Cheri Fredrickson - Leadership Development Coach and Trainer - The Transformative Leader, LLC

Are You Playing to Win?

mindset winning

"If you don't see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner."

Zig Ziglar


I heard a radio announcer ask an interesting question while listening to a football game. He asked, “Is Oregon playing to win or are they playing not to lose?” What a great question!

In various forms, this same question has come up several times lately in different conversations and different contexts. I think it is good to look at the distinction in our own lives.

Do you have a winning mindset?

How about you? Are you playing to win, or playing not to lose? This can show up in every area of our lives: business, romance, friendship, sports, building wealth, etc. Our focus strongly determines our behavior and – no big surprise – our success (or lack thereof).

Think about your business for a moment. How would your marketing and sales or customer service efforts change if your goal was to be the best? How about if you were in it not to lose? Which approach would bring you greater success?

Take another area of life: building wealth. How would you manage your money if your goal was to “win” the game of building wealth? How might that change if you manage your money so that you don’t lose it? Again, which approach is most likely to bring you greater success?

Let’s look at one more area: romance. How would you approach dating or your current relationship if you decided you were fully committed to “winning” a high-quality relationship, as opposed to not “losing” what you’ve got? Which approach is most likely to lead to the more success in love?

You get to choose!

Many people spend their lives making choices based on fear of loss, and not going after what they really want in the game of life. Sometimes they play full-out in one area and proceed with caution in others. I’m sure you know people who are successful at work, but don’t have fulfilling personal relationships, and vice-versa.

In my observation the people with the most satisfying lives are the ones that play to win. Sure, there are risks: rejection, financial loss, broken hearts, not getting the winning run, etc. But, when we play not to lose, those things can happen, too. Plus, we pretty much guarantee that we’ll never experience the best of what’s available to us. And that, my friends, is a tremendous loss.

This week, take some time to think about the different areas of your life. Notice where you are playing not to lose and where you are playing to win.

Commit to what you really want.

If there’s an area where you’d like to experience more success, write down how you’d like it to be and put that description where you’ll see it often. This way you are consistently reminded of what success looks like to you – just in case you are tempted to slip back into old habits.

Review it often. Get support if it will help you. Pretty soon you’ll find you’ve developed a new, more fulfilling habit that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Wishing you a winning mindset and great success in all your pursuits!


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