There are times that it's definitely better to be safe than sorry. Running across a busy road, SCUBA diving, and experimenting with recreational drugs, to name a few.
And back when life was a lot more precarious, better safe than sorry was probably a good mantra to live by. “There's probably a lion down there… what the heck, nothing ventured nothing gained.” This sort of attitude was likely to get your DNA removed from the gene pool in a hurry, even if they didn’t have the Darwin Awards back in the day.
These days failure can have a psychological or financial impact, but it's generally not going to get you eaten.
A close friend asked my counsel about an intervention type communication to a mutual friend who seems to be going of the rails. She said “the easy thing is to do nothing … I’m not sure it’s the right thing.”
This could all blow up and we’ll be sorry. The safe course of action is to do nothing. But in this case it’s probably better to be sorry, than live with the knowledge that we didn’t do anything.
Starting a thought leaders practice seems very risky. You have to leave the safety of a job, try and sell yourself and your ideas, put a website around yourname.com saying how great you are etc etc. Much safer to stay employed.
And then at Thought Leaders Business School we encourage our students to keep taking more risks. Every ninety days launch something new – something that could well fail (we expect a failure rate of 50%). Safer just to stick with what we know works.
In relationships, and in business, I reckon we need to err a little more towards better sorry than safe. Be just a little more open to taking risks, and embrace failure as part of the journey. And manage the financial and psychological impact rather than trying to avoid it all together