Definition: Playing To Win vs Playing Not To Lose

Little kid’s play to win. They might be a little sad when they lose, but usually, they just want to play again. Winning is EXCITING!!! Playing the game is fun.

Then at some point, we learn shame and guilt around winning and losing. We either learn that we risk being criticized when we lose the game or we risk it when we win, maybe we learn we get criticized no matter what, so we seek to find a way to not play.

No matter the case, before long we stop playing to play, we stop playing to win, we play not to lose, not to lose love, trust, the warm feeling of pleasing those around us. We start to play a different game called manipulating the feelings of others. We learn it without ever knowing we’re learning it.

And what we really lose is the joy of playing the game, of being ok with winning and losing, because it’s just a game after all.

We can play to win the game again, we can heal ourselves, we can learn to let others care for themselves, we can learn that losing ourselves in a game worth playing can help us find who we really are beyond winning and losing.

We might as well play to win, especially when winning means the world is more healed, more loved, and more transformed.

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