How taking risks can lead to a more fulfilled life

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The Let’s Talk Leadership open enrollment workshop series hosted by Student Activities helps students on their path to developing leadership skills. Photo courtesy of UConntact.

Risks are a normal part of life, and many people will be presented with situations that involve some level of risk, whether it be on a small or large scale, which can lead to self-doubt, overthinking and the fear of failure. Although takings risks comes with a lot of unknowns, it is important to consider taking risks in order to open your life to new opportunities. Even if you fail, many important lessons can be learned from these failures which can help you grow as a person, both in your personal and professional life.  

“Even if you fail, many important lessons can be learned from these failures which can help you grow as a person, both in your personal and professional life.”

A photo of Andre Rogers. During “The Art of Risk-Taking” event, Rogers led students through a series of interactive activities to help them become more comfortable taking chances in their lives and becoming more innovative leaders. Photo courtesy of Learning Community Program webpage.

The Let’s Talk Leadership open enrollment workshop series hosted by Student Activities helps students on their path to developing leadership skills. Andre Rogers, a graduate student in the School of Social Work, facilitated the most recent workshop titled “The Art of Risk-Taking.” Rogers led students through a series of interactive activities to help them become more comfortable taking chances in their lives and becoming more innovative leaders.  

The workshop kicked off with a brief introduction period that allowed attendees to share what they were hoping to get out of the workshop. Following this, attendees were directed to take a risk-taking test through a platform called PsychTests that asked various questions to uncover an individual’s comfort level with taking chances and their risk-taking preferences. These questions focused on past experiences, a person’s surrounding environment and the potential for reward. Once the test was completed, a Snapshot Report was generated that provided a personalized interpretation of the test scores and provided insight into what type of experiences people seek out and more.  

Many of the attendees, including myself, were labeled as “sensation seekers,” who are described as thriving on new, intense and varied situations. These types of people have strong positive reactions to intense stimuli, become bored easily, strive in stressful situations and are willing to take risks. Rogers himself was also considered a sensation seeker and shared how he is a very outgoing person who likes to be involved in fun activities, like when he went bungee jumping while studying abroad in Australia.  

Rogers then presented his own ideas about why risk-taking is an important part of someone’s life and encouraged participants to be willing to step outside of their comfort zones going forward.  

“Taking risks and experiencing failure often allows us to learn about ourselves and creates a new path for us.” 

Andre Rogers, Graduate Student at the School of Social Work

“I think it allows us to see opportunities that wouldn’t come about if we didn’t take the risk,” Rogers said. “Taking risks and experiencing failure often allows us to learn about ourselves and creates a new path for us.” 

Some of your greatest achievements in life will most likely require you to step pretty far outside of your comfort zone. With this, comes a lot of uncertainty and doubt in the ability to overcome our fears and take the first step toward living a more fulfilling life. 

“Risk-taking creates an opportunity for success… and it also helps us overcome the fear of failure,” Rogers said. “I know a lot of time failure acts as an obstacle preventing us from pursuing our dreams.” 

Life is filled with many unknowns and this can be frightening to people, especially if they are uncomfortable with change, but taking steps toward making yourself more comfortable with risk-taking, while also keeping in mind safety and overall well-being, is a key to success. You will be surprised with how many fears you can overcome. 

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