Play to Win Versus Playing to Not Lose

Several years ago I was asked by Tony Robbins to give a 2 hour talk to his 90 sales people during their annual sales rally. As they were highly trained people selling Tony’s products and seminars, I remember asking myself, “What can I share with them, that he hasn’t already taught them?” I decided to share with them the difference between playing to win vs. playing not to lose.

So many people are doing exactly that–playing not to lose vs. playing to win during these changing times. In fact, if you feel the recession has hit you in anyway, I would be so bold as to say you may be playing not to lose and missing out on the amazing opportunities that come when we play to win. The ride is much more fun when we are playing to win!

Here is how to Play To Win vs. Playing Not To Lose:

You must redefine your definition of winning and losing. Many experts are saying we are not going through a recession, but rather we are emerging into a new era of how we do business and how we live our lives. That in my humble opinion is very good news! However it requires us to redefine the rules of success and the rules of failure. Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” As more and more Americans become entrepreneurs, the rules for running your own small business are rapidly evolving. If you find your business not growing as it did earlier in the game, or you find you are burning out much faster, or you are not earning more income each year, then continue reading. . .

Are you avoiding fear or avoiding risk? If you answered yes, then you are playing not to lose rather than playing to win. Henry David Thoreau wisely said, “Most people live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” It is human nature to feel safe in a certain comfort zone. We value life being predictable to a large degree. We value sameness, structure, stability and security. Too much of these qualities, however, and our lives become stagnant. By attempting to maintain our comfort zone to feel safe, we actually begin shrinking it. The same applies in business. Unless we step out of our comfort zone by taking risks, learning new things, trying new adventures, we will stagnate. Avoiding fear in our lives and business begins to shrink our comfort zone. Until we decide to stretch ourselves, our comfort zone will continue to shrink with time, resulting in failure and unhappiness in our lives. It is healthy and natural to coast at times. It is important to remember, however, when we coast we are always going downhill! Here is a hint: If we are not playing full out, then we are not playing to win, but rather playing not to lose. This week, ask yourself, “What risks am I avoiding in my life or business?”

Is Your Business Thriving or Merely Surviving These Times? I hear so many entrepreneurs say, “I just want to get through this economic time.” Their thoughts are about surviving, their goal is not about thriving. Surviving is playing not to lose; setting the intention of thriving even now is playing to win. The difference between surviving this year or thriving is directly linked to whether we choose to play not to lose or play to win!

Playing to Win Means NO EXCUSES! Playing to win means deciding you will attract and achieve exactly what you desire this year — No matter what! It means choosing to create a life and business that is thriving this year. Playing to win means choosing to believe you can achieve more income this year; refusing to quit; refusing to think you are limited in anyway by external factors. Playing to win means you know this can be your best year yet — and it’s not too late to jump on it and achieve any big and exciting goals that you may have put on hold — until now.

Playing to Win Means Becoming Comfortable with Uncertainty: For many people these are uncertain times. If we allow the external factors to decide our certainty, we feel powerless to control situations. We are like a boat being tossed about on the high seas without a rudder to guide us. When we shift our beliefs to say, “I am certain I can succeed no matter what because I know what my priorities are and I will pursue what I value most in life,” we now have a rudder to steer our boat no matter what situations threaten to toss us around. We enjoy an internal certainty that cannot be rocked no matter what is happening in the outside world.

It is so much more fun, actually easier and oh so fulfilling when we play to win at the game of life — vs. playing not to lose.

Here’s Wishing You Great Success & Fulfillment!

Carolyn McCormick