Instant Confidence: The Power to Go for Anything You Want by Paul McKenna PH.D. (2016)
MOTIVATE YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS
The Currency of the Gods
Taking a Quantum Leap Forward
Taking risks is an essential part of your journey towards success. But I have learned from my work with high achievers and top athletes that there is a tremendous difference between confident risk-taking and foolish acts of self-endangerment.
“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
JOHN F. KENNEDY
Too many people stop themselves from doing something because it seems “too risky.” But professional risk-takers aren’t necessarily braver, just more prepared. They always go through some variation on the following three steps before going ahead—identifying the risk, assessing it, and going for it.
Here’s how it all works …
1. Identify the Potentially Useful or Unavoidable Risk
There are essentially two types of risk—those imposed on us from the outside, and those we choose to take on for ourselves in the hope of greater or accelerated reward.
You will know that an activity or course of action is risky in one of two ways—either because you intellectually know it is risky, or because of the feeling of relative unease or discomfort that accompanies thinking about it.
2. Assess the Balance Between Risk and Reward
When bookmakers lay odds on sporting events or individual achievements, they make their decisions based on probabilities—how likely they think it will be that the person they are laying odds on will succeed or fail. A simple tool you can use to do the same thing for yourself is based on generating two numbers, both on a scale from 1 to 10.
The first number represents the potential upside, or reward—i.e. how much of a positive impact, on a scale from 1 to 10, could taking the action or course of action have on your situation?
The second number represents the potential downside, or risk—i.e. how much of a negative impact, on a scale from 1 to 10, could taking the action or course of action have on your situation?
Here’s the magic formula:
POTENTIAL REWARD MINUS POTENTIAL RISK = ACTION NUMBER
A positive Action number would suggest that a course of action might be worth taking; a negative Action number would suggest that a course of action might not be worth taking.
For example, some people attempt to cheat on their taxes. The upside for most of them is about a 1 (a few dollars saved); the potential downside (audits, fines, and possible jail time) is a 10.
On the other hand, if the benefit of asking someone out that you’re highly attracted to is 10 (you could wind up getting married and having a family together) and the potential risk factor is 2 (they might say no), go for it!
3. Decide Whether or Not You Are Going to “Take the Risk”
Once you decide to take the risk, then take action!
Remember, great achievers have learned to take action even before they feel completely ready. This is the time when all the tools you have learned thus far in this book will really help you. Motivation is confidence in action—and confidence in action is what will carry you all the way to the life of your BIG goals and dreams!
RISK-TAKING FOR FUN AND PROFIT
Read through the exercise before you do it for the first time …
1. Think of something you’d like to do, but it’s a bit risky or a bit out of character for you to do it.
2. Take a couple of minutes to do some basic safety checks—make sure that you won’t be harming yourself or anyone else in doing it.
3. Plan when to do it—ideally it will be today, but if not, try to find an opportunity within the next 72 hours.
4. When your moment comes, notice the familiar rush of adrenaline, tell yourself “Oh, what the hell,” and go for it!
5. Expect to be momentarily disorientated, but know that you will find all the resources you need as you proceed.