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Initiative and risk-taking personality traits

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So you want to take more risks. Show initiative. But how do you get the courage?


Initiative is what allows you to strike while the iron is hot.

Instead of waiting or asking for permission, people high in Initiative take action right away, trying to get from point A to point B before anyone else. 

People with strong initiative aren’t afraid to make some mistakes along the way. They know that a part of being the first to do something is that you sometimes have to take risks. 

Initiative has been found to be a key quality of an entrepreneur, as it allows you to jump on new opportunities before your competitors. This allows you to put products into the market quickly and to get buy in from your audience. 

But what do you do to increase your initiative, and how can you protect yourself from the dangers of low Precision? And as a boss or manager, leading other people, what can you do to encourage other people to come forward and create a culture which encourages risk-taking and action?

Let’s talk about that and more in today’s article.

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Initiative as an Extroverted personality trait

Initiative is often found in people with either strong Extroversion or strong Judging or preferably, a mix of both personality traits. Extroverts and/or Judging types tend to take more risks and act with more passion, energy, and enthusiasm. They introduce themselves first. They’re positively more aggressive. They are what we could describe to be Proactive personality types. 

Initiative, risk-taking and mindset

A person with high initiative has a certain mindset and set of beliefs you can practice and rehearse. For example, say:

It’s better to do it fast than to do it 100% correct.

Nobody cares if it has a few small flaws or problems.

I don’t have to get it right every time, it’s enough that I get it right most of the time. 

It’s better to be effective than to be efficient. If I make 100 attempts, and succeed 75 times, that’s better than if I only make 50 attempts, and succeed 50 times.

Everybody needs to take a few risks once in a while.

People are not going to nitpick on every little thing I do, and people will give me some freedom of movement. If they do nitpick, I can shake off their negativity and keep going. 

I have a secure foundation and people will support me or have my back if I fall along the way.

My job is to create the first trail and people who come after me can take care of and perfect the path.

You shouldn’t try to copy what other people are doing or follow a set recipe. You should try to find your own path in life, even if that is or looks more messy to others.

If I make a mistake or fail, I should try again as soon as possible, so I don’t give up or become afraid. 

The problems of high initiative

People who have high initiative can sometimes fall prone to gambler’s fallacy. They’ll tell themselves they’ll get it right next time, and keep trying, even if they don’t get any results. They might also consistently fail or make more mistakes than they make gains, but in their head, they’ll overrate themselves and their success, and think that they got more things right than they really did. They might not see mistakes or issues that they make – focusing only on the gains. 

It’s important to balance out your initiative with precision. A key here is to sometimes stop and reflect on what you are doing and how things are going. Once every few weeks, stop and slow down, and go over your progress. Try to reflect specifically on mistakes you made and think about how you can correct your course. Your goal might not be to be perfect, but it’s already better if you can at least make sure that you maintain an overall positive trajectory. Also avoid going in circles. If you find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over, that’s a sign that you need a break.

Do you have high Initiative?

Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading! 


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