Developing a winning attitude

Published 7:59 pm Saturday, October 15, 2016

Everyone likes to win.  No one likes to lose.  However, a winning attitude is far more than just winning.  More than having the highest score, making it to the finish line first or other “winning” of events.  It is encompassed in a person’s having a winning attitude.

Start with the difference in an optimist and a pessimist.  Glass half full or half empty.    Winston Churchill said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.  The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  There are big differences in negative people and positive people.  One of the secrets to success, not only for entrepreneurs, business executives and professionals,  but also athletes,  is attitude.  Involved in the development of a winning attitude is the defeat of self-doubt.  There are many battles in life, personally and professionally, and developing a winning attitude helps a person to achieve success in life and be happy.

Some ideas for developing a winning attitude follow.

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1.  Think positively — This takes more work for some people than others. Turn failures into learning experiences. Look for the good in others and the opportunities in every circumstance.

2.  Choose friends wisely —  Avoid the influence of negative people. Even though you may try to not allow others to influence you, they will.  Avoid those who complain and gossip.  Pessimism is as contagious as optimism.

3.  Patience and perseverance — Never give up. Don’t allow set backs and rejections to deter you from your goals. Don’t expect changes overnight.  Obstacles can be stepping stones to success.

4.  Believe in yourself — No one is perfect.  You may have to try over and over again to reach your goals. Focus on your strengths while recognizing the areas in which you need improvement.  True belief and faith  in God is the most important basis for a joyful life and winning attitude.

5.  Stay healthy — Positive energy can be gained by staying physically and mentally healthy.  Endorphins are produced when you exercise, and it is effective to conquer stress in your life.  Depression can set in and cause all kinds of physical issues.

6.  Control your emotions — Try to stay calm and cool in spite of the drama others may create and difficulties that arise.  Delay decision making when emotionally angry or even too happy.

7.  Preparation — Good preparation is key to making sales, presentations, handling competitions, or other undertakings.  Being well-prepared will defeat fear and help you to exude confidence.

8.  Competition can make you better — Competition is not your enemy.  Competitors will make you think out of the box and try harder to succeed.  They can be motivators toward high performance and incentivize outstanding effort.

9.  Don’t quit — This is the oldest quote on success around.  Everyone gets discouraged at times.  Give all you have every day.  Have someone you trust that you can vent to and get recharged with encouragement. Keep on keeping on.  Even though your may feel you are going backward keep putting one foot in front of the other.   Keep moving forward.

10.  Avoid a feeling of entitlement — Never whine or think the world or others owe you anything.  Life is not fair, and if you expect it to be, you will experience many disappointments in life.

11.  Develop a network of support — Your family and friends can be a very viable support group.  You can gain inspiration and receive guidance for making it through difficult times.

You can not only survive but thrive in life and business.  Goals are not fantasies.  Set realistic goals for yourself and measure your progress.  Have a vision.  Dream.  Then put action behind your ideas.

Don’t forget that God is the ultimate source of all victories.  Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  You can develop the attitude and mindset of success and winning which brings peace, courage and success in all areas of your life.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing