Playing It Safe Is Playing To Lose

If you choose to live a risk-averse life and play it safe, you are not playing to win but playing to lose instead.

Too many people freeze up and immobilize themselves solely because they are afraid of making a bad decision. They stay in bad relationships, dead-end careers, and in other suboptimal situations rather than making a “tough decision” to move on. They believe that if they don’t do anything at all, it removes the risk of ever doing anything wrong.

Play to win… even if you make a bad decision and it all ends in disaster, you are still guaranteed to move forward, just as long as you are willing to learn from your mistakes.

One of my favorite bosses always urged me to make my own decisions and always supported me if I messed up. His philosophy was if you do something and make a mistake:

  1. Let me know immediately so we can fix it, and don’t try to hide it.
  2. Learn from the mistake and share that knowledge with others.

As I said, he was one of my favorite bosses. He certainly was not playing it safe by empowering his employees to push boundaries, to try new things, and be continually innovative in how we got out jobs done. And it was his “playing to win mentality” and his lack of fear in regards to making mistakes that he passed on to each of us and certainly made us a better team, and better employees for the company in the long haul.

Indecision and “playing it safe” is the inability to settle on a decision and then act on it. It comes from the fear of making a bad decision or even being overwhelmed at having too many choices to choose. The result from all of this is always procrastination and procrastination will get you nowhere fast as it is just another form of playing it safe.

Refuse to play it safe and have the courage to make decisions and take action. Each decision that you take is really just a step along your path of growing and learning. If you make a bad decision, take a step back and correct it. Then make your next step a more informed one and move on.

The decisions that you make shape your life and your future. When you choose to not make a decision that in itself is a decision to do nothing, and when you are not moving forward, you are more than likely falling behind.

If you are procrastinating, not making decisions, not taking action, and playing it safe then you are not deciding your own future. If you aren’t making those decisions then who is?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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