I used to think that most people affected by ADHD were all risk takers. I think I was confusing risk taking with impulsivity.
It is important to learn to take some risks in life because taking risks stretches you and that is important. I think of it in terms of my previous career as a dancer. We had to stretch out each day before rehearsal or class to be able to get moving well and resist injuries. Of course this didn’t always work but for the most part was effective.
I think taking risks is a mental way of stretching that is important because it also gets us moving and prevents injuries for the most part. Living a life without stretching can inhibit us from stretching in the future. We can begin to live a very narrow life that makes it harder, if the opportunity comes upon us, to stretch ourselves. What often happens is we don’t take the opportunity.
This is not to say take careless risks or take risks at every corner but to take risks where the opportunity presents itself and the downsides are few while the upsides are many.
To maintain muscles you must use them or they atrophy. Not ever taking risks will cause a part of you to atrophy. Use risk taking as an opportunity to challenge yourself and grow.
Even if the risk proves not to have been a good one, you still will have exercised your ability to take risks. In addition, you will have added to your arsenal on how to evaluate what risks to take.
This is different from impulsivity where there is no thinking involved, just acting. Think before you take a risk, that is why I believe we have the term “a calculated risk.”
Is there a risk opportunity presenting itself in your life right now? Ask yourself:
- Is there more to gain than lose if I take the risk?
- If I lose, can I afford that lose?
Those questions are the key questions as to whether or not to take the risk.