There have been a couple of threads on here which have got me thinking lately, and one of the things that I have been considering is the extent to which we minimise, or indeed take, risks, consciously.
In the past I have spent time (and I know that this will be familiar with a lot of people on here), in what I though at the time was a state of 'ready alert', but which I now think, looking back, was actually a state of paranoia. You all know the stuff - back always to the wall in case anyone gets behind you, never drinking to excess in case you get taken unawares, always using cubicles in case anyone whips your feet out from under you and smashes your teeth out on the urinal, etc., etc.
I did however, come to realise that, while these were all useful strategies, I was applying them far too widely and in situations which simply didn't warrent them. In short, paranoia. As Al points out in another thread, too much time spent in the Orange and Red zones is not a healthy place to be.
At that point, I made a conscious decision, to loosen up a bit and start to enjoy some of the freedoms other people appear to enjoy. And it was, I have to say liberating, although undoubtedly, more risky.
Another thing: Although never my full time job, I worked on doors for around 15 years. In fact, right up until my children were born at which point, I just couldn't do it anymore and stopped. I was just no longer willing to put myself in that much danger, on such a regular basis, anymore. So I stopped - almost overnight
Having said that, I continue to ride a motorbike around Central London, which is probably more risky than all of the other stuff put together.
Which begs a number of questions... top of which is how do we make these judgements? and secondly, what have others done/stopped doing on a conscious level to change the degree of risk you are comfortable with?