How to #WIN

Personally, I think about winning a lot.

I’m inspired by winners, regardless of the field in which they’ve earned their trophies. I love watching people perform at their best,, and it’s so inspiring to witness that moment when years of hard work and sweat and sacrifice all come together. The win.

I myself am not particularly athletic, but when I do toss a Frisbee or hurl an orange-and-black striped ball toward a basket, I’m not overly competitive. I don’t consider myself a  poor loser either, which is to say I don’t feel sorry for myself or my team if we’re not victorious. I was definitely raised with – and  still believe – the adage of “it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.”

Still, I’m continually intrigued by how much of winning comes down to mindset.

If you’ve ever been told you’re “setting yourself up for failure” or that “failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” you’re probably aware that the mental game-play of winning is a huge factor in determining success.

The fact is, those who win more frequently are those that have winning thoughts, or a winning mentality. And not only that, those who win are those who try.

As Michael Jordan himself said:

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

As a career coach, a lot of my work centers around winning, because in essence, that’s what my clients are trying to do: win a new job, promotion, or contract, win the respect of their boss/colleagues, win an increased sense of self-respect and self-confidence.

So I’ve made a short list of some #winning principles I’ve found to be timeless and helpful. Read below to discover them yourself. ↓↓

See the goal

Most of us tend to focus on what we don’t want to happen, which is something I wrote about extensively in my post about Vision Boards.  Often we allow our fears of failure to occupy more precious brain space than they deserve, at the expense of pushing away our  detailed desires for Bail vacations and more money than we can federally insure. Backwards, right? Let’s flip these two competing brainwaves around and hyper-focus on Balinese sunsets while pushing out our negativity-laced fears. Envision your goal so clearly that you can taste it, and generously allow yourself minutes each day to dwell on it. No, simply thinking about your goal isn’t going to ensure that it’s gift-wrapped and hand-delivered to you along with a singing telegram, but the opposite is also true – if you never think about it, you’ll never get it, because we can’t achieve what we can’t conceive.

Believe you can do it

After you’ve spent time crafting and dwelling on your fantastic, blow-your-mind awesome goals, add the next layer – belief. Believe you are capable – and worthy – of success. Open a note file on your cell phone and write down 3 reasons a day why you can and will succeed. Include such proof as “I will lavish on Balinese beaches because I’m putting $7 a day into an account that will eventually swell with so much cash that I’ll buy a plane ticket and a Lonely Planet phrasebook.” Read over these reasons frequently, especially when you start to feel doubt creep in.

Don’t self sabotage

After you’ve done the (hard) mental work, gear up to do the physical work. With my clients we do this by implementing an Action Plan, a series of  3 actionable tasks they agree to accomplish before our next session. Resist the tendency to self-sabotage by reverting back to old patterns. Often, the fear of success – the fear of arriving at your desired destination – is what stalls a previously fast-moving train. The ways I most frequently see my clients self-sabotage is by carefully curating their resumes and cover letters and – never sending them. For creative types, they may cheat themselves out of winning by rehearsing and memorizing their lines for weeks only to chicken out and skip the audition. So please, don’t self-sabotage! You can’t win if you’re determined to lose.

What is your secret recipe to winning? Have you ever visualized details of your goal and then saw it come to fruition? Comment below! ↓↓


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