At some point, you do it. You decide to dive into the deeply risky in order to produce something meaningful. The bet-your-reputation project. The showcase speech. The book that challenges conventional wisdom. It’s exciting, scary and anything but safe.
Want to increase your shot at success?
Try learning from stunt artists—those incredibly nimble physical actors who leap from moving motorcycles, explode into flames and dodge speeding missiles.
Watching stunts being filmed for a commercial spot last week was a lesson in cool savvy. While you could almost hear her heart beating, once the cameras started rolling the stuntwoman never flinched. Not once in 6 takes.
The regular actors—when faced with a giant, dangerous prop coming toward them at 30 miles an hour—weren’t as up to the task. Instead of radiating confidence, their faces gave a glimpse of what was coming. Fear. Anxiety. Doubt.
Could it be that you are sending “flinch” signals to your audience and diluting your impact?
Take a page from the stunt professionals’ book:
Do your homework. The safest way to take big risks is to control the things you can. Come prepared—physically, intellectually, emotionally—for what is to come.
Practice. Yes, practice. I don’t care how many times you’ve relied on winging it, this is the time for practice. To try alternatives. To up your game.
Work with a team you trust. Creating successful outcomes requires the right people. Both to give helpful input and to hold the net when you jump. Trust your gut and don’t align with those who can’t (or won’t) pull their weight.
And then? Just let go. No hand wringing. No whining. No flinching.