Dare To Live Without Limits

Bryan Golden

There is a difference between winning and not losing

Do you strive to achieve your goals or worry about losing what you have? Someone who feels they have nothing, is much more likely to reach out and take chances to get what they want than a person who has already attained something.
Many people live their lives defensively. They become limited, fearing loss of what they have. Their fear acts as an anchor that impedes forward motion. When faced with an opportunity, they weigh what they have to lose instead of assessing what they have to gain.
Often the statement, "I've got nothing to lose" precedes striving for something new. What this means is that people look for a zero-risk situation before taking a chance. Those people who win the most do so because they free themselves from the fear of losing.
Fear of loss is strong. Of course, no one wants to lose what they have. But growth involves risk. For example, in order for someone to start their own business, they have to invest startup money. There is no guarantee that their business will succeed.
Yet if they were concerned about losing their money they wouldn't risk starting a business, they would just keep their money in a savings account. The degree of acceptable risk is linked to the soundness of their business plan and the amount of effort one is willing to put in.
There is a big difference between a sound plan to win and gambling. Gambling leaves your success to chance and influenced by forces beyond your control. A winning plan is based on thought, planning, and hard work. Although nothing is guaranteed, planning to win enables you to accomplish more than you might initially think possible.
When you went to school, your passing wasn't insured, it was dependent on your effort. An Olympic skier doesn't leave the starting gate with a goal of not falling. Instead a skier visualizes and anticipates a perfect run.
Living involves risk. If a pilot wanted to ensure there would be no possibility of a mishap, he would never start the engines of his plane. Life involves constant judgment calls. On an ongoing basis, you evaluate potential gain against potential loss.
Fear of losing is like always looking in the rearview mirror. A focus on winning is like looking out the front windshield. You wouldn't get very far without crashing if you only looked at what was behind you. Success means constantly making progress toward your destination.
In order to reach a goal, you have to direct your energy to winning. You have to free yourself from the fear of loss. How do you prevent this fear from limiting your growth? The first step is to have desirable goals. You want goals that excite and motivate you. An attractive destination will change your focus from what you can lose to how much there is to gain.
If your goals are important enough, your fear of loss will be minimized. On the other hand, if your goals aren't meaningful to you, you will have little interest in risking what you already have to work toward them.
There is little appeal in winning something you don't really want. It's hard to get excited about goals that aren't your own. There are many situations where someone has a goal that was imposed on them by someone else. In other circumstances, someone has a goal they feel they should have rather than one they sincerely want.
Develop goals you really want and you will willingly work toward them. If you find you are more concerned with not losing, you may not have suitable goals. Those that accomplish the most are the ones who devote their effort to winning.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2022 Bryan Golden


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