Life is short—yet many of us spend time wondering what we should do with our lives, rather than actually going out there and trying. As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” It’s important to actually strike out and follow your heart—even if the odds do not seem to be in your favor. That’s the beauty of life. We never know what can happen unless we take a chance. Here are five reasons why you should take a few risks from time to time.

1. Generate New Possibilities

If you take risks and put yourself on the line, you could create a whole new set of opportunities for the future. You might achieve what you originally set out to do, but you also may unlock doors that you hadn’t even considered. It’s important to keep an open mind so something truly great and unexpected doesn’t pass you by.

2. You Will Always Gain

Even if you fall flat on your face, taking a risk will be beneficial. You gain valuable insight and experience from failure. At the very least, putting yourself out there and trying something new will change how you approach similar situations in the future.

3. Inaction Leads Nowhere

If you do nothing, then nothing will happen. Of course, that’s a comfortable approach but it will limit how much you grow. If you find yourself dreaming of a new job, new relationship, or new destination, put a plan together and go after it. All that can happen is you fail and gain insight to help you the next time.

4. Overcome Fears

Some people hesitate to go after what they want because it leaves them vulnerable and exposed to hurt, disappointment, and even ridicule. You may fear that if you fail, this means you are a failure, but in fact by taking risks you will learn to overcome your fears. You will likely find that you care less about what people think and about what could go wrong, which is a powerful shift in thinking.

5. Good Example

Most of us want our children to take risks and try things outside their comfort zones, but to help them we need to set a good example. When they see us trying new things, they will be more likely to do the same. We can’t expect our kids to go out and conquer the world if we’re hiding in our room. 

So many of us let life pass us by while we sit worrying about what could go wrong. This can lead to major regrets as we grow older. Why not do all you can to live the life you want each and every day? You can do this!