The Risk Aversive Person
I'm Soooooo Afraid.............
One of the characteristics of highly successful people is their ablity to take calculated and intelligent risks. They realize that playing it safe did not get them anywhere. Many highly successful people achieved their success against great odds. They ignored the negativisms of others. They believed in themselves and were not afraid to make mistakes and fail.
The most important lesson that wildly successful people learn is the theory of investments and return. In other words, if one wants to succeed and thrive, risks oftentimes must be taken. Many people want to be successful; however, their actions belie this. Instead of taking the necessary risk in order to achieve success, they prefer to take the easy route. They prefer to play it safe and stay in the security zone.
They believe that if they remain in the security zone, they will not fail. So they bemoan that they only achieve modicum success or less. To make an analogy, people want to go to heaven but they do not want to die to get there. Yes, people have an immense desire to succeed but are averse to implement one of the most important steps to achieve their dreams. They prefer to stay in their security zone to later have a life of regrets.
Why are many people so risk aversive? Well, many children are inoculated to always win and to never make mistakes. Many parents, especially highly critical and perfectionistic ones, maintain that being flawless and perfect is everything and equivalent to success. These parents further contend that failure creates a blight on the child's record. Instead of viewing mistakes is a necessary component of growth and learning, these parents see mistakes is a mortal error. Each time the child makes a mistake, he/she is constantly told how inept and far of the mark he/she is.
What these parents elect not to comprehend that their constant critique of their children is making them not want to sue their intitative, be self-starters, and to take risks. Children of such parents will veer towards easier tasks because they know they will accomplish them. Conversely, they will avoid more daunting and difficult tasks because of the increased probability of failure.
Overprotective parents believe in protecting their children from the negative aspects of life. They further insist that their children should have a childhood as stressfree as possible and unencumbered of responsibilities. These parents do everything for their children because they do not wish their children to experience any type of frustration and/or difficulties whatsoever. It is not unusual for an overprotective parents to do the child's homework if he/she finds it extremely onerous. The main them of these parents to give their children a silver lining in life.
Well, they are creating a child who is extremely dependent and risk aversive. The child figures out early why should he/she do anything at all when mommy and/or daddy will do it for him/her. By doing everything for the child, the overprotective parent is subconsciously conveying to him/her that he is incompetenent and incapable of doing tasks on his/her own. The child feels that since he/she is deemed unable to do a task, it is totally futlie for him/her to even try because he/she will fail anyway. He/she will become quite immobilized, veering into the safest path because he/she does not possess the necessary risk taking skills to achieve any type of success.
According to authoritarian parents, children are to be as unobstrusive as possible. They maintain that their children are to do as they say. In essence, authoritarian parents believe that THEY call the shots and their children are to follow their agenda. These parents make most of the decisions regarding their children's lives down to the most minute details.
They indoctrinate their children in a strictly dichotomized agenda. Children of authoritarian parents are inundated that there is a certain way of doing things and not to deviate from that agenda. These children are expected to rigidly following their parents' agenda. If they deviate from this agenda, they are often severely punished. The main theme in the authoritarian household is unquestioning and total obedience to authority.
As a result of this extreme parental indoctrination, such children tend to be followers instead of leaders. They are extremely risk aversive because they tend to believe that there is only a specific path to follow and anything outside that path is entirely suspect. Furthermore, children of authoritarian parents are rule followers to the extreme. They cannot be risk takers because taking risks involves breaking of many rules and going to divergent paths, something that risk aversive children of authoritarian parents are loathe to do.
However, there are parents which are not characterized by the abovementoned who believe that security in life should be the foremost thing. They do not want their children to take risks because risk is often associated with insecurity. In these parents' eyes, being insecurity is analogous to be unsafe. These parents portend that they do not want their children to ever be unsafe.
These parents have a strong security consciousness. They like the familar. It is like a psychological security blanket. These parents want their children to have unncessary hardships and difficulties and to them, that is what risk represents. They prefer that their children take the safest and most comfortable road possible. They contend that one can be successful without taking risks. They further believe that if their children do take risks, these risks should be as few as possible.
Their children learn to value the familar i.e. being safe and secure over taking risks because it is often angst producing. These children learn to consider risk as a necessary evil instead of being an integral part of growth. Because they view risk as extremely angst producing, they will elect to avoid risk unless it is absolutely necessary. They feel that risks often are not worth the headache often settling for a comfortable but mundane life.
Parental influence is definitely not the only factors influencing risk aversive behaviors. There are also other outlying factors such as peer and cultural influences. There are many people who have friends and associates who are quite comfortable with their modicum success levels. If a person from this respective group wishes to veer into a different path, he/she is often discouraged from going on a path which is divergently different from that of his/her associates and friends. He/she is told that no one in their circle has done that before and/or has taken that path period. He/she is often told to "stay in his/her place."
If the person still insists on going on this divergent path, he/she is told that he/she is becoming uppity and/or too self-important. Business guru Larry Winget maintained that a person's friends and close associates are usually of similar levels socioeconomically, intellectually, and job/careerwise. To parapharse the Bible, a person is known by the company he/she keeps. b income level. Mr. Winget further advises that if a person wishes to advance himself/herself socioeconomically, intellectually, and/or careerwise, it is best that he/she dump his/her old friends and associate and find new friends with similar interests because his/her old friends will only prevent him/her from accomplishing his/her dreams.
Many people refuse to listen to and/or follow their friends lifestyles, taking risks, going on their individual paths to achieve success. Still there are others who succumb to their friends' negativism and because they want to belong with their crowd, elect not to take risks and to go on a different path. Sadly, they prefer the familiar over taking risks and seeing its results so to speak.
There are others of some sociocultural groups whose members frown upon taking risks and going on paths that is different from that of the particular sociocultural group in question. If a member of the sociocultural group elect to take risks and go on a path which is different from the sociocultural group consensus, it is oftentimes conveyed that people of this sociocultural group do have have this type of job and/or go on this path. Sometimes, a member of a sociocultural group is told that no one of the sociocultural group has ever done this and why is this member is being different.
In essence, the member of the sociocultural group is told to stay within the parameters of that sociocultural group. If the person wishes to further pursue his/her brand of success, he/she is told that he/she will be alone in the world and does he/she want to be different (this is often said negatively). The member of a sociocultural group is often warned about "selling out" and not being a "true" member of the sociocultural group if he/she persists on pursuing his/her brand of success.
However, there are members of sociocultural groups who refuse to believe in their sociocultural group's old paradigm of what they should do with their lives. They contend that being a member of a certain sociocultural group is a non issue regarding taking risks to pursue their idea of success. They figure if no one in their sociocultural group does it, fine, they will be the first and open doors for other members of their sociocultural group. Some members of a sociocultural group believe the negative hype that such a sociocultural group cannot succeed and they succumb to this self-fulfilling prophecy. They consisting bemoan that they cannot succeed the way that they wish because they belong to a particular sociocultural group.
Still other members of a sociocultural group believe that if they do succeed, they will be selling out their respective sociocultural group. They further feel that they would be like the more successful sociocultural groups instead of their own. They believe that they want to be connected with their sociocultural group so they do not yearn to be successful if it means being disassociating themselves from the familiar i.e. their sociocultural group.
For many others, their respective socioeconomic group is a determinant to what paths they should take. Many people in their such socioeconomic groups absorb their groupthink consensus regarding the pattern of success. Oftentmes, members of a particular socioeconomic group is socialized within and without the group regarding what acceptable routes regarding success to take.
Sometimes, members of a particular socioeconomic group are inundated to stay within certain paremeters of achievement. If the member desires to go on a different path, he/she is told that people of their socioeconomic group do not achieve that type of success. They are told not to be "unrealistic", "impractical" but to choose something "more befitting" to their socioeconomic status.
Of course, such members ignore the messages conveyed by their particular socioeconomic group and succeed on their terms and in their own way. They portend that one's socioeconomic class does not and/or should not preclude one from achieving enormous successs. Of course, America is composed of such people.
Still others dejectedly because that because of their particular socioecomic group, they are not deserving of success. They further believe that success is not for those like them but for other socioeconomic classes. As a result of this belief, they often do not take the necessary risks which would make them successful. Intstead, they resignedly remain in their respective socioeconomic class.
In summation, in order to become successful, one often must take calculated and intelligent risks. Even though many people profess that they want to be successful, their actions often belie this fact. These people want the fruits of success without making such an effort towards that success.
There are many reasons why people are risk aversive. This range from parental and sociocultural to socioeconomic influences. People who are risk aversive are often loathe to make take risks because risks sometimes have uncertain outcome. Risk aversive people always want to ascertain that each outcome be certain. However, life is mixed with certainities and uncertainities and that is what risk aversive people are fearful of.
Yes, the underlying factor in a risk aversive person's life is fear-fear of the unknown and unfamiliar. They would rather take the safe road and achieve a modicum of success. If they do take risks, they want to take as few risks as possible yet still expect to achieve enormous success. Furthermore they would rather avoid risk altogether. In essence, they would rather take the safe road and achieve a modicum of success than to take the necessary risks to achieve enormous success. Sadly, many people want success without the risks involved. How sad it is to live an incomplete life because one's human potential was not fully utilized.