We like to win. Winning is ingrained in us. It’s something that we’re literally driven to do.
Our brains are wired to lead us to experience a win. When we feel like we’ve “won” the brain releases serotonin, which is like a long-lasting feel good chemical. Therefore, we are usually looking at the world from a perspective of winning.
The purpose of this post is to shed some light on the different ways that we might look for a “win.” Some wins are more healthy for us and sometimes “winning” can be the result of stress. Many times it’s our perspective on winning that will help us or harm from actually hitting our ultimate goals.
Here’s four categories of winning.
1. Burnout Winner
Perspective: I win; You lose
In a lot of context this is how we define or view winning. There’s a winner and there’s a loser. Sports immediately comes to mind. We play sports to have one winner and typically when done head-to-head, there’s a loser.
That works great in sport. And, there’s a reason that sports have an end. We can only do it for so long. The challenge that many of us face is that we take this mentality off the field and bring it to the game of life where the game doesn’t end. That’s where burnout sets in.
When in burn out, your perspective is conflict. It’s a fighters’ mentality. In sports it works. It comes from an aggressive place and leads to aggressive feelings of stress, disappointment and anger. Ultimately, you’re going to flame out mentally, emotionally, physically and sometimes spiritually. When that happens, all facets of your life are affected.
To move past this perspective…
Take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. Remove the conflict from your mind from re-looking at the situation.
Ask this question: What’s another way to look at this?
2. Selfish Winner
Perspective: “I win; and if you win too, great
This is all about taking personal responsibility for ourselves and our actions. We turn the focus inward to what we can do to create a win in whatever situation is in front of us.
This is “selfish” because we are only concerned about ourselves. It’s the old adage… “put your head down and just work.” When we’re in this mindset, we tend to rationalize, justify and generally tolerate situations and people.
The concern with maintaining this perspective is that we bury our discomfort or negative thoughts, not address them. That pent-up negative emotions and energy can sit below the surface and sabotage our long term goals.
To move past this perspective:
Shift your focus from yourself to others. Consider how you can serve or help someone else. When you look outside yourself, your natural energy level raises.
Ask this question: Who can I help?
3. Giving Winner
Perspective: You win
Your focus here shifts outward. It’s about serving others to create a win for them. You feel good when you help them win.
My people who are reading this are in real estate. Many agents are naturally “Giving Winners.” Putting clients’ needs ahead of your own can create happy clients and even business success for you. Great care, compassion and gratitude shine through when you’re experiencing this winning perspective.
The biggest peril when concerned for the wellbeing of others and fixing their problems is that we can take on too much from too many people. That can lead us down a bunny trail to a place where we end up feeling lost.
To move past this perspective: Shift some focus back to yourself in addition to others. Remove judgements on people who “need fixing” and look for opportunities.
Ask this question: What’s the opportunity here?
4. Confident Winner
Let’s assume you were in a situation where you knew that the result would be a win/win. What would you feel about that situation? Confident, probably… maybe even calm.
Look at life and situations in terms of opportunity and solutions. Everything is an opportunity to learn and every problem is solvable. I invite you to really sit in this for a moment… Here you always win, because opportunity doesn’t lose. Everyone else can also win, because, again, opportunities are endless.
Here’s the cool thing… This perspective isn’t just Carter’s rosy psycho-babble. Think of the last time you lost or failed… didn’t you learn something that used the next time or are using now? Right… that was simply delaying the ultimate win.
Get more of this… Move past judgement of people and situations. Judging is the gateway to winning more negatively.
Ask this question: “Where am I judging this?”
We are always looking to win. The question to ask is “from what perspective am I looking to win.” When we shift our focus and perspective to Giving and Confident winning, we are more likely to ultimately achieve our big goals and experience greater fulfillment.
Cheers to winning!