Take a moment to look back on your life to date and think about when you could have been more courageous and less cautious — in your work, your relationships or elsewhere in your life. I'm sure you can recall at least a few situations where, with the benefit of hindsight, you wished you'd acted more courageously, taken a bigger risk, settled less or dared more. If so, then just know you aren't alone.
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. ‘If only I knew then what I know now' we say to ourselves as we lament the times we played it safe rather than taking the plunge, held our tongue rather than speaking up, took the easier path rather than the less certain one. But here's the deal: the same invisible forces that drove you to play it safe back then are still in action right now and impacting the future ahead of you.
When it comes to training the brave within you, it's vital to first be aware of your own cognitive biases. Or, put another way, the unconscious tendencies you have that can undermine your decision-making logic. While human beings have always had these biases, new advances in brain-imaging technology have been able to identify four different ways we're wired to avoid taking the risks that would ultimately make us happier.
The fact is that most of us are pretty lousy when it comes to ...