Most of you must have recently watched a lot of the Sochi Olympic games. Do you remember the radio and TV commentators often discussing: Do You Play To Win, or Play Not To Lose?
When I first heard this statement with respect to a professional hockey team’s play, I stopped in my tracks. On the surface, it seems like the same concept spun two different ways. Or is it?
Playing To Win Exudes Confidence.
There is nothing that can get in the way of the team and victory. They execute the game plan to perfection, and do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Mistakes may still happen, but they get back on track in a timely fashion. It is clear in their body language that nothing less than success will be accepted by everyone.
On the other hand, the team Playing Not To Lose exudes tentativeness.
Their primary goal is to not make mistakes and look foolish in front of teammates and coaches. In their minds, if they don’t make any mistakes, they should win. On paper that makes sense. Those who follow sports hear this often, but if the other team plays an all round better game, you will still lose. Body language supports the theory that they are just trying not to screw up, and it shows.
Take a moment and step back to think about the state of your current business. Do you always feel like you are on top of your “game” and nothing can stop you? If you do, Congratulations! If we are honest with ourselves, most of us go through phases when we lack confidence and just feel like everything we touch turns in to…. Well, not GOLD.
Do you notice when things are going well, mistakes and other challenges in your role do not take as big a toll on you? It seems no matter the size of the setback, you can move past it in record time. Now turn the tables. When things are not going well, and confidence is low, even the little things seem like huge issues. The world seems to be against you, and it is nearly impossible to get out of the muck.
Are you playing to win, or playing not to lose?
Are you afraid to make mistakes, and worry how it will look to teammates and management?
Or, do you understand that mistakes happen, learn from them, and move on as quickly as possible?
Do you approach your role everyday with confidence, a bounce in your step, and the mindset of “I can do this!”
Or, do you plod along as you always have; do the same things that you have always done, and just try not to screw up?
“Playing Not To Lose” is a Success Limiting Belief (SLB).
You will feel safe, and your results may be consistent, but your true potential will not be achieved. If you just sit back and watch, you will witness others getting all the glory!
“Playing To Win” is a mindset.
Seattle Seahawks, New York Yankees, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers have not won all of those champions with the attitude of playing just to survive. Playing to win is imperative in anything that you do. It is an attitude that should make you feel unstoppable throughout your life.
A Quick Digression…
The Misconception Of Success
There seems to be a preoccupation that many people have with focusing on winning every battle they come across. I believe that this line of thinking not only hurts more than it helps but can be devastating in an entrepreneur’s path to success.
Every experienced entrepreneur I know has come to terms with failure being part of the process of being successful. People who don’t accept failure as a stepping stone to success are either part of a very rare and exclusive club who have not only won the lottery, but won the lottery the first time they ever played it (which is quite a small club if a club at all) … OR… they are not successful and just like to hear themselves talk.
In my opinion, the smartest entrepreneurs are quite often the most prepared and preparation comes only from experience, as you obviously cannot prepare for something you have no experience with.
Lose The Fight But Win The War
Nobody wakes up with experience and no one comes into the entrepreneurial world being a skillful entrepreneur. All experience starts with complete inability. Babies finally walk only after they fall a million times. We only hit a ball after a ton of strikeouts. Bottom line, in order to win the war you have to accept losing a ton of battles along the way.
Know you are going to take hits today and look forward to it. It’s the only way you will learn how to hit back.
Have a great day!