Winning is fun! Losing, well, not so much. I played soccer at Caprock High School in Amarillo, TX in the mid-eighties. I hate to say this but our soccer team was not a winning team, in fact, we were more like The Bad News Bears of soccer. I have to admit that our three-year losing streak was miserable. While we played to the best of our ability the other teams were just better at winning and we were better at losing.
One of the unforeseen benefits of playing on a losing team is that I knew first-hand what it felt like to be a loser (think agony of defeat). I did the walk of shame on numerous occasions as we walked off the field and onto the bus, heads bowed and hearts cowed. Can you relate? What I couldn’t know at the time was that being a loser was actually a gift that I would come to leverage to lead me to success in my adult and professional life. The gift was in losing and knowing intimately the pain and anguish that accompany it. The gift was in the embarrassment and pain of being a failure.
Losing made me a winner! As I turned the corner into my adult and professional life, remembering my past losses fueled me to find ways to win. Losing was actually an advantage, it motivated me to get better, become a bigger person, and learn ways to succeed.
Here’s what I have learned about What It Takes to Win:
- Winners know what they want.
Knowing what you want is the first step in achieving any level of success personally or professionally. As an executive coach, I have coached numerous people through the years and the common denominator of those who win and those who don’t is the level of clarity they have in what they want. Here’s why this is important: when you know what you want you can focus your efforts and attention to achieving a specific outcome. If you only have a general idea of what you want, you minimize the odds that you will achieve anything of any significance. It’s when you specifically know what you want that you are able to get specific results that lead to your success. What specifically do you want?
- Winners endure the suffering and sacrifice that winning requires.
One thing for sure about winning is that if you are not willing to pay the price
- Winners fiercely lean into the fight.
I have yet to win a battle that didn’t require a fight: losing weight, starting a business, forgiving someone, charting a new course, or making simple changes. Winners do not shrink back, they fiercely lean into their fight even when facing seemingly insurmountable barriers and even more losses, they keep fighting. Sometimes you will find luck opening the doors for you but most of the time you will be faced with struggle and challenge. What differentiates winners from losers is their ability to put up their dukes, get in the ring, and battle it out. I know that the battle can be intimidating and our opponent can be menacing but winners are fighters. How fiercely are you leaning into your fight for success?