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Things to Think About - When I’m afraid of losing, I never win

By Pepper de Callier

“When I’m afraid of losing, I never win.” Anonymous

What a wonderful reminder of such a basic truth in life.  Many years ago, a friend asked me, “Pepper, are you playing to win, or playing not-to-lose? There’s a big difference you know.” 

Think about it. Get mental picture of yourself entering a situation in which you are playing to win—no question about it—you are there to win, period.  Think about the look on your face, your posture, the pace at which you enter the “arena”.  Now, think about these same things if you were entering the arena with concerns about injury, losing face, afraid of losing and all the other little worries that impede forward progress at times.  It’s a different picture isn’t it?

Now, think about the impact each one of these approaches has on those who are looking at you and your body language that so completely exposes your attitude and intentions.  Ask yourself which one looks like a person you would like to know, to spend time with, to follow as a leader, or just to have as a friend.

This isn’t about brash egoism.  It’s about understanding the power of attitude.

Till next time…

About the Author: Pepper de Callier is one of the most respected senior executive coaches and authorities on leadership in Europe. Learn more about him at