Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway

When advising on financial investment strategies, financial planners frequently take clients through a questionnaire that measures their tolerance for risk. The output from this is known as a Risk Profile

We all have different capacities for risk-taking. Some of us are quite averse to it, while others of us enjoy the thrill and adrenaline rush of taking a risk and the uncertainty.

I remember reading somewhere that researchers have actually identified the genes that influence your capacity to take risks. So this capacity is inbuilt. But, obviously it can be stretched somewhat.

On reading this, and reviewing some of the events of my life, I realised that, while not a extreme as some people, my genes have set me up as more of a risk-taker than many of my friends and peers.

The result has been that I have had a much more tumultuous life, with big gains and big wins along with big losses and big mistakes along the way, while they have had much smoother journeys.

I accept that it’s just the way I am and am relaxed about it rather than beating myself up about those losses and mistakes.

And I think that’s the important lesson here: to understand how you are wired-up and to be accepting of that.

While it is good to stretch our boundaries: to feel the fear and do it anyway and to discover that we have far greater capabilities than we ever imagine, it is also useful to consider your risk profile and not try and stretch those boundaries too much in any one step.

It’s much better to gradually stretch those boundaries, taking smaller steps so that you don’t retreat into your shell, afraid to take risks again in the future.

I was thinking about all this when I came across this video recently in which I was the stunt double for the Solo Man in a Solo soft drink TV commercial many years ago. It involved sailing my HobieCat in heavy surf at Bell’s Beach here in Australia, one of the world’s premier surf beaches, renowned for its big waves.

While it was all an exciting adventure, especially as I was used to sailing in much smoother waters, it ended when the boat spun down-wind in the surf making it uncontrollable and causing it to capsize.


As a result, the mast of my catamaran broke after the boat turned over leaving me in a pretty precarious place as I struggled to drag it to shore, all while tangled up in sail and stays.

Not surprisingly this part was left out that the commercial by the producers who didn’t want to offend the yacht manufacturers. 🙂

Of course, this was a relatively minor adventure in risk-taking, but it is still interesting to reflect upon. And, looking back I certainly don’t have any regrets about it.



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Leigh D Wilson running

How to Make Yourself Accountable – to Yourself!

I help people make changes in their lives so they can be closer to their best selves.

While some types of personal change can happen very quickly, changing habits can often take quite a bit longer. To help us stick to our goal as we make these changes, it is often really helpful to have an accountability partner – someone to report to from time to time to keep them informed of our progress. Knowing that we are committed to doing this can help keep us on track when we find your motivation is waning.


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