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Speech of the Week : The Winner's Mindset

What makes winners win?


Is it that they are naturally gifted?


Do they come from privileged backgrounds?


Do they have amazing support systems?


Is it easier for them? 


One thing and one thing only sets winners apart from losers: Mindset. 


We would love for there to be an external reason. Something outside of our control that we can point to and say, “See, they just have X. That’s why they can win.” Because that takes the onus off of us. It gives us a wall to lean on while we confidently declare that we could win too, if only we had that thing, but since we don’t, it’s just out of our control. 


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a mindset is an established set of attitudes. 


Another way to read it is determined. Established. Cultivated. 


Winners have established the attitude that they are going to win. They work and persevere with the determination that they can and will win. 


I remember several years ago I was part of a hiking group with my church. One day, we decided to climb the Twin Sisters, which are a pair of peaks in Colorado over 11,000 feet high. The hike is long (about 8 miles) and you experience about a half mile elevation gain. It is not a hike for the faint of heart. The view from the top is worth every step, though, I assure you. 


At the bottom of the mountain about ¾ of the group said something to the effect of, “I’m not sure if I can make it.” Or “I don’t know how well I’m going to do on this one.” I confidently told them, “I don’t care how long it takes me, I am going to make it to the top of this mountain.” 


As we hiked, the ones who expressed doubts at the bottom began to flag. One by one, every one of the ones who said they didn’t know if they could make it dropped out.


Every.

Single.

One.


On the other hand, I had one of the best hikes I had ever had up to that point. I felt great, I went longer between breaks than I had anticipated, and I felt amazing at the top, and even better when we made it back down. Not to say that I am in any way a better person or even a better hiker than anyone else that day. I just started with a mindset that I was going to accomplish my goal, and I did. 


The thing I realized on that hike is that if you give yourself an out, if you do not start the journey determined, you won’t make it. If you don’t know if you can do it, you won’t. Simple as that. 


We have a plaque in the gym called the champions creed as created by Reuben Gonzalez, an Olympic athlete. 


It reads: 

I am a champion.

I believe in myself. 

I have the will to win. 

I set high goals for myself. 

I surround myself with winners. 

I’m cool, positive and confident. 

I’m willing to pay the price of success. 

I love the struggle and the competition. 

I stay relaxed and in control at all times. 

I focus all my energy on the job at hand. 

I vividly imagine what victory will feel like. 

I am a champion and I will win. 


What mindset are you establishing?

Are you going to cultivate a winning mindset, or are you going to give yourself an out? 


For me, I choose to win. 


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