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Christie Hunter Arscott x Her Campus

I’ve Never Been a Risk-Taker, But This Book Changed My Mindset

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In college, my favorite classes were the predictable ones. Each time I walked into the classroom, I knew what to expect: I would sit down, open my notebook, and quietly copy important points from the professor’s lecture. No pop quizzes, unexpected discussions, or group activities. Just pure, blissful certainty. 

This anecdote alone probably says a lot about me. Unsurprisingly, I’ve never been much of a risk-taker; I prefer the comfort of rules, routines, and rituals. But when I look back on my experiences—my time in college, my internships, and my career—I realize that many of my proudest moments and biggest accomplishments only happened because I pushed myself to step outside of my comfort zone, whether I realized it or not in the moment. There was the time I took on an internship that required me to make the commute from my tiny Connecticut hometown to New York City. Sure, the trip was daunting, and I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to get up at 5 am twice a week, but the experience helped me secure my first job after graduation. There was also the time that I pushed my imposter syndrome to the side and applied for a job that felt a little out of reach—and got it.

It’s no coincidence that these milestones resulted from taking a risk. In fact, risk-taking is a powerful skill that can be used to help you reach new heights throughout your career journey. Just take it from Christie Hunter Arscott, an award-winning career advisor, speaker, Rhodes Scholar, and the author of the brand-new book, Begin Boldly – How Women Can Reimagine Risk, Embrace Uncertainty, and Launch a Brilliant Career.

Honest, empowering, and filled with inspiring stories of women who have reaped the rewards of risk-taking in their professional lives, Begin Boldly examines the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone to launch a brilliant career. And not only does Hunter Arscott tell you why you should take career risks, but she takes it a step further by telling you how to do it with a simple, repeatable process that will help you live bolder every day.

I recently had the chance to read Begin Boldly, and it transformed the way I look at risk-taking, failure, and change. Here’s how:

Embracing the Unexpected

Like I said before, I’ve never been a fan of uncertainty. But Begin Boldly reminded me of the many possibilities that change can bring, as long as you remain open to them. One quote, in particular, stuck with me. “Many of life’s greatest opportunities and rewarding moments are plot twists in your journey,” Hunter Arscott writes. She goes on to explain that staying agile, flexible, and adaptable and having “faith in your capability to figure things out” will give you the freedom to move forward even when the future is uncertain.

So, the next time life throws you a curveball, remember to embrace it.

Turning Failure into Progress

According to Hunter Arscott’s study of over 120 women from across the globe, 77% of women did not take risks due to a fear of failure. However, she asserts that the secret to overcoming this common fear is understanding that failure can teach us how to refine our skills for better risk-taking in the future. 

“Failure is not fatal,” she says—a quote that I desperately want to frame and hang on my wall. Just because you don’t achieve the outcome you were hoping for, doesn’t mean you didn’t gain anything from taking a risk. According to Hunter Arscott, “The reward of taking risks is always progress.” Every job rejection or less-than-ideal grade offers a valuable lesson that can help you grow; all you have to do is shift your mindset.

Taking Control of Your Risk-Taking

When I first picked up this book, the idea of taking a risk—and not knowing the outcome—was scary. As a self-described over-planner and over-analyzer, the thought of being unable to control the outcome of a risk made me uncomfortable. But by transforming risk-taking into a clear, tangible process, Begin Boldly makes it so much more approachable. Hunter Arscott’s simple, step-by-step formula for taking risks offered me just enough control to feel more comfortable and courageous in a new situation. And though you won’t find me skydiving or swimming with sharks anytime soon, from now on I’ll definitely be trying to live every day a little bolder.

Want to learn how to make bold moves and harness the power of risk-taking in your own career? Order your copy of Begin Boldly now and visit the Christie Hunter Arscott website for access to exclusive pre-order bonuses!

Here’s to taking more chances!

Katy Gioeli

U Conn '18

Katy is a Branded Content Editor at Her Campus Media. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2018, where she studied communication and was a College Fashionista Community Member. When she’s not dreaming up new branded content ideas, you can find her trying new restaurants, taking hundreds of pictures of her cat, Willow, or enjoying her latest romantasy book obsession and an iced matcha latte.