Difference between Risk and Challenge

Key difference: Risk and challenge are two completely different things. The main difference between a risk and a challenge is that a risk is something that has the capability to hurt, harm or injure, whereas a challenge is something that motivates, interests, or engages oneself.

Risk and challenge are two completely different things. The main difference between a risk and a challenge is that a risk is something that has the capability to hurt, harm or injure, whereas a challenge is something that motivates, interests, or engages oneself.

Dictionary.com describes ‘risk’ as:

  • Exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance: It's not worth the risk.
  • The hazard or chance of loss.
  • The degree of probability of such loss.
  • The amount that the insurance company may lose.
  • A person or thing with reference to the hazard involved in insuring him, her, or it.
  • The type of loss, as life, fire, marine disaster, or earthquake, against which an insurance policy is drawn.
  • To expose to the chance of injury or loss; hazard: to risk one's life.
  • To venture upon; take or run the chance of: to risk a fall in climbing; to risk a war.

 Whereas, ‘challenge’ is described as:

  • A call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
  • Something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.: Space exploration offers a challenge to humankind.
  • A call to fight, as a battle, a duel, etc.
  • A demand to explain, justify, etc.: a challenge to the treasurer to itemize expenditures.
  • Difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.

Essentially, a challenge is considered as a positive thing, whereas a risk is considered as a negative. A challenge is something that motivates us; that forces use to do better than we thought that was possible. However, a risk is a behavior, action or activity that has the opportunity to cause us harm. It is something that will lead to a loss, an undesirable outcome or damage.

A challenge may also lead to a loss. For example: losing a game or a project or a client. However, a challenge causes us to face our fears, face them and to do better next time even if we lost this time. A risk may just cause us to lose something. It need not challenge us or make us better in any way.

Image Courtesy: advancehe.com, scrappingwonders.com

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