ESSAY: Risk Assessment

The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964)

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)

Never put yourself in a position that will put yourself at risk if you make the wrong decision. We spent cash on everything. It’s fashionable to make ‘bet the company’ decisions, but don’t do it.
Joel Spolsky, Sink or Swim, SXSW 2006

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Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first base.
Frederick Wilcox

These are four views of risk. Do you agree with any of these ideas about risk? Which one(s)? How would you define your feelings about risk? Are you willing to take greater or lesser risks depending upon what role you are playing at the time?


            Many of the greatest achievements in life require going out of one’s comfort zone. Whether it is investing money to grow a business, overcoming shyness on stage, or going out for a chance to find love, some of the most fulfilling or rewarding experiences in life is realized by taking risks (Zinn, 2019). However, a lot of people find it difficult to get out of their comfort zones, including the uncertainty from taking risks. Feelings of unease develop from the fear of the unknown or potential failure (Zinn, 2019). In my case, I believe in getting out of one’s comfort zone, and taking action/risk to develop, as a person, and succeeding in life. Therefore, I agree with John F. Kennedy’s view …

            My feelings about risk are full of uncertainty and fear, although I believe not taking risks is risky in itself. But I have this feeling that taking calculated risks is the right path to take, especially when the stakes are high. The feelings about risks are, largely, due to fear – fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of making mistakes, fear of loss, or fear of rejection (Zinn, 2019), among others. However, my attempts to fight fear have led to getting out of my comfort zone. I am now willing to take more risks, especially having realized the fea…


Zinn, J. O. (2019). The meaning of risk-taking – key concepts and dimensions. Journal of Risk Research, 22(1), 1-15.

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