Risk versus Fear

I think we often confuse risk and fear – especially when making critical life decisions. I was talking about this with a friend the other day and it sparked an interesting conversation.

Climbing a steep mountain with proper training and gear is not risky but it is can be very scary. Walking up a snow-covered hill is not at all scary but very risky considered the chance of avalanche.

The same is true for career choices. (these are generalizations of course).

Consulting is not scary. And some would say it is not risky either. It just depends on how you define risk. I think the unconventional view of risk also considers the opportunity cost. The chance you completely have wasted your time. For that, consulting may be somewhat risky?

Starting a company is scary. Maybe? But it is not that risky if you are comparing to life or death situations. It is not that risky if you are comparing to say losing all of your liberties.

It really just depends on how you define risk. And how you define fear.

Those two things are really important as you go on to approach life. I think.

Most things I think have an over-estimation of risk. I say this from a place of privilege and as someone who has been on the fortunate side of things often. But I will re say it – most things in life are not that risky. Maybe scary.

Also published on Medium.