While we often discuss risk-taking as a trait, some intrinsic part of an individual’s personality, risk-taking is actually a process. The process of deciding whether or not to engage in a behavior that has a significant probability of resulting in a negative outcome. And you know what? Negative outcomes are a possibility in any situation: whether you are going all in on a poker bluff or just trying to hide from your boss in the break room. Below are 30 signs that you were born a natural risk-taker.
1. You’ve jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.
2. You’re not all that comfortable even jumping off a curb.
3. You disagreed with your boss during an important meeting.
4. You kept quiet when your supervisor made an error and blamed it on you.
5. You always choose dare in Truth or Dare games. Always.
6. Truth answers are just more interesting, don’t you think?
7. You don’t immediately change the empty toilet paper roll after using it all up.
8. You bought a special basket to put next to the toilet so extra rolls would always be immediately at hand.
9. You never drive the speed limit.
10. You prefer to let other people drive.
11. You possess the most extensive sun hat collection this side of the Mississippi.
12. You don’t even own sunscreen.
13. You’ve participated in an act of civil disobedience.
14. You’ve watched acts of civil disobedience on Fox News.
15. You forgot to DVR the latest episode of “How to Get Away with Murder.”
16. You always clear your schedule on Thursday nights so you never miss your favorite show.
17. You’ve dated more than one person at a time—and even managed to get them all together one for a truly unforgettable night.
18. You are a strict monogamist.
19. You possess a unique gene variant, the DRD4 7R+ variant, which makes your brain more prone to impulsivity and risky behaviors.
20. You refuse to be genotyped for fear of learning you have an increased risk for some terrible disease.
21. You save at least 10% of each paycheck for retirement.
22. Retirement? That’s decades away. You’ll figure out the money stuff when you get there.
23. You are really into kink.
24. You think vanilla is a perfectly respectable flavor, thank you very much.
25. You just quit your job to travel for the next year.
26. You just renewed your subscription to “Travel & Leisure.”
27. You are the person who knows how to gets things done at work.
28. You have the number of the person who knows how to get things done at work on your phone’s speed dial.
29. You’ve been arrested. Maybe even more than once.
30. You are the person your friends call to bail them out of jail. One, because they know you have money saved. And, two, you are known for being home by 10:00pm on Saturday nights.
The truth is, no matter which statement best described you on this list, you are a risk-taker. Yes, you. And even you! While some of us may have a unique biological predisposition that pushes us to run more with life’s uncertainties, there are a variety of other factors that help us decide when to push the envelope and when to run for cover. But to understand how to be a better risk-taker in life—how to make smarter, more informed decisions when faced with risk—the first step is to understand that we are all risk-takers, at least to some extent. And we all deal with uncertainty and the potential for negative outcomes in each decision we make, each and every day.