Have you seen the TV show, hosted by Howie Mandel, called Deal or No Deal?

In this show, 26 briefcases, each containing a different amount of money ranging from $.01 to $1,000,000, are brought to a contestant, who must choose one case, hoping it contains $1,000,000. The contestant begins opening the remaining cases, to determine if the one chosen contains the big prize. At certain points, a "Banker" offers the contestant money in an attempt to "buy back the selected case" for less money than it potentially contains. The longer the show goes on, without the larger amounts of money being revealed, the higher the chances that one of those amounts is in the contestant's case, requiring the contestant to turn down higher and higher amounts of money in an effort to win the most money possible.

This show is the ultimate test of risk analysis, courage and self-control, as contestants make some of the hardest (and often most emotional) decisions they've faced in a while... maybe ever. In this game, it is crystal clear that taking risks is necessary in order to even have a shot at the big prize. Without properly analyzing the odds and risks, a contestant could go home with very little money - or virtually nothing.

Although not as obvious or short-term, the same concept is true in life. Opportunities that could transform our lives are placed before us all the time, but we're often so intimidated by the risks involved that we refuse to recognize those opportunities or take advantage of them. We push them away, creating excuses in order to avoid the stress involved in making decisions that would accompany any attempt at achieving them...

...unfortunately, we also don't experience the joy of achieving anything we previously thought impossible for us. Refusing to capitalize on opportunities does not mean they don't come our way; it simply means that we don't see the positive possibilities that accompany them, focusing instead on the potential negatives that could occur.

Risk is not something to be avoided at all costs. It's to be evaluated, and if the risk-to-reward ratio is high enough on the side of the reward, the risk should be taken; if the reward is important enough to you, it will be taken.

Here are a few lessons we can learn from "Deal or No Deal", as we examine how contestants muster the courage necessary to proceed forward in the face of fear and uncertainty:

1. They make a definitive decision to go for the risk.

2. They take action and audition for the show.

3. They surround themselves with loved ones who support and advise them all along the way.

4. They make decisions at every step, analyzing each occurrence on the journey, being flexible in order to make the best decision possible.

5. They accept whatever the outcome is - and go on - being thankful for the chance to have won something big (whether or not they were successful in achieving that goal).

Taking risks is no guarantee that we'll achieve what we're after... however, NOT taking risks does guarantee that we won't.

Win or lose, I still believe it's much better to have risked (appropriately) and lost than never to have risked at all...

What about you?

Author's Bio: 

National speaker and author of the book, It’s My Dream And Who Am I To Stop Me?, Sandy Geroux is helps others achieve breakthrough performance through programs on effective risk-taking, goal-setting and achievement, and customer service. For more articles and tips, visit her on the web at www.sandygeroux.com or e-mail her at sandyg@sandygeroux.com