Try

I love being Gigi because I have more time to reflect on the activities of my grandchildren and the way they learn. "Try" is my grandson, Isaac's, favorite new word. He wants to try to climb the steps to the slide, try to dress himself, and try to open his yogurt pouch. In fact, Isaac wants to "try" to do everything. He approaches each day with fearless zeal to discover the new things he can do.

As I observe Isaac, he "tries" everything because he hasn't learned to fear failure. What would you try if you weren't afraid of failing?

Columbia University's Tory Higgins has spent 20 years researching risk-averse people. Higgins observes that this low tolerance for risk does not occur because of a lack of self-confidence, or high levels of paranoia but rather due to a focus on prevention as opposed to a focus on promotion. Those who are promotion focused view goals as opportunities for progress with the potential for rich gains in contrast to individuals with a prevention focus that see goals as opportunities to keep things running smoothly.

Heidi Grant Halvorson and Higgins discuss techniques for navigating risk in their bookFocus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence. If risk doesn't come naturally, they suggest you focus only on what you have to gain and banish thoughts of what you might lose.

Do you approach your day with the same fearless zeal that my grandson does? If not, perhaps a shift from "what will I lose" to "what will I gain" would be helpful. Give it a try!