When I talk about winning, I am not talking about hitting a last second shot or scoring a touchdown on the last play to win the game. Nor am I talking about making the last move to win a board game or picking the five matching numbers to win the multi-million dollar jackpot. I am speaking of tapping into what’s inside of you and live to win.
The key to winning is not letting past failures, people’s opinions or current mistakes define who you are and what you can do. I read a quote by Michael Jordan, whom many believe is the greatest basketball player of all time that really shed light on what it takes to win.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 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.”
Successful people learn to forge ahead in spite of failures. They don’t allow negativity from their current situation strip their self-esteem. They realize that deep within them resides the power to win and they begin to use failure as a means to succeed.
Successful people study what they did to cause the failure and what they would do again if faced with a similar situation. They understand they cannot go it alone so they inquire assistance from others to help them succeed. They seek out trusted mentors, coaches or advisors to help them deal with the challenges of life. They reason that success is possible if they stay in the fight and do not give up.
After studying the life of successful men from various backgrounds, economic situations or educational levels, I realized seven strategies that use to tap into what’s inside of them and live to win.
1. Squash negative self-talk
When I find myself facing an obstacle that I am unsure how to overcome, I hear a negative inner voice telling me what I cannot do. When that negative inner voice starts its onslaught of negativity, I refocus my mindset and consciously decide to change what I think about.
Many times, we are our own worst enemies because we sabotage our progress with limitations and boundaries, instigated by negative self-talk. It is imperative that you make a conscious effort to squash the negative self-talk and replace it with progressive self-talk that speaks positively to your future.
2. Stand strong against your doubters
There will always be people who tell you that you can and cannot accomplish. They will tell you that others failed and question why you think you can succeed. Some will even provide statistics that support their claims. Your doubters can ignite that negative inner voice that says, “What am I doing?” Or “I should give up before everything falls apart.”
3. Secure truth speakers in your corner
Surrounding yourself with people who speak truth to you is one of the best ways to help you face and overcome the hurdles you will encounter. You cannot do it alone. You cannot run your race in isolation. You need individuals in your corner who will encourage and speak truth to your life.
Do not build your inner circle with individuals who only tell you what you want to hear. You do not need a ‘YES’ team. You need people who will let you know when you are off-course and who are willing to help you get back on track. Build your team with individuals who believe in God’s vision for your life, who want to see you succeed and who speak truth to you even when it hurts.
4. Stay focused on your prize
Nothing great ever comes easy. Mistakes and failures are part of the process. The great athlete misses the key basket, fumbles the ball, drops the pass or strikes out to end the game. But what separates the average athlete from the great athlete is focus. A focus so intense that even mistakes and failures do not stop him from pursuing his desired goals.
You will find that remaining focused on your goals and working to accomplish them will help you stay motivated during difficult times. You must constantly remind yourself that an unwavering commitment and consistent action will pay off, and the hardships are part of the process in reaching your prize.
5. Starve your fears
As soon as you start to pursue your vision, fear shows its ugly head. It reminds you of your frailties and shortcomings. It whispers the ridiculousness of your venture in your ear. Fear tells you what is possible and what is impossible according to your credentials and experiences.
It is your responsibility to look fear in the face and tell it where to go. You cannot afford to allow the constant barrage of discouragement, diversion and discontentment to dictate your life.
You must starve fear’s appetite for destruction by focusing on who you are and what you can do. When you starve your fears, you allow your faith to come alive. When your faith is alive, you possess the power to walk in victory.
6. Stop waiting for permission
Have you avoided living your vision because you are waiting for someone to give you permission to pursue it? If you have, I want to encourage you to stop waiting and give yourself permission to go after your vision.
If you keep waiting for someone to pick you, you may miss your turn. Stop waiting for that special someone to pick you. Pick yourself.
Your family, friends and those connected to you are waiting for you to pick yourself and live out your vision. You possess within you the potential to be a trail-blazer, a trendsetter and a real difference-maker.
The only thing stopping you is YOU. Declare out loud to the world and your inner self that, today; you give yourself permission to pursue your vision.
7. Strive to keep moving forward
It is easy to doubt your vision when trouble shows up. Every time you take a step forward, something happens to stall your progress. You sacrifice your time. You commit to your vision.
You make the necessary preparations to advance in life. But it seems the harder you work, the farther behind you get.
Your energy is depleted. Your enthusiasm is drained. You just want to quit and throw in the towel, but you know there is a vision that resides deep within you and you can’t let go. You must live it out. You must endure to the end. You must dig deep, stir up your gift and activate your vision. And in the words of R&B group Soul II Soul, “Keep on moving and don’t stop!”
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
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