5 Risks You Take When You Play it Safe in Life

Why Not Challenging Yourself Regularly Will Have Long-Term Consequences

Having the mindset to play it safe in life will have long-term consequences if we don’t know the risks.

There is a difference between staying safe and not taking risks. Staying safe can be intelligent if it means not risking our physical safety.

If doing something can risk our mental and emotional well-being, it’s wise to play it safe.

If we play it safe it and not take on new challenges, it will affect all areas of our lives.

Signs You Are Playing it Safe in Life

Before we can make changes, we have to be aware of the signs that suggest we’re playing it safe. These signs can include:

  • Feeling bored often.
  • Not having enough fun.
  • Feeling lazy or unmotivated.
  • Not creating new experiences.
  • Not laughing as much as we’d like.
  • Not having good stories to share with others.
  • Not willing to learn new things.

When we play it safe in life, it often means we’re doing the same things repeatedly. This will show up in how we feel about our lives.

play it safe in life

When we play it safe in life, the real problem is we’re afraid. The fears we may experience include:

  • Fear of failure.
  • Fear of success.
  • Fear of change.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Fear of commitment.
  • Fear of not being good enough.
  • Fear of not knowing what to do.

Once we understand the risks we take when we play it safe, we can make new choices.

5 Potential Risks When You Play it Safe in Life

Here are five potential risks you take when you play it safe in life.

  1. You won’t know what you’re capable of. A reason to take risks is to push ourselves beyond what we thought we’re capable of. The more we’re willing to challenge ourselves, the more of our potential we’ll develop.
  2. You won’t turn your dreams into reality. We all have dreams and those who achieve their dreams take risks. There is a saying, “What got you here won’t get you there.” This implies what has worked until now may not help us get to where we want to be.
  3. You’re more likely to have regrets at the end of your life. By not taking risks, we’ll often think about what could have been. This can generate feelings of guilt or regret, which will affect our confidence and outlook on life.
  4. You will miss out on learnings and new opportunities. When we take risks, no matter how things work out, we’ll always learn something. If we don’t take risks at all, we won’t know of other possibilities and opportunities that may have come our way if we had taken risks.
  5. You will struggle to make decisions. When we stop ourselves from doing something we want to, we develop more self-doubt. Self-doubt will lead to indecisiveness, which means we won’t want to take new risks.

What You Can Do to Avoid Playing it Safe in Life

While there isn’t a right or wrong way to avoid playing it safe in life, there are things you can practice. Things you can consider doing include:

  • Tap into your inner wisdom through practices such as meditation, self-reflection and journalling.
  • Challenge your fears by questioning whether they are true or not.
  • Identify the payoffs if you take a particular risk.
  • Identify the potential consequences if you take a particular risk.
  • Build up your risk-taking capabilities by taking action where the potential consequences aren’t costly.


When we play it safe, it means we’re not willing to win our game of life. Our ability to takes risks will depend on how often we take them.

If we’re willing to challenge ourselves regularly, we’ll develop into the person we’re capable of becoming. This means, not only will we benefit from it, others in our lives will too.

Action Step: Identify something you think is a risk if you act on it. Think through the payoffs and potential consequences. Write them down and discuss the risks with someone who will also be impacted if you take the risk. Then make the best decision you can.

Question: What are other risks you take when you play it safe in life?