach, Trainer, Media Entrepreneur and Competent Toastmaster. His core belief is that we are all endowed with seeds of greatness, and his mission is to help individuals and organisations achieve their full potentials. He is the author of best selling “4 Indispensable Strategies for Success” and the President of Croydon Communicators Toastmasters.

Visit his website at or send an e-mail to

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This Financial Services article was written by Dayo Olomu on 8/19/2005

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian TracyHave you seen a successful person who is not a risk taker