When we plan for the worst, we get it. Spending an exorbitant amount of energy in force and fear is how we play to lose.
That mentality is a feedback loop that keeps us safe, keeps life predictable, and our lizard brains satiated. We won’t die a dinosaur death or have a doomsday today, satan.
And yes, if you are a cave-person, hunting and gathering, perhaps this survivalist approach serves.
But if you are looking to save enough for your first house or first yacht, survival techniques ain’t gonna cut it. You better get out of survivalist mode and stop playing not to lose.
Stop Playing Not To Lose: Fear
“Expect the worst, and you’ll never be disappointed.” This sage advice my father bestowed on me at 6 years old when I was wondering if Santa was bringing me presents that year.
My father has always leaned towards the “doomsday is nigh” end of the pessimistic spectrum.
Blame his Jewish-Catholic (oi vey, bless!) upbringing, his rags to riches immigrant story, or sadistic approach to suffering in every moment giving his life purpose.
But It’s easy to get caught up in fear-mongering! ( No Judgement)
Fear is contagious, compounding, and it can feel very very true.
Fear has motivated all of us. We’ve used fear and force to get here. However, if you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, you want more, and you’re ready to thrive (not survive), read on
Stop Playing Not to Lose: Survival Mode
In order to even think bigger, we need to get out of survival mode.
Look around. Are you wearing clothes, with a roof over your head, reading this on your phone or computer, and no one is chasing you with a weapon?
You’re alive. You’re doing great. With vision and desire, you can create your Next Big Thing.
Try making the space to even imagine what could be is impossible when fear is informing you.
Fear says. “No, you can’t, that’s never going to happen. Go get a donut”
Fear will keep you safe, and comfortable, and without change or uncertainty. You can’t grow, you can’t achieve, and you can’t see what’s possible with fear lurking about.
“Unbridled optimism is bullshit,” I hear you say. “Those people who just light and love all over the place are obnoxious,” and I won’t argue with you there.
But dang! I’ve watched one of them float through life with this laissez-faire, “it’ll all work out” attitude, and the most frustrating part is IT DOES for them.
Start With the End In Mind
When stepping out your next big thing, firstly, start with the end in mind.
You may not even be able to see the details, but only the haze of hope.
Imagine a day in the perfect life of you. How does it FEEL? This is the first step in planning. Find the feeling you are seeking. Not the dollar amount. Not the accolade(s). Not the square footage. The feeling you’ll achieve when you experience those metrics.
From here we start to plan. Reverse engineer the goal. Use the time to break down the planning. Set a perceived timeline for your Next Big Thing. It doesn’t really matter how far out it is, that just gives us the beginnings of our planning.
Make it Digestible
We start to break down the timeline into digestible chunks like years, months, and weeks until we get to daily actions.
If you want a million-dollar business, for a dumb example, let’s say that’s 5 years out. So in 2 years you better have 500k business. In one year, a 250k business. Let’s say last year was an 80k business. We need to double business quarterly to hit our new, annual target.
Gulp. That might feel impossible. Here comes FEAR!
All the doubt, uncertainty, naysaying, and the general psychic shit-talking, just shoved their way in to sit down at your planning table.
Now, your average coach may say, ignore them! Tell them to fuck off. Kill thy ego…
….But Not I.
Fear has served you so well. You haven’t been eaten by a dinosaur, yay! You do have some device you’re reading this on, you winner. Don’t ignore or even abandon the fear, acknowledge it.
Sure, you may not achieve your goal, and then … ?
What if you stay in an $80k a year business? What if you fold and it goes tits up? Are you going to quit now? Are you going to let that keep you from trying?
Ok. I didn’t think so.
Stop Playing Not to Lose: The Outcome
I’m sure you weighed the pro’s and con’s before you started. Embrace the con’s.
What happens if everything explodes? I wait tables, I move to Mexico, I become a monk. Whatever it is, if you can live with those outcomes, let’s get back to the planning table.
The fear, doubt, and uncertainty aren’t YOU. They’re old versions, old narratives, and old lessons that kept you alive, but they don’t know how to help you thrive.
Give them something else to worry about, like refinancing your student loan debt or finding the cheapest flight to your Nan’s 80th.
Here we are, planning your million-dollar business. We’ve gotta figure out how to double the business in the next 6 months to stay on track. How do we do that?
Well, this blog isn’t about strategy. But I know a fabulous business coach who can walk you through those steps
This is how you embrace the fear, and then shove it lovingly aside to get back to your incredible life.
It’s how you stop playing not to lose.
Feel the win. Accept the loss. Then REALLY feel the win, get into all 5 senses – yes SMELL it, then get back to planning.
Get excited. Think about the endless possibilities. Get creative. Bonus if you can let yourself trust your success is inevitable, and all you have to do is take one step further today.
You are the winner.
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