Winning isn’t everything, but it does feel good. If you’ve been going through a rough patch, losing more than you succeed, you might think this is a permanent situation. It doesn’t have to be, but you do need to be a little proactive to switch things up and make the necessary changes. Here are 10 suggestions for doing just that:
1. You have to want it.
Wishing things were better won’t get it done. No matter what your idea of winning is, you have to want it more than anything in order for it to have any possibility of becoming reality.
Suppose you entertain the idea of being your own boss, but you loathe the thought of putting in the long hours and enduring the financial sacrifices that are required to get this career change off the ground. You don’t really want it enough to succeed. If you know the risks and are still willing to go through the process, you’re making the first step to get back to winning.
2. Get rid of bad habits.
Like a comfortable pair of old shoes, bad habits can become easy to slip into. You’re used to them, they don’t require thought, and you can do them automatically. That doesn’t qualify them as part of a plan to get back to winning. If anything, you need to ditch the familiar and shake up your routine.
If you’ve been sedentary, start an exercise routine. Even a walk outside at lunchtime will help you break that old pattern and begin fresh new habits. Exercise is a metaphor for success, for the more you involve yourself in it, the better you feel. When you feel better, you do better work. That helps you get back on the winning path.
3. Be willing to do the hard work.
Just because you once were successful without having to do much hard work doesn’t mean that you can overcome a stagnant period now by coasting. The work is still going to be there and someone has to do it. If your goal is success — winning — you have to be willing to do the hard work required.
4. Learn from mistakes.
You know full well that mistakes have cost you dearly in the past. This could be why you’re not achieving anywhere near your potential right now. The key isn’t that mistakes are made, but that you learn something from them.
Mistakes are only bad when you ignore the lessons they contain. If you haven’t been paying attention to these lessons, now’s a good time to begin. You can turn things around by acknowledging the mistake and figuring out where you could do things better the next time.
5. Persist even when the going gets rough.
No matter what the project, task, activity or pursuit, things aren’t always going to go smoothly. If your pattern has been to turn back at the first sign of difficulty, you’re never going to wind up in the winner’s circle. It’s tough to keep going when everything seems like it’s going wrong; yet, that’s exactly what you need to do. You’d really hate yourself if you gave up just when success is in sight, wouldn’t you? Be willing to go that much longer, even if it hurts, even if you aren’t sure of success. In the end, you’re going to be closer to winning than you think.
6. Celebrate small wins.
Validate your efforts by acknowledging the little wins. It doesn’t have to be a big accomplishment to matter to your self-esteem. Little wins are still wins. Take them.
7. Remind yourself why you’re doing this.
There was a reason why you initially got into this project or task. If it still matters, it’s still worth pursuing. Expect a few ups and downs along the path to success.
8. Enlist support; you’ll need it.
Everyone needs someone in their corner, especially when things aren’t going smoothly. When you have people who support your efforts, you’ll be that much more motivated to keep on going. Even when everything is proceeding nicely, it’s encouraging to have your support network applauding your efforts.
9. Find something stimulating.
What galvanizes and jumpstarts enthusiasm more than something that really excites you? While you’re diligently working toward your goal, maybe even see it in sight, it always helps to insert an activity or pursuit into your schedule that’s purely for enjoyment. If you make it something completely removed from the win you’re striving for, you’ll be that much more refreshed and ready to pick up the work again later.
10. Cherish the opportunity to make a difference.
Success is a tangible sign of accomplishment. It’s also emotionally rewarding. One of the best parts of achieving a win has to be that what you do is making a difference — to yourself, your loved ones, friends and the world. In your zeal to achieve the win, remember that some things are priceless.