August 27

Taking Calculated Risks

Taking Calculated Risks

By Deborah Johnson

August 27, 2023

bold but strategic, calculated chances, calculated gambles, Calculated risks, daring but thoughtful, Deborah Johnson, fearless decision making, informed risk taking, podcast, risk taking mindset, risks with purpose, smart risk taking

Many people that are risk-averse are very cautious about taking calculated risks. But those calculated risks can bring benefits in many different areas of life. The fear of making a change, exploring new relationships, or even the overanalyzing of decisions can easily lead one to be frozen with an unmovable fixed mindset.

Taking calculated risks involves careful consideration and analysis of potential outcomes. It can include making up a “pro and con” chart, weighing the potential benefits against the possible risks and uncertainties of a decision. This process helps to make a deliberate choice, though the danger is staying stuck in evaluation and indecision. At some point, a decision needs to be made. By taking calculated risks with data and other information, the likelihood of moving ahead to make a choice goes up! There are many benefits we could cover regarding taking calculated risks, but we will approach five in this article.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Taking Calculated Risks with Deborah Johnson 8-29-2023
00:00:00 00:00:00

Taking Calculated Risks Builds Resilience

Risks often involve uncertainty and potential setbacks. By taking calculated risks, individuals learn to bounce back from failures, adapt to new situations, and develop resilience. The song made famous by Kelly Clarkson in 2011, Stronger, says “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This is so true in many ways! Resilience helps us adapt and adjust in the face of change and unexpected circumstances.

Emotionally, resilience increases the capacity to manage and cope with feelings more effectively. Instead of being overwhelmed by negative emotions like fear, sadness or frustration, developing resilience helps us face challenges with composure and clarity. A resilient mindset looks at the glass half-full instead of half-empty and focuses on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

Taking Calculated Risks Builds Self-Confidence

Successfully navigating through calculated risks builds self-confidence and belief in one's abilities, empowering us to tackle future challenges. The acknowledgement of strengths and accomplishments allows us to tackle obstacles with a sense of competence and assurance. Self-confidence is closely linked to resilience as confident individuals tend to bounce back from setbacks and failures with determination.

Self-confidence influences self-image with an appreciation of oneself that includes both strengths and areas for growth without excessive self-criticism or unrealistic expectations. As we look in the mirror, this positive self-perception fosters a sense of self-assurance influencing our actions and decisions that affect us personally as well as professionally.

Taking Calculated Risks Enhances Skills and Knowledge

Taking calculated risks often involves acquiring new skills and knowledge, as we venture into unfamiliar territory. To contribute to this is usually the quality of curiosity and open-mindedness. With a curious mindset, we are eager to explore new ideas, learn from different perspectives and pursue different learning opportunities. Even if we are afraid, this mindset provides the courage to overcome our fear.

A commitment to lifelong learning takes a calculated risk of spending the time and resources to pursue formal education, workshops, self-study or hands-on experiences. It requires intentional and focused study and practice which take time, energy and resources. We don’t always feel like buckling down with this type of focus. Even though the results may not be immediately obtained, continuous learning contributes to keeping the brain sharp and active for professional growth. This becomes even more important as we age. (See Producing Halftime Success Summit)

Taking Calculated Risks Fosters Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Risk-taking is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurship and innovation. By taking calculated risks, entrepreneurs can introduce new ideas, products, or services that disrupt existing markets and drive innovation. This takes the ability to step back and think differently to challenge the status quo with novel products, services or business models that address existing problems or emerging trends. No matter how you feel about him, an entrepreneur who has taken on a great deal of risk is Elon Musk. He has faced bankruptcy, ridicule and takeovers, but he seems to thrive on the type of risk that has fueled his entrepreneurial ventures, most of which have ended up experiencing great success. Sometimes we wonder if his risk is truly calculated, but there is no question that those risks have paid off for him in a huge way.

The outcome of an entrepreneurial venture is not always comfortable and is rarely certain. Failure is a natural part of the creative process but failure can be a great teacher in what to do differently next time. Successful entrepreneurs and innovators must be adaptable and responsive to changes in the market, aware of consumer preferences and industry trends. Analyzing data and feedback helps with this process to maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly changing environment.

Taking Calculated Risks Increases Personal Relationships and Interactions

Taking calculated emotional risks in personal relationships can lead to deeper connections, trust, and intimacy. Being fully present with attentive listening allows us to understand other perspectives, feelings and needs. This makes them feel valued and understood, deepening the bond between us and them, fostering trust and open communication..

To cultivate meaningful relationships takes the willingness to be authentic and vulnerable with honesty. This action usually encourages others to reciprocate. Supporting each other through life’s ups and downs is a gift we can give each other that is of great value. Sharing vulnerabilities and expressing emotions authentically can strengthen bonds with loved ones.

For social situations, taking calculated risks, such as attending events, joining groups, or initiating conversations, can expand one's social network and create new opportunities for friendship and collaboration. There are different levels of relationship circles and understanding those levels helps us understand the amount of time and energy to devote to each.


To apply all of this takes the mindset that it’s O.K. to fail and try new things. By doing so, we increase our chances of developing more resilience, self confidence, skills and knowledge, creativity in entrepreneurship and innovation and deepen personal relationships and interactions. Overall, I hope you find it’s worthwhile to take calculated risks, because you’re worth it!


Call Upon Your Inner Strength--You Have it!

Mind Games that Will Hold You Back from Your Potential

Six Business Lessons Learned from Real-Life Experience

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

By taking calculated risks, individuals learn to bounce back from failures, adapt to new situations, and develop resilience. 

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,090 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

Never miss a good story! Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest news, articles, music & trends!