This week has been another reminder that the older I get, the more I run towards risk. This means looking for areas of highest risk, and focusing all attention on making them lower risk.
Finding the highest areas of risk is instinctive, but when it’s competing against other priorities I often do an exercise of mapping out atleast the first and second order outcomes of any decision. The most negative outcomes automatically become the highest risk areas to focus on.
De-risking often means just making a key decision and then owning the outcome. Nothing is without any risk and the future is uncertain, but there’s comfort in fully understanding the scope of what’s known, and being okay with the rest.
The opposite of this approach is avoidance - looking at the higher risk areas and creating a story in your mind that they will go away for some reason. The few times you get lucky and they do go away, only serves to reinforce this mindset. But it’s dangerous and only creates more anxiety.