Playing It Safe

by | Nov 8, 2016

I am very new to blogging. If I’m going to be completely honest, I have no idea what I’m doing. What I do know is that I have content to share, and this might be a good way to share it. It has taken me two months to figure out what my first blog post would be about. In a sense, the procrastination, the cautiousness, the whatever you want to call the “non action” has led me to this first blog. I’m going to call it “playing it safe.”

I’ve never considered myself as a “play it safe” kind of guy. I’m a very boisterous, center of attention, not-afraid-to-talk-to-anyone kind of guy. I feel like I take a risk every time I open my mouth! I may be a bit indecisive, I may somewhat procrastinate, and be a tad bit forgetful at times, but there’s no way I could be a play it safe guy…….WRONG!  As I write this post I realize just how safe I’ve been playing it through my life. “Why am I so indecisive? Why do I wait until the last minute? Why am I being so cautious?” These are all questions I’ve asked myself many times, and the answer to each one deep down to its core, have been motivated by my playing it safe.

What is playing it safe? Playing it safe is basically being afraid to fail. Instead of playing to win, it is playing not to lose. When we are operating out of this mindset, we are being propelled by the emotion of fear. That is the real root of indecisiveness. You are faced with a decision, and questions begin to swirl like, “What if I’m wrong?” or  “How can I be sure?” Procrastination, cautiousness, and comfort are part of it, too. When should I do this? Is everything just right? Things are good. Do I really want to shake anything up? We ask and ask and ask these questions and in doing so, we begin to kill our will to win. In the moment, it doesn’t seem big. We have deceived ourselves into thinking, “Well, at least I’m playing.” But we really aren’t playing the game to our true potential. I believe with every question we ask about doing something we lower our chances at success. If you’re reading this right now, trust me; I’m writing this for me as much as, or even more than, for you. Who knows where it started – maybe with what to eat for dinner or what movie to watch on Netflix – but either way, it makes its way into bigger parts of your life like business decisions, relationships, and personal growth.

When should you take control? That answer is very simple:  NOW! Have you not been paying attention??? If you feel like you are playing it safe in your life, now is the time to get some real game action! If you’ve kicked the can down the road all the way to this point, don’t you dare kick it another inch. In this life we ultimately get what we work for, or what choose not to work for. As an athlete, I know that no great thing has ever been achieved by a player or a team that has chosen to play it safe. To achieve something great, risks have to be taken. They have to be taken now. If you’re waiting for everything to be right, it will never be. Just…start.

How can you stop playing it safe? In the words of former NFL coach, Herm Edwards, “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!” This means taking action! So what if you fail?! When questioned about failing to create a lightbulb, Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” We are all going to experience failure, so if you are going to fail at something, fail gloriously at it! Make a decision and live with the consequences of that decision. If you’ve got to start small, do it! This week I challenge you to go to an ice cream shop and pick the first flavor that comes to your mind that you’ve never had and enjoy that consequence. It might seem silly but the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step! Deep down we all the desire to win in our lives. Don’t allow  the circumstance of comfort or the fear of failure to dictate how you play in the game of life.

The masterpiece of success is often painted with the brush of failure on the canvas of uncertainty. -Emeka Nnaka