If you think you are a loser, you train or work like a loser i.e. sloppily and half-heartedly. If you think you are a winner you train like one i.e. with maximum focus, great expectations, excitement and consistent effort. This article takes a look at why people think like winners or losers and what they can do about it.
Steve Siebold describes in his recent book -"177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class" - how he wanted to be a tennis champion. He had all the talent and the desire necessary but at times he lacked the belief that he was a potential champion. He writes:
"When I believed I was a champion, I trained like a champion. When I believed I was washed up, I trained like a loser."
When he was only ten years old, he defeated nearly everyone he played and, as a result, was thinking like a champion. He expected to win and so he trained and worked hard as winners should.
As he grew older his rankings started to drop and he no longer expected to win and so he started training like a loser instead of a winner.
He still had the desire to be a champion but so do lots of people. He believes that what made the difference was his belief in himself or his lack of it.
He lost some of his belief in himself through associating too much with what he calls the 'middle class' instead of the 'world class'. The middle class are too easily satisfied with mediocre results. The world class are only content when they become champions in whatever they are doing whether it be playing tennis or making money.
When I went to school at the age of 11, I worked hard and did all the work set with full attention and the desire to do well. I did so well that the principal of the school suggested I move up a whole year.
This was a mistake. I now came under the influence of class mates who did not like the fact that I had jumped a year. Some of them called me a swat and a bighead. Maybe they were right but I don't think so. Working hard was frowned on by this bunch.
They changed my thinking about myself so much that instead of thinking of myself as a champion student, I saw myself as some kind of a freak for working so hard. My effort dropped along with my self-image. Never underestimate the influence of those around you. I was lucky in the end to pass my exams and get to university.
It has taken me many years to regain belief in myself. I was helped by the great American positive thinkers like Norman Vincent Peale, Frank Bettger and William James.
One English writer who has also helped greatly in this is the multimillionaire Stuart Goldsmith. His book 'The Midas Method' explains how most of us are brainwashed at an early age into thinking there is an invisible ceiling to our progress which we will never break through.
Once we realize that this ceiling is only a figment of the imagination of ourselves and our so-called 'friends', we will be able to break through our limitations and achieve world class results which will astonish us.
We need to re-examine our beliefs about ourselves and to realize that many of them originated in the beliefs of people who thought that great results were only for the few and that our dreams were just 'pie in the sky'.
Instead of listening to the middle class or the poverty class (those who are not even aware of the possibility that they could be champions), let's start listening to the world class. Let's replace negative beliefs about ourselves with empowering ones and then start working hard to achieve our dreams.
We don't need a degree in psychology to do all this. A little bit of commonsense and observation can show us the way. It also helps to read the books of people like Steve Siebold and Stuart Goldsmith and - if I dare say it without being called a bighead - myself!
You may or may not have access to world class neighbours or friends but you do have easy access to world class writers and thinkers through the media of books, audios and video tapes. The internet has, of course, widened that access exponentially.
It is high time you and I joined the world class and made the most of the championship potential which is there in all of us.