How to handle winning

 In Pressure, Winning & Losing

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A few weeks ago I starting talking about Psychology of winning and losing in sports. I talked about why winning and losing is important and how to deal with each of those scenarios. Last week I got a little deeper into How to handle losing. I gave you my top tips for how to deal with losing. These tips are central to the conversation of losing and the tips clients pay money to get squared away so that they aren’t plagued them.

“Winning isn’t necessarily succeeding. Just because the score says you’ve won, it doesn’t mean you’ve played your best or feel successful.” What? It’s true and there are so many reasons for this I don’t dare start mentioning them. There’s a switch in our brain. Most of the time when we win we build up these unrealistic expectations that not only should we win but we should win big, play better or go home. Our ego is never happy and when we win it overpowers the momentary, ‘OMG I won’, and leaps into critically analyzing how we could have done better. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s a challenge to feel good about winning.

What does tend to happen? “Winning can bring with it the pressure to continue to win, an arrogance and an assumption that if you won you should be able to continue to win. Some of this is not a bad thing particularly if you know it’s coming but this is where winning becomes fatal for many athletes: they don’t know it’s coming and it completely takes over in a way that produces losing results.” The pressure, arrogance and assuming take you right back to the days of losing: thinking about the outcome (versus staying present in the process), unfocused, tight, overanalyzing, etc.

How do you handle winning? One key to how to handle winning is to feel good about the win and celebrate it. As is the case in most situations in our lives, it’s hard to find the good or positive but you just won so feel good about it. You can analyze it later. In my mind, winning, losing and everything in between all require the same things: you playing your game – physically and mentally. You should learn from both: if you win or lose, what happened – good and bad? What do you need to work on tomorrow? How are you working toward your goals? You really win when it’s part of the equation of what you are there to do and not something bigger than that or you!

The most important thing, is to not let your mind take over the win. Be the driver. What do you want to have happen when you win? Set it up so that you have a choice to deal with it the way you want to deal with it. 🙂

It is your choice.

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