Do you get down on yourself if you don’t win first place, rank number one, or make it to the top? People place a lot of emphasis on winning. We see it in sports, test scores, and the level attained within an organization. Too often, people get disappointed if they don’t come out on top. Some folks are so hard on themselves that they consider themselves a failure if they come up short. That mindset creates stress and can take a significant toll on your self-image. The real question you should be asking yourself is, Am I doing my best?
Is winning the ultimate prize? What impact does that must-win attitude have on your psyche? Is that mindset productive or self-defeating? The fact is, you don’t have to win first place to be a winner. If you did your best, you’re still a winner. Simply put, when you compete against yourself, you both win.
You don’t have to be the best, but you should always do your best.
17 Ways to Bring Out Your Best
You grow physically until you reach your peak. Can the same be said for your mindset? Here are 17 guideposts to help you reach your potential.
Be positive. If you believe you can’t, you won’t!
Set high standards. Don’t settle for good if you have the potential to be great.
Be courageous. Set stretch goals and leave your comfort zone. If you don’t try, you forfeit the opportunity.
Make the commitment. Go all in rather than dipping your toe in the water.
Emulate positive role models. Surround yourself with top-notch people. They’ll bring out the best in you.
Be your toughest critic. Before challenging others, challenge yourself.
Identify your shortcomings. Treat feedback as a gift rather than a slap in the face.
Make learning a priority. Find at least one way to get better each day.
Make experience your best teacher. Learn from every experience and adapt your behavior accordingly.
Learn from mistakes. View your mistakes — and the mistakes of others — as a learning opportunity.
Master the fundamentals. Refine your skills by remembering that practice makes perfect.
Be determined. View failures as a hurdle rather than a roadblock.
Be strong. Determination is habit forming — so is quitting.
Autograph your work with pride. If you’re not proud, you’re not done.
Be proactive. If you see something wrong, fix it.
Live with integrity. Be honorable and never compromise your integrity. Choose the right path rather than the easy route — even though it may be difficult.
Make yourself proud. Determine who you want to be rather than what you want to accomplish. In other words, forget your to-do list and create a to-be list.
Focus on the Right Prize
If winning is everything, you may think the end always justifies the means. That may cause you to compromise your integrity or jeopardize a relationship in order to win. Is that what you want? I think not. The real prize for doing your best is not showing others up, but making yourself proud. What’s that worth? Everything!
In contrast, why do some folks do just enough to get by? They justify their behavior by saying, “Why should I work hard if I don’t have to?” Or “I get paid whether I bust my chops or sit on my duff.” Or “Nobody’s working hard so why should I?” In short, they think folks can’t tell they’re doing just enough to get by. If that’s you, in your heart you know you’re letting yourself down.
“I can’t” and “I don’t want to” trigger the same results.
You can achieve anything you want in life as long as you know what you want, possess a can-do attitude, and are relentless in your pursuit of your dreams. But that doesn’t happen by magic. Be determined, work hard, and make yourself proud. What could be worse than having great promise but falling far short of your dreams because you didn’t apply yourself. It’s your life…your choice. Will you do your best or just enough to get by?
Do You Do Your Best?
Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.
You Can Do Better
If You’re Not Proud, You’re Not Done
Step Up Your Game
Thanks For a Job Well Done
Mediocre Behavior Is a Choice
Never Lower Your Personal Standards. Never!
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Camilla Gerner says
Thank you for the reminder, Frank. It’s very true, it’s very important to always “show up” in life and be ready to give it everything you have, even during the tough times! Keep up the good work!
Frank Sonnenberg says
Well said, Camilla. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂