“Winning is fun…. Sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point. Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point.” – Pat Summitt
Have you ever felt like you have done your best and it still wasn’t enough?
Do you struggle with guilt when you fall short of your own expectations?
Have you ever succeeded or won only to find yourself feeling let down?
Right from when we are first at school, we are conditioned to believe the importance of success and winning. We are socialized to believe it’s a winner-take-all world. Consider that success is more about the journey than the outcome. The effort you put in to achieve your goal and who you become is often more rewarding. In fact, the late Coach John Wooden defined success as follows: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
Watch my candid interview with leadership coach Dale Stevenson as we discuss why it is dangerous to look for validation in winning or in the approval of others.
“Comparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent.” – Betty Jamie Chung
There is no one-size-fits-all definition for your ‘best’ instead it is entirely personal. It is important that you not compare yourself to someone else and feel proud of your efforts and in your own achievements.
In the interview, Dale shared five key questions you can ask to set yourself up for success.
- Am I having fun? It is important that you and everyone who’s doing the work with you is having fun. The work required may be challenging and even hard, however, the real test of success is whether or not you are excited and enjoying the journey.
- Am I growing and expanding? The process of transformation is one of the best measures of success. It is as important and at times more important than winning or hitting a target. When you are continually striving to be a better version of yourself success is inevitable.
- What lessons did I learn along the way? When you focus on the small step found in the journey, the lessons and gifts become available. When you only focus on the win, it increases your chances of experiencing emotions such as disappointment and impatience. Each small step or win on your way to achieving your target serves as sources of encouragement as they build your belief in your ability to fulfill your desired outcome.
- Was I prepared and 100% committed? Being unprepared or not fully committed will most often leave you feeling disappointed in yourself and asking the question, “what if?” When you are 100% committed and fully prepared, you will most often approach your goal with a plan and a strategy.
- What outcome am I seeking? Defining the outcome you desire by clarifying the indicators of success is one of the best ways to avoid the win or lose all or nothing trap. While winning is exciting, giving yourself other measures of success that are independent of winning can ensure a positive experience and decrease feelings of disappointment.
When you choose to define success, you will put yourself in a position to show up able to do your best and also see your best as good enough. However, it is important to keep in mind that “best” is fleeting! In other words, your best today will not be tomorrow’s best. In order to ensure your best is good enough, it’s important to always be asking yourself: what am I going to do to find the next best version of myself? Celebrate your wins and learn from your frustration. Then, ask yourself these three simple questions. What did I do brilliantly? Where can I learn? What do I do to get to the next level?
Success and leadership begin with first mastering the mindset, emotions and communication of the person you see in the mirror.
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