Perceptions – What do you see winner or first loser?
A winner for sure; Mo Farrer will no doubt go down in history as one of our most successful and loved athletes. This weekend he is left distraught as he came up short in the 5,000m taking silver at the World Championships.
Notice I used the words ‘came up short’. That is what the media have said too, but is it correct. Isn’t the fact that he has won 10 gold medals achievement enough? Has he really ‘come up short’ being second in the world?
Our perception of coming second or I have also heard it described; ‘first loser’ seems harsh. For some athletes taking silver or even bronze is the finest achievement, and yet for some reason, once gold has been achieved anything less is deemed to be losing or a failure.
There is a saying ‘go hard or go home’; I get this and I do believe that commitment plays a huge part; it must in order to see things through to fruition. Yet, the pressure that we put on ourselves to succeed in life is intense. This pressure is also intensified further by those around us; our peers, our colleagues, and in business, our competition. Interesting word choice that, competition. We have to start somewhere though, it doesn’t just happen overnight. Think about it you wouldn’t walk into a gym and lift the heaviest weights first would you? No you have to warm up, practice, and get your body used to the work. The small wins help to build momentum and further success, and yet this is often not good enough.
All around us on social media we see posts and adverts for people selling us the ideas of earning six or seven figure salaries, getting the most customers, winning the big accounts in order for us to have the biggest houses, the best cars, all because that is ‘what successful looks like’. Having ambition is no bad thing but enough already.
Whilst for some, and power to them, it may be very desirable to want these things, it really is quite untrue for others. I know so many people who would be overjoyed just to be able to be a part of something, let alone win, and in terms of running a business, they are so happy to have made the leap into self-employment. Doing for themselves. Living that dream. Keeping the business going is challenge enough, so any gains they have are seen as a win. These wins need to be celebrated as they build our confidence, allowing us grow in strength and determination to keep going and do more. That is pressure enough, and a pressure that is manageable.
To help us achieve these wins, we set ourselves goals or write a plan or even create objectives. These offer focus and help us to break things down in a manageable commodity that can be measured and deliver a win.
I run my own business, now in its fourth year, and in that time, I have been entered for different awards, and none of them I have actually won. However, I have been a runner up, a finalist and come in second. The fact that I become a finalist in one award, not once but twice in two years meant the world to me. It was a real achievement, especially when I realised how many had not got that far. Yes it would have been super to win, and yet would it have made me feel any different in the long term? Not really, because ultimately my business and the fact that it is something that I have built up from nothing is something to be more proud of. Just like all those other business people out there. Winning first prize isn’t everything to everyone, there is a different type of winning that can count for so much more.
Next time you see someone who is described as falling short, or coming second or described as first loser, remember what they would have done to have got there; hard work, determination, commitment and the will to keep going.
There is nothing wrong with healthy competition and wanting to succeed, it is healthy to have it. Just be mindful that unrealistic expectations, misplaced perceptions, comparison to others far more advanced than yourself, resulting in self inflicted pressure, now that is unhealthy. You are winner already, strive for more for sure, take each stride in your stride, take the leap of faith when you have faith and be sure to count each win as just that, a win. As Henry Ford once said, “if you believe you can or cannot, then you are absolutely right.”
So this photo might show a man who is distraught, he did take silver, he sure is no loser though.
Thanks for reading. This blog forms part of self development coaching provided by Simon Hares at SerialTrainer7 Ltd. Would you like some help? Contact me directly 07979 537824 or email Simon@serialtrainer7.com