Difference Between Risk and Challenge

Risk vs Challenge
 

Even though the words risk and challenge sounds familiar as both involve an exposure to danger, these have to be understood as two different words as there is a clear difference between them in meaning. A risk is the possibility of being exposed to danger or loss. For example, a person who goes through a very complex surgery where there is a high chance for it to be a failure is taking a risk. A challenge, on the other hand, is an invitation to take part in a contest or to prove something. A challenge usually involves the accomplishment of a difficult task. In this sense, a risk and a challenge are two completely different words because a risk is usually negative as there is a high chance for the individual to be harmed. However, a challenge is a positive experience as it allows the individual to realize his inner potential and expand his capabilities. Through this article let us examine the difference between the two words.

What is a Risk?

As mentioned above, a risk can be understood as the possibility of being exposed to danger or loss. From the definition itself it is clear that there is a relatively high loss for the individual than a gain. In a risk, there is no chance for the individual to benefit if he or she loses. For example, an individual who makes a risky investment has a high chance of losing everything. In such a situation, there is no benefit for the individual and only loses.

Let us pay attention to some more examples. Observe the following sentences.

He risked his life to save the child.

You should not have taken such a huge risk. What were you thinking?

In both examples, the word risk highlights the danger that the individual has placed himself in. A challenge, however, is different from a risk.

Difference Between Risk and Challenge

A person making a risky investment is facing a risk of losing all the money

What is a Challenge?

A challenge can be defined in a number of ways. Firstly, it can be defined as an invitation to take part in a contest or to prove something. When someone wishes to prove his superiority he can challenge the other individual. This takes place in certain cultures as a way of showing their power. For example,

The warrior challenged his opponent.

The above sentence highlights that a challenge can be an invitation for a particular task, in this case, a contest.

Secondly, it can be defined as a demanding task or situation. For example,

Climbing the mountain in the stormy weather proved to be a real challenge even for the strongest of men.

In this sentence, the word challenge has been used to indicate a difficult task. This highlights that unlike the word risk which involves a great loss, a challenge does not. This is because it pushes the individual to go beyond his comfort zone and achieve something new.

 Risk vs Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge asks people to join a contest to raise funds

What is the difference between Risk and Challenge?

• Definitions of Risk and Challenge:

• A risk is the possibility of being exposed to danger or loss.

• A challenge is an invitation to take part in a contest or to prove something.

• Positive or Negative Experience:

• A risk is a negative experience.

• A challenge is a positive experience.

• Loss:

• In a risk, there is an obvious loss to the individual.

• In a challenge, it is not so.

• Damage or Expansion of Capabilities:

• A risk usually involves damage.

• A challenge can push an individual to go beyond his comfort zone and expand his capabilities.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Investment via Pixabay (Public Domain)
  2. Ice Bucket Challenge by Chris Rand (CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • RJ

    This article has a very negative connotation towards risk. Doing a black run on a mountain is very risky but also very rewarding. Bunny hill has very little risk but, would you want to be on bunny hill for rest of your life? Skiing is not for you then !!! Business has to take risks….if they don’t, a competition or innovation will overtake them and make them redundant.