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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Why Some Losers Become Winners, but Others Stay as Losers

Why Some Losers Become Winners, but Others Stay as Losers

We all know Milton Hershey as the founder of Hershey’s chocolate which is one of the best known candies in America. But Hershey actually built up 3 candy companies ending in complete failure before his ultimate success. As a young entrepreneur, Hershey set up his own candy shop with $150 in Philadelphia will little success. Over the next few years he started over again in New York and Chicago but failed both times. Not giving up and convinced he could succeed, he set up the Lancaster Caramel Company and within a few short years, he finally had a thriving business which led him to start the Hershey Chocolate Company which we know and love.

Despite his failures, Hershey used his resilience and belief to carry on and achieve his dreams. While many would have been tempted to give up, drowning in the negativity that failure can bring, Hershey shows how determination, learning and improving is the real recipe for success.

By default, we can’t wait to win

As humans, we are wired to get instant results and it’s all down to survival. In caveman times, survival meant hunting down food and making fires. If we didn’t get immediate results with these, our lives would be at risk.

    Nowadays as individuals, our need for survival and instant results starts from the moment we’re born. Crying is a way of getting the instant attention we need from our parents in order to make sure we’re fed and looked after. Therefore it’s ingrained in us from an early age to get instant results and this stays wired in our brains throughout our lives.

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      But we have to wait and we lose

      In modern times, society has shaped the way we get success. We may want money but we typically only receive our salary after completing a period of work or we only receive a reward after working hard at something. Therefore we’re often forced to work hard and wait in order to get the success we crave and the real threat to our lives that our ancestors faced, has pretty much disappeared.

        So while lack of instant results doesn’t mean a threat to our survival, in our brains, that need is still lurking and our instinct tends to tells us to quit if instant results aren’t apparent.

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          But the key is understanding that the waiting period serves as a crucial time to work harder and improve rather than give up.

          From losing to becoming a loser

          When people fail, they don’t become losers instantly. They become losers as soon as they start to victimize themselves. They tell themselves the ‘facts’ or excuses to justify something negative in their abilities.

          These limiting beliefs are formed from past experiences, mistakes or times they’ve been stuck. They often tell ourselves and others things such as “If I were younger, I would have got this”, or “If they had given me more opportunities, things would have been different.”

          But if they’re being honest, these are the things they tell themselves to justify their failures and no one really cares what they could have done or why they failed. Failure is failure.

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            This isn’t to sound harsh but rather to highlight the fact that we often box ourselves into this idea of failure or label ourselves harshly. In reality, the reason we failed was because we didn’t persevere, keep faith and belief, and used the failure as a way of learning and improving ourselves towards the success we wanted.

            This negative need to reason away our failures doesn’t get us anywhere as Ben Horowitz says in his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things,

            A great reason for failing won’t preserve one dollar for your investors, won’t save one employee’s job, or get you one new customer.

            Act like a winner and move on

            We have to fight against the need to make excuses and quit when failure comes knocking and it’s all down to mindset.

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              It’s natural to think back to past failures and use it as evidence that you’ll never succeed but this is only detrimental to your chances of achieving your dreams. Focus your mind on the goal and do all you can to get there. There will always be roadblocks but the key is to work through the problems, don’t blame, don’t buy into your limiting beliefs but use each bump in the road as a chance to learn something. In other words, think of it as life giving you a solution for you to realise – something only this situation would teach you in order to move further towards success.

              If you want to succeed after failures, start to think like a success person:

              • Widen Your Perspective: The big picture can be hard to see when we’re focused on what’s going on in the present moment. The idea is to realise that each journey to success will always have its ups and downs. When the downs occur it can blindside us into thinking success isn’t possible. Step back and keep your eye on the bigger picture because usually those downs are followed by wonderful ups.
              • Breakdown The Challenge: The big goal can seem daunting at times which is why breaking it down into manageable chunks is the secret to keeping the motivation going. Life is ever-changing and so are our ideas, beliefs and perspectives. With each smaller challenge you overcome you bring a bigger sense of achievement and possibility of the larger outcome and this is where the magic happens – you will slowly but surely see that what you want is possible.

              If you really want to succeed then you must realize that no one really cares about your failures. If you want to move on from your down times, don’t make giving up an option. No matter how much you feel you’re struggling, these are the moments that present the necessary learning curve you need to achieve your big goals.

              Read this article to learn more about how to keep persevering on your journey to big things: The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better

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              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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              Published on February 19, 2021

              8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

              8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

              Whether it’s planning a public speech or a kid’s birthday party, our intentions lean toward success no matter the endeavor. And whatever success we are hoping to attain, there will likely be obstacles that we must face. When these obstacles surface, we can either shy away and miss our chance or meet these challenges informed and ready.

              Although obstacles can seem like the outside world is plotting against us, in reality, these external challenges are merely triggering hurdles that already exist within. They might be memories or beliefs we have about ourselves that act like mud and slow us down. We can be trapped by our own self-sabotage.

              What could happen if you knew about and prepared for these obstacles beforehand?

              If you knew what you were up against, perhaps you could come equipped with just the right tools to get through anything that threatens your chance at success. Perhaps you could take an obstacle that felt like a mountain and turn it instantly into a mere molehill!

              Here are 8 of the greatest obstacles you must overcome on your way to success:

              1. Perfection

              One of the most common obstacles we face is the need for perfection. Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, shared that her mother always used to say, “done is better than good.” Anyone prone to perfectionism is going to find it difficult to remain on the road to success if everything has to be “just so” all the time.

              Perfection is the killer of creativity, vitality, and accidental discoveries! There are so many instances of people fortuitously discovering things that we use every day.[1] If they had been so concerned with perfection, they may never have enjoyed the success of their “mistakes!” Plus, learning from our mistakes is how we develop and grow throughout our lives. Therefore, “perfect” will never provide a straight shot to success.

              How can you stop going for perfection? Just as it may have taken years of practice to “perfect” a skill you have acquired, it takes practice to undo perfectionism.

              Try the following:

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              • Try new things and let go of your expectations.
              • Don’t do everything on your “To-Do” list. See what happens when you leave it for tomorrow.
              • Learn how to prioritize (no, everything isn’t equally important all the time).
              • If you’re feeling particularly rebellious, send an email with a typo in it!

              Have fun with this and learn how to laugh at yourself. Welcome to the wonderful world of being human.

              2. Fear

              Fear is triggered when we have a thought or perception that we are not safe and secure. This is quite a useful tool when there is a real threat to our safety. However, when the threat is imaginary, fear can actually prevent us from doing the work we need to do to achieve our goals.

              As with perfectionism, the best way to deal with fear is to become more mindful.

              Here are some steps you can try in working through fear:

              1. Sit with the emotion of fear and notice where you feel it in your body. Notice the thoughts that accompany the feeling.
              2. Ask yourself what you are afraid will happen and write down your answers.
              3. Visualize yourself experiencing your worst fears. How did you feel imagining your worst fears coming true?
              4. Ask yourself when you have felt this way before. How did you cope with it that time? What strengths could you use in your previous visualization?
              5. Imagine yourself using your strength with the imagined worst fear. How does it feel to know that no matter what happens, you have the tools and resources to handle it?

              In this exercise, we’re trying to be okay with the emotion of fear. Fear is actually trying to help by keeping you “safe.” It calls upon memories of when you were threatened in your life. But when we spend all of our energy trying to prevent the feeling of fear, we make it stronger. We also deny ourselves the memories of all the times we have faced our fears and triumphed.

              Allowing the fear to be present and calling upon memories of making it through challenging times helps to convince our minds that, as President Franklin Roosevelt said, the “only thing to fear is fear itself.”

              3. Lack of Clarity

              Imagine that you are going on a trip and you need to pack. Your suitcase is out, but you don’t know any details of the trip. You haven’t decided where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, or what you’ll be doing. How easy will it be to pack for this trip?

              If we’re trying to run our careers or lives without clarity, it can be nearly impossible to figure out what we need to be doing to get to our destination of success. So, how do we get clarity?

              Author and speaker, Simon Sinek, had some excellent advice for businesses on how to get clarity, and it applies beautifully to just about any area of life. According to Sinek, when clarifying your “message,” you should start with your WHY.[2] In other words, why are you doing what you do? Once you are clear on your “why,” it will be much easier to figure out your “how” and your “what.”

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              Let’s go back to the packing analogy. Perhaps your why for vacationing is to get some much-needed rest as you have been stressed out lately. That tells you that a quiet vacation might be better than one with lots of museums and crowded attractions. Your “why” tells you that you don’t want to be very active, but you do want to take care of your body, mind, and spirit, perhaps by spending a few days at a nearby spa. Less travel means less stress. Looking at the spa, you see they have a 3-day retreat. Now, you know how to pack.

              See how easily those details fell into place once you got clear on your “why”? Imagine what success you could achieve once your “why” is uncovered!

              4. Making Comparisons

              It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to other people. That’s how we know whether we’re doing things correctly or not and how we can continue improving. When we get into a habit of making comparisons all the time and feeling bad about not being able to “keep up with the Jones’,” this can pull our energy down. And when our energy is down, so is our motivation to keep working toward our goals.

              As with perfection, it’s important to be mindful about how much importance you’re placing on “keeping up” with what you think everyone around you is doing.

              Want to stop sizing yourself up to others? Try the following:

              • Notice the feelings that come up for you when you compare yourself to someone else.
              • Ask yourself, “what information am I really getting from this comparison, and what’s helpful about it?”
              • Keep the helpful bits from that line of questioning and let go of the rest.

              Remember that when you compare yourself to another person, oftentimes you are seeing the potential that already resides within you.[3]

              5. Untamed Inner Monologue

              How do you talk to yourself? Do you tend to say uplifting and encouraging things to yourself? Or is your self-speak often negative? An untamed inner monologue can serve as a great obstacle to many people.

              Many people grow up with the idea that the inner monologue is what drives us to become better people. We get “tough” on ourselves to prevent laziness or sloppiness. If unchecked, the monologuing can quickly become negative and purely critical. Despite our intentions for self-improvement, this constant habit of pointing out what’s “wrong” with what we do and who we are can become a huge energy drain.

              According to the Mayo Clinic, overcoming negative self-talk is good for our health.[4] Some of the benefits of maintaining a compassionate inner voice include lower levels of depression, better immune function, and improved coping skills in stressful times.

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              Activities to develop awareness about your inner monologue and make it more compassionate include:

              • Keeping a thought diary (there are so many great apps for this!).
              • Reframing negative self-statements neutrally or compassionately.
              • Asking yourself what a trusted friend might say to you.
              • Thinking about what you might say to a friend if they were in your shoes.
              • Considering EFT Tapping or saying affirmations.
              • Allowing yourself to follow the inner critic down the worst-case-scenario path (this version might have you laughing at how ridiculous your inner critic’s imagination truly is).

              6. Unclear Boundaries

              So far, we’ve covered several ways that internal boundaries are necessary on the road to success. These include monitoring your fear, limiting your need for perfectionism, lacking clarity about what you want, making unhealthy comparisons to others, or having a mean-spirited inner monologue.

              How about those boundaries we need to clarify with other people in our lives? To be clear, boundaries are not about saying “no” to everything and cutting yourself off from everybody. Healthy external boundaries are about being communicating to others about what you want, how you want to be treated, and what your plans are.

              If we have unclear boundaries with others, success will result only by accident, if at all.

              People pleasers and empaths especially know how challenging it can be to set boundaries with others. The desire for harmony can be so strong for some people that they convince themselves that it is easier to let others make the decisions rather than risk creating conflict.

              The problem here is that no matter how hard we try to avoid conflict with others, we will create conflict within ourselves that results in roadblocks to success. If you have trouble setting clear boundaries with others and you want to be successful, start building your muscles around this skill slowly.

              Here are a few steps:

              1. Identify little things that you like and want.
              2. Tell people about what you like and want in your life.
              3. Notice what happens in your body when you say this out loud.
              4. Identify things you don’t like or want.
              5. Notice what happens in your body when you think about these things. (Your body is really smart when it comes to telling you what you don’t want!)
              6. Tell trusted people what you don’t like or want.
              7. Notice how it feels in your body to say this out loud.
              8. Practice saying “no” to something really small that you don’t want and work your way up to bigger things.

              Without boundaries, it’s like being water and trying to hold a shape without being in a container. You get to create your own container and watch your success take form.

              7. Unreasonable Expectations

              It’s important to dream big. It’s how we allow inspiration and big ideas to come to the surface of our awareness. But if our dreams are not grounded in the reality of our current resources, we might be headed for some disappointment or even worse, the loss of our dreams!

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              Setting reasonable expectations is the bread and butter of success. If you haven’t been introduced to setting SMART goals at this point in your life, it would be a good idea to try it out.

              It might not always be possible to know whether or not something is reasonable, especially if you’re trying out a brand-new-to-you project. If the expectation is for a new project to work without any bumps or glitches, this is likely to be unreasonable. The consequences of this experience could be losing your drive to succeed.

              If the expectations for a new project include the idea of bumps and glitches that hold seeds of learning and growth, then even the perceived “mistakes” will turn out to be a success. This has the positive benefit of fueling your motivation to keep working toward even more success.

              Be mindful of where you set the bar—neither too high nor too low.

              8. Unreasonable Definition of Success

              What is your definition of success? Asked in another way, from what perspective are you seeking success?

              It’s easy to think that success means achieving the goal(s) you set for yourself. But there are so many ways to look at success. You might be missing out on some opportunities to really feel like you are shining in your life.

              An unreasonable definition of success might be one that only allows for one specific outcome. If that outcome is not reached, then success is not the result. But if we allow for multiple definitions of success, we might find that success is much easier to come by than we previously thought!

              To expand your definition of success, ask yourself the following:

              • What would need to happen to make me feel successful?
              • What else could happen to make me feel successful?

              Keep brainstorming all the outcomes you could experience to create a feeling of success.

              Final Thoughts

              Being successful requires overcoming a lot of obstacles, and many people will fail at some point. The key is to tackle these obstacles one step at a time. In the words of Joyce Brothers, “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.”

              More Tips on How to Overcome Obstacles

              Featured photo credit: asoggetti via unsplash.com

              Reference

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