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How Can Women Increase Their Tolerance For Risk? – Prowess

There comes a time in life when you need to take the leap. Take a risk and go for it! We can never account for every eventuality and sometimes there is more to lose by doing nothing. 

Taking risks, when done thoughtfully and strategically, can lead to numerous advantages, including personal growth, career advancement, financial success, personal fulfilment, stronger relationships, and societal progress. Without taking risks everything, including us, stagnates! 

It is well known that women are statistically less likely to take part in risky activities for a variety of reasons, including biological, psychological, sociocultural, and economic factors. And very often it’s an entirely rational decision, that is it is risk-aware rather than risk-averse. 

But while it is important to balance risk-taking with careful planning and consideration to maximise benefits while managing potential downsides, embracing risk as a part of life’s journey can unlock a wide array of opportunities and lead to a more fulfilling and impactful existence.

So what are the high-risk and potentially high-reward activities where women may be more likely to lose out? Statistically, women are much less likely to take part in activities like early adoption of new technologies and entrepreneurship. If we start a business we are less likely to want to grow it. We are much more cautious investors and we are less likely to take part in trading and cryptocurrency. Women are less likely to be rolling the Bitcoin dice or playing other gambling games than men. And women of means are much less likely to invest in new ventures and startups. 

Understanding “Risk Averse” vs. “Risk Aware”

It’s a mistake to call women risk-averse. In many of those areas, women’s more considered approach to risk can be a distinct advantage. For example, when women do get involved in investing they tend to do better on average

Risk aversion implies a general tendency to avoid risks regardless of the potential benefits. This term can sometimes carry a negative connotation, suggesting an overly cautious or conservative approach that might miss out on lucrative opportunities.

Risk awareness, on the other hand, implies a conscious evaluation of risks and benefits, leading to decisions that align with one’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and personal circumstances. This term recognises a deliberate and informed approach to managing risk, which is a key aspect of responsible investing.

But the fact remains that in many areas where considered risk-taking can be beneficial, such as entrepreneurship and investing, too many women are holding back and not allowing themselves to maximise those risk-aware skills.

So, how can you increase your tolerance for risk? 

Increasing tolerance for risk can empower women to pursue new opportunities, achieve personal growth, and realise their goals. Here are some strategies to help you to build and expand your tolerance for risk:

1. Educate Yourself

Financial Literacy:

  • Enhance your understanding of financial markets, investment strategies, and risk management techniques. Education provides confidence and empowers informed decision-making.

Risk Assessment:

  • Learn to assess risks objectively by evaluating potential outcomes and understanding probabilities. Identifying and understanding risks can reduce fear and uncertainty.

2. Start Small and Gradually Increase Exposure

Incremental Steps:

  • Begin by taking small risks in areas of your life where the consequences are manageable. As you become more comfortable with what you’re doing, gradually increase the level of risk, while still staying within your comfort zone.

Practice Risk-Taking:

  • Regularly challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and embrace uncertainty. Each small risk taken builds resilience and confidence.

3. Set Clear Goals and Define Risks

Goal Alignment:

  • Align risks with your long-term goals and aspirations. Clarify what you hope to achieve and identify risks that align with those objectives.

Risk vs. Reward:

  • Evaluate the potential rewards of taking a risk against the potential downsides. Understanding the potential benefits can make risks more palatable.

4. Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Embrace Failure:

  • View setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth rather than reasons to retreat. Adopting a growth mindset fosters resilience and encourages continued risk-taking.

Seek Feedback:

  • Solicit feedback from mentors, peers, and trusted advisors. Constructive criticism helps identify areas for improvement and reduces the fear of failure.

5. Build a Support Network

Seek Support:

  • Surround yourself with individuals who encourage and support a positive and opportunity-seeking approach to life. A strong support network provides guidance, reassurance, and accountability.

Role Models:

  • Seek out successful women who have taken risks and achieved their goals. Learning from their experiences can inspire and motivate you to pursue your aspirations.

6. Visualise Success

Positive Visualisation:

  • Visualise yourself successfully navigating risky situations and achieving your goals. Positive visualisation reduces anxiety and increases confidence.

Celebrate Achievements:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate every success, even small ones. Recognising your achievements reinforces a positive attitude towards risk-taking.

7. Practice Self-Care

Manage Stress:

  • Prioritise self-care practices such as exercise, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques. Managing stress levels enhances resilience and decision-making abilities.

Maintain Balance:

  • Strike a balance between taking risks and preserving your well-being. Recognise when to push your limits and when to prioritise self-care.


By implementing these strategies, you can cultivate a mindset that embraces risk-taking as an opportunity for growth and advancement. Building tolerance for risk will help you step outside your comfort zone, pursue new opportunities, and achieve your fullest potential.


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