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Why Do We Stop Taking Risks As Adults?

Updated: Aug 3, 2018

I was always taking risks as a teenager and young adult. I moved from a small country town with a population of 2000 to Melbourne to study. Wow, what a move. I didn't even know how to catch a train or drive around in the city. It was scary, and exciting. I did not do this alone, my sister and her friend who studied close by helped me to get to my first class. After university I moved to Central Queensland, Mildura Vic, Albury-Wodonga and Sydney.

I moved a lot and took many risks to help me find what it is I wanted out of life. I had 6 jobs in 8 years. Wow, that is crazy. So I was taking all these risks only to feel burnt. It wasn't working.

I was still stuck in a job I didn't like and this happened every single time. So I stopped taking risks. I was over it all, I gave up, gave in and just started becoming bitter about my situation. I was constantly overthinking everything from being with my partner, to work, to my social life. I was becoming more and more anxious and annoyed at everything. I just kept thinking about how hard I worked and how I tried to make something of it and it still didn't work. I also got stuck in the comfort of my home.

Let's talk about what I learnt from this:

  • I blamed others and didn't take responsibility for my actions

  • I had no plans or goals set, so rather than having steps that would lead me to what I wanted, I just reacted to situations when I should have taken more control over the decisions I made

  • I never asked myself WHY I was doing what I was doing

  • I didn't ask for help. This is the biggest one for me. I thought I was alone on this because everyone around me seemed happy in their jobs.

  • My mindset. I had no peace and quiet. I was constantly talking about ways of getting out of my situation. It was an obsession.

I have finally found flow in my life. That means what I am doing gives me energy and I have a plan to follow and goals to reach. I'm not saying everyday is easy but it is a thousand times better than where I was. I practice gratitude and I have become satisfied with what I have and what I am reaching for. Don't get me wrong, it is not all bliss, there're times when I cry, feel anxious and feel nervous about what I am doing, however I have learnt ways to manage it. I am constantly looking to grow, challenge myself and be the best version of myself to help motivate others to do the same. So why am I writing about this? I want to help as many people as possible to get out of a similar situation . I know how painful it can be.

"Feeling like you're living with purpose is a right for everyone, your age and past experiences is not a limitation it’s your strength. "

Why do we take less risks when we get older?

  • You have more responsibilities.

  • You have children

  • You have a mortgage and car loans

  • You have bills to pay

  • You have less time

  • Accumulation of bad experiences

  • Blame

  • Default living

  • Mindset - you believe you're too old

Young mindset

When we are younger some people believe through hard work, determination and education, they will have a better future. This is a growth mindset. A future where they make money and grow within an organisation.

We assume:

1. Money alone will make us happy

2. University leads you to a satisfying life

3. You get a job that pays well and that will make you happy

4. If you work hard you will be successful

The reality

We work hard and experience rejection, failures and emotional stress. For many of us, we were never taught how to deal with this stress.

When these assumptions are wrong we question everything and then we get stuck.

Too scared to make another move, because we are afraid of more disappointment and emotional discomfort.

So, how do we change this?

Keep taking risks

You continue taking risk with a specific plan and set goals. When you have clarity about the outcome, you can be certain you''ll give it your all to get to the outcome you want. Taking risks doesn't always have to be extreme, sometimes it's the little things such as moving out of your comfort zone and being okay with uncertainty. Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance

Put yourself out there

Start creating opportunities for yourself in the same way you did when you were young. When we are younger, we seem to be okay with feeling uncomfortable. Like the times when you are happy to stay in a back packers or sleep on the floor of a friends place. I am not suggesting you should do that, however what I am suggesting is try stepping out of the comfort you have created around you, to open up more opportunities in your life. Go to that meet up group and become a member of a team sport.


Look back at past experiences and write down what you learnt from them. Don't look at it from a judgmental point of view, rather approach from a place of personal growth.

Create your own certainty

Think about ways you could approach risk that brings you more certainty. Certainty comes from you and you are in charge of your life, you are in charge of where you invest your energy. Take action and ask for help.

Define your fears

Write down your fears. How can you reduce the chance of the fear coming true? If it came true, how would you repair the situation?

"Life is full of ups and downs, it’s how we respond to them that counts. "

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