Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a risk-taker.
I don’t believe in hedging bets or property hot-spotting, and I’m not a gambler or adrenalin-junkie.
However, I do know how to identify a good opportunity and seize it when one comes my way.
I also know a lemon when I see one, and can spot a dodgy investment a mile off.
These are good life skills to have and can really make the difference between a life lived to your full potential and one lived in fear.
See, the thing is: you don’t want to go too far in either direction.
Live without any risk whatsoever and you’ll never get ahead.
Live with too much risk and you’ll forever be trapped in a cycle of soaring too high and then crashing and burning.
You want to be able to take calculated and considered risk, and this involves mostly head, but a little bit of heart too!
A lot of people are playing it safe though.
They’re in jobs they don’t like and their potential remains buried.
They see a moment where they could step outside their comfort zone and do something different, but they baulk instead.
Here are some common signs, you’re playing it too safe:
Boredom is fine when you’re a child, but in adults it shows you’re disconnected from your passions and imagination.
A person striving for their dreams is never bored because they have too much going on.
Take boredom as a wake-up call.
YOU SAY NO MORE THAN YOU SAY YES
Are you one of those people who has started putting things in the too-hard basket?
When someone in your work team comes up with an idea that’s slightly left-of-centre, what do you say?
Do you dismiss it without proper consideration?
You see, most people are glass-half full or glass-half empty types, and if you fall into the latter category, you probably hear yourself saying the word ‘no’ a lot.
Next time you instinctively want to say ‘no’, maybe change tack and try a ‘yes’ for a change.
You might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
YOU LIVE IN THE PAST
Bad things happen to everyone, but if you let the past dictate the future you’ll never achieve anything.
Ask yourself honestly whether your dreams are being held back by fears of what happened the last time you tried something out of the ordinary.
Maybe you were laughed at?
Maybe you failed?
So what, it doesn’t matter.
The past will only repeat itself if you re-live it everyday in your head.
YOU’RE STUCK IN A ROUTINE
Let me ask you this: what are you having for lunch today?
Is it something different or is it the same thing you eat every day?
How does your weekend look?
Have you got anything interesting planned or will you just do the same old routine?
The less often you try new things, the harder it will be to break out of your comfort zone when it’s time to take a big leap.
YOU LET OTHERS DECIDE FOR YOU
Far too many people look for validation from others.
They want to be told they’re good enough for the job, smart enough for the role, worthy of the promotion.
THEN maybe they’ll give something new a go.
Let me tell you something: if you wait for approval from others, you’re going to be waiting a very long time.
Don’t wait for other people to tell you who you are and what you deserve. Only you should decide that.
So maybe today is the time you make some changes.
Say ‘yes’ to a few more things, try something different.
Test your limits and boundaries.
The one thing I know for sure is that success is not possible if you play it safe.
Think about the unique traits you bring to the world (everyone has something to offer) and how best to use those skills.
Focus on using your skills, and what comes naturally to you, and the confidence gathered from these experiences will help you step outside your comfort zone and take a big leap one day.
It’s small steps at first, but one day you’ll look back and realise just how far you’ve come.
Michael Yardney is a CEO of Metropole Property Strategists, who creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.