When your prevailing mindset is to play it safe, you are setting yourself up to lose opportunities. It is understandable that many business owners and entrepreneurs have operated by playing it safe. They mistakenly believe they are playing to win when, in fact, they are playing not to lose and sabotaging their growth efforts.
How different would the results be if you were playing to win, instead of playing not to lose? Even in a challenging economic climate, opportunities exist.
It takes a lot of energy trying to keep everything the same. With this mindset, you do not dare risk change. In addition, it is impossible to keep the status quo.You are either growing or dieing. Can you think of anyone or any business that prospered by staying the same?
The reasons for playing it safe include but are not limited to the following:
Fear of failure. Can you expect to win every proposal you make? If you do not make a proposal because you think you might fail, you have no chances to win the proposal.
Belief that it is too hard. Technology in the internet age can foster the belief that learning how to use it effectively is too hard. Although it may seem impossibly overwhelming, the World Wide Web is here to stay. It is a valuable tool in playing to win.
Refusing to leave your comfort zone. You cannot create new connections by only talking to people that you know. Such a choice limits your options.
It can be a challenge to recognize an entrenched mindset. However, with a new awareness of your thinking pattern, you will start to recognize the “play it safe” mindset and the triggers for it. If you hear yourself say, “If it ain’t broke, don't fix it,” or some variation on the theme, ask yourself this question: Am I playing it safe so as not to lose OR am I playing to win?
Use these guidelines to take advantage of opportunities:
Ask where the opportunity is NOW. [Hint: in the challenge lies the opportunity]
Ask what can I/we do NOW?
Adjust and keep going.
Celebrate your results.
Playing to win is an inside job. What action are you going to take to seize the opportunities that are available to you now? If you were courageous and understood that failure is part of success, what would you do today? Good work. Keep going.
© 2012 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved
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