Are you playing to win? I mean, are you truly playing “full out” — with a no-matter-what, take no prisoners mindset?
The way I see it, no matter what your goal, you’ve got 3 choices:

Play to win.
Play to lose.
Play to “not” lose.

Wait, aren’t “winning” and “not losing” the same thing? Nope.

If your approach to your life and your work is to “not lose” you’ll never reach your full potential. You will always hold yourself back.
Not losing means you are focused on the negative, what could go wrong, or how you could fail. And that means you set those up as possibilities in your mind. Because you’ve made them possible, there’s a good chance they’ll happen.

“Playing to win” means there is no other option. There is no alternative, back door, way out, alternate choice, acceptable fallback position, or runner-up status. It is your only choice and no other result will do.

That’s not an easy approach and that’s why most people, the ones getting mediocre results, play to “not lose.” Their goal is to avoid fear or pain.

  • I’ll play, as long as I don’t get hurt.
  • I’ll work my business as long as I break even.
  • I’ll give it a shot but if it gets hard or uncomfortable I’ll find some excuse to justify quitting.

These people go all the way out to the edge of their comfort zone…and then stop! When you play to not lose, you let fear stop you dead in your tracks.

Fear of rejection, failure, success, disapproval, not measuring up, being uncomfortable, making a mistake, getting hurt, or looking foolish.
Anytime you hear yourself say, “I can’t,” what you really mean is, “I’m afraid.”

Wildly successful people play to win. They love winning far more than they hate losing.
They focus on winning. They do not focus on “not losing.”
And here’s a secret lots of people don’t know.

Wildly successful people are scared all the time. Why? Because they are always doing things outside their comfort zones. They are always taking risks, trying something new, leaning into the fear. In some cases, turning full circle, facing fear dead on and staring it down!

Fear never goes away, they just get used to feeling it.

Everything you are going after is outside your comfort zone. Every time you do something that scares you, you are playing to win.
Turn toward the fear and play full-out.