January 12, 2009.
"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you have lost."
Some people have a profound fear of losing. In fact, fear is probably not a strong enough description. More like a crazy, uncontrollable phobia they cannot conquer. Day after day, these individuals allow their fear of losing to override just about everything in their lives. They are so deathly afraid of losing, so scared of falling or falling short; they try to avoid losing at all costs.
Even though the mere prospect of losing chills them right to the bone,losing manages to find them nonetheless. And so does fear.
The minute things start to derail, raw panic sets in. As the fear of losing, the fear of defeat and the fear of getting hurt overpowers and overwhelms their senses, they quickly scurry for cover. Rather than fight back or find a way to beat back defeat, they quit and give up. These good folks never realize that losing is just as much a part of life as eating and breathing.
"Failure is feedback."
Billie Jean King
Given a choice, who wouldn't prefer winning over losing? After all, winning is exciting, winning is fun, winning is what living is all about. We were born to win; winning is indelibly etched into our DNA. Yet, try as we might, we're not going to win every time out. As a matter of fact, most of us are going to lose a lot more often than we win. And believe it or not, that's not all bad.
In order to make the most of our abilities and opportunities, we're going to have to take some chances. And when we take chances, we're going to get knocked down; maybe even knocked flat. Yet with each setback, each defeat, each loss we endure, we have an opportunity to get better.
And get closer to the life we desire.
"When I was young I observed that nine out of every ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work."
George Bernard Shaw
At first blush, it probably seems like the most successful people win all of the time. However, upon closer examination, nothing could be further from the truth. As strange as it may seem, the most successful winners are in reality the world's most successful losers. That's right; the biggest losers on earth become the biggest winners because they simply refuse to lose.
These champions possess a winner's mindset. When they want to do something, they're going to find a way to do it. No ifs, ands or buts. Maybe not the first time or the second, third or fourth time either. But sooner or later, they will find a way.
If their first attempt fails, they simply go back to the drawing board. They don't cry, they just get back to work. If their second, third and fourth efforts fizzle as well, they don't sulk or feel sorry for themselves. They just keep looking, keep searching and keep striving to find the winning combination. If their tenth, one-hundredth or even one-thousandth attempt falls by the wayside, they keep tweaking, keep trying and keep going until they get the job done.
Since they cannot and will not be stopped, they ultimately come out on top.
"Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
There is a huge difference between failing and being a failure; between losing and being a loser. It took Thomas Edison ten thousand tries before his incandescent light bulb became a reality. Yet no one would consider him a failure - or a loser. Many of history's most triumphant success stories followed this same exact path. They failed and failed and failed their way right to the top of the heap. And so can you. As long as you're willing to learn from your mistakes and keep getting better every single day, nothing can keep you from reaching your goals.
Stop worrying about losing - and get busy winning. Stop worrying about mistakes - and make something happen.
When you make a mistake, get over it and get on down the road. When you make a bad decision or two, learn from your errors and simply move on. As long as you're willing to keep looking for a better, faster and smarter way of doing whatever you want to do in life, you'll find your way to the top.
And fulfill your dreams along the way.
The Bottom Line: When you stop giving fear the upper hand, you'll start seeing some real progress in your life.
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