It’s only dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Or is it?

Risk is a tricky thing, and in some instances impossible to eliminate completely, but it’s not impossible to navigate.

Let’s look at driving.

There is a certain level of risk involved in driving your car across town today (and everyday) no matter how good of a driver you are – or how high your car’s safety rating.

But how does that risk change if we’re distracted? (You know using our phone for directions while talking and trying to take a sunset photo?)

And how does that risk change again if this time we trust that same daily commute to your 11-year-old nephew?

Due to his lack of knowledge – and experience – the risk level of riding in the same car, on the same roads, at the same time of day, significantly increases.

The takeaway: certain variables dramatically increase or reduce the risk involved in every situation.

When we sense risk, dig deeper.

Why do certain situations, scenarios, or decisions seem riskier than others? How can these answers serve us?

Usually, our lack of experience or expertise increases the associated risk. (See: 11-year-olds driving cars)

If awareness is the first step, then the second step is to identify our own gaps that make these scenarios seem high risk, then do the work required to close those gaps.

Like you’ve (hopefully) done to mitigate the risk of being behind the wheel of hunk of metal hurtling almost 100 feet per second, it’s time to learn, accumulate reps, and work towards a level of mastery that significantly shifts the odds of a favorable outcome in your favor.

Risk is inevitable. How we identify and prepare for it determines how it will effect us.

As the Navy SEALs say, “we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to our level of preparation.”

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