How to Position Yourself as a Winner and Win in Different Situations
You see successful people around you, on social media and TV. Lawyers who win cases. Athletes who get gold medals. Singers who win talent competitions.
Are you wondering how do they do it?
Most people believe that successful people have talent, but they don’t have it. Nothing can be done — end of the story.
I am sure that you are different. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this article. And you are absolutely right. There is a way to learn how to win. Psychologists have done much research on this and here are the results.
1. With Whom Are You Competing?
If you wish to win, you need to know your opponents so you can become better than them. If it’s about winning a case you need more information than your opponents have. If it’s a sports competition, you need to exercise more than your opponents do.
2. Home vs Out
Once you have learnt your opponents, it’s better to invite them home if you wish to win. In 2003, the study conducted by Nick Neave and Sandy Wolfson had shown that players have grater raise in testosterone levels when they play at home, and they tend to win.
In this case, your natural instincts are triggered. While you are in a sports competition, subconsciously you are acting like you are defending your territory.
3. It’s Important to Know Who is in Charge
If you want to win, you need to take full responsibility. Remember, YOU are in charge. The study conducted at the University of Valencia by E. Gonzalez-Bono and her colleges has shown that members of the Team 1 who felt that their effort is necessary to get a win, had a more significant rise of testosterone levels and they won.
Team 2, whose players attributed their victory more to luck showed decreased vigour, and they lost.
4. Personality A vs Personality B
This study conducted by Edith Filaire and her colleges has demonstrated that winners have personality A. Those displaying Type A behaviour are ambitious, impatient, react to frustration with hostility, and feel pressured for time.
Their behaviour is motivated by an intense need to maintain personal control over the environment. Type B behaviour pattern is defined as the relative absence of pattern A characteristics.
5. Does Stress Help You?
It’s normal to get a little bit stressed just before the competition, especially, if it involves exhausting muscular exercise. However, in a study conducted by Edith Filaire and her colleges both state and cognitive anxiety levels before the competition were significantly higher in participants who lost.
On the other hand, winners tend to calm down after a while. You need to do the same – calm down.
Remember advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
‘‘In order to perform well in anything. If it’s in boxing or it’s your job, or with your thinking, It’s only happening when you relax. So, relax. Let’s just go all out and give it everything you have got.’’
6. Active Coping vs Passive Coping
Winners show active copying patterns in stress situations. Active coping is when you perceive your stress as a challenge. As a result, you have a better mood, high levels of testosterone and SNS (sympathetic nervous system) activation. This response is known as fight or flight response.
People who lose, do the opposite. They are more stressed. Their mood is negative, and testosterone levels are lower.
In other words, you need to get more aggressive if you want to win.
7. One Step at a Time
Build your confidence by winning little battles if you want to win a war.
In a study conducted by Alicia Salvador and her colleges, participants who had already victories in their sports records had a more significant rise in testosterone levels during the competition. Even if you have won once, your testosterone levels are higher before the next competition. You fight better and win again.
Another advice from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
‘’When you have one little victory, little victories, add up, and that is what gives you then ultimately confidence.’’
8. Plan A vs Plan B
There is one more detail. Sometimes, you will win because the opponents will give up.
Now, when does this happen?
If you show them your determination, convince them that you are not going to give up and you will fight even more instead, they will most likely give up. In this situation you let your opponents know that you don’t have and don’t want to have plan B.
Let’s remember Arnold Schwarzenegger’s advice again:
‘’I hate plan B…When you start doubting yourself, that’s very dangerous. When you start thinking about plan B, you are taking that thoughts and energy from plan A. It’s very important to understand that we function better without a safety net because plan B becomes safety net.”
After the victory, you will feel powerful and strong. You will have more energy, which is an essential source of optimism and confidence. You will also have a better will and focus when tackling a new task or pursuing a new goal.
Victory feels so good that you can’t stop smiling, you are shining like a STAR!
What are you waiting for, IT’S YOUR TIME TO SHINE!
References Salvador, A. (2005). Coping with competitive situations in humans. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 29(1), pp.195-205.
Stop Procrastinating and Get Everything Done Without Wasting Your Precious Time
Is it difficult for you to do everything you have planned, are you missing exams, deadlines?
Sometimes, by the time you start the task, it’s already late – the stress is too high, and you can’t focus. Regularly, you wake up in the morning and do remember your to-do list. Yet, instead of start working, you tend to do all the rest. You start from checking your emails. Messaging and commenting under the post in the Facebook group. Also, you think about postponing things during the day. Welcome to the club! You are procrastinating. And procrastination is dangerous. If you don’t stop procrastinating, you could fail at work. Your boss could fire you. More than that, your procrastination is affecting your family members, including your kids. Do you want to risk your life, destroy your kid’s life, feel embarrassed and stressed all the time? Of course, not! You can stop procrastinating and even use it for your benefit. Here is how to stop it. Let’s jump in.
1. Observe Yourself and Determine the Hierarchy
Observation is an essential skill. Especially when you want to find out the reason for your behaviour. It’s the first step of the scientific method. Devote some time and observe your behaviour. You need to determine the hierarchy – in your mind, what is on the top of your to-do list and what is on the bottom. From all the things you have in your to-do list the one you are avoiding/delaying to do is the one on the bottom. It’s the most difficult, unpleasant, boring, big or new task. Meaning it needs most of your effort (mental or physical) and most of your precious time.
What to do next to stop procrastinating?
2. USE procrastination to Get Things Done
The truth is, you can use procrastination to get more things done. Let’s take a look. There is such a term as ‘productive procrastination’. The term was introduced first by the psychologist Piers Steel (2007). Productive procrastination means that while avoiding a big task, you will do tasks which you typically put off. Remember the to-do list? You will do all the tasks from the hierarchy while avoiding the one which is on the bottom – the hardest one. Sounds familiar? You are not alone, and it’s normal. Here is how to use this. Trick your mind and get everything done! Surprisingly, you will be motivated to do every task from your to-do list to avoid/delay the last difficult task. TIP: You know what, do your to-do list. Yet, assign the last task to someone else. Yes! You can find someone who would love to do it, you can suggest doing something which is easy for you instead. Win-win situation. Little cooperation do not harm! Let’s jump to number 3.
3. DO procrastinate!
Why? Because studies on stress have shown that: Most people are less effective under the intense stress Most people are more effective under moderate stress Usually, you have moderate stress several days just before the deadline. So, don’t lose your precious time – do procrastinate, do something more important before. TIP: Don’t start too late when the stress levels are so high you can’t finish it on time.
4. What to Do if the Task is Boring?
How to stop procrastinating when you have boring tasks on your to-do list? A task is boring if it’s very easy or not interesting for you. Unfortunately, very often we need to do boring tasks and sometimes spend much time on them too. You can defeat the boredom! Combine boring with fun or pleasant. Here is my example. When I was at secondary school I liked maths very much. But, because it was easy for me, it was boring to spend half an hour sitting and completing maths tasks. So, I would combine maths with snacks – I would write with my right hand and eat sweet corn puffs with my left hand. You can combine boring easy tasks with puffs, seeds, crisps, fruits. Whatever is reinforcing for you, something you already love doing.
5. What to Do When the Task is Unpleasant or Difficult?
Some tasks are unpleasant. Even aversive. Examples are bathroom cleaning, diaper changing. It could be a task which contains an intensive physical exercise. How to encourage yourself here? Let’s take a look. You need to do three things: – Remove as much as a possible aversion – Add as much pleasure as possible – Add some importance to this task Let’s start by removing aversion – put gloves first. Congratulations – you are halfway through! You can also remove all chemicals. In the case of bathroom cleaning of other home chores, use natural products instead. Tasks could have another difficulty, which will make you less productive. Being unproductive is another reason for procrastination. Get some tools. Could be a sponge with handle and little brushes. You need to increase your effectiveness to decrease procrastination. Now, it’s time to add something pleasant to the process. Music, listen to your favourite singer. You will finish everything in no time. What about adding importance? Very often, when you have much mental work to do, you need rest. You can take rest from mental task and do a physical task. Of course, the best ideas come while you are walking. But, sometimes, you can have new ideas even when you are doing chores. The brilliant ideas that don’t come to your mind when you are sitting in front of the computer.
Another way of adding importance to the boring or aversive tasks is to start thinking about them as an exercise which benefits your health. In particular, if you are trying to lose weight.
6. How to Deal with Academic Procrastination
It’s difficult to stop procrastinating as a student. When I started studying psychology at the Panteion University in Athens, my greek was not so good. Of course, I couldn’t understand everything from the begging. I couldn’t be a good student as I used to be at my secondary school. Yet, I didn’t want to fail. The problem here is that the goal is too big, and the resources are too low – the ultimate stress situation! What shall you do here? I was stuck and needed some help! Now, the best thing that comes to my mind is Richard Branson’s tweet: ‘I am known around the Virgin Group as Dr Yes. As I usually answer yes to any exciting new ideas, then worry about the details later.’ For me, Richard Branson is an excellent example of a self-confident person. He knows that he can find a way even if the idea is new and nobody had done it before! I was not like him when I started University. Fortunately, help came very soon. It was my second semester when our Social Psychology professor talked to us about the study on learned helplessness among students and how to deal with this (the professor knew very well how we felt, I guess!). Scientists in the study gave participants easy tasks first. The tasks they could complete themselves with little effort. After, researchers slowly increased the difficulty of the tasks. Being able to complete the tasks increased the confidence of the participants. As a result, by using this approach, all tasks (difficult and easy) were accomplished. ‘That’s it!’, I thought, ‘I know now what to do!’ I started studying with easy for me subjects, the ones I already knew, like statistics (maths). Some subjects were complicated. So, I had left them for the last year when my confidence was already very high. The advice here is, relax. Don’t have big expectations from the begging. Start with something easy, interesting, something you already know. Build your confidence. Also, get help whenever you need it, especially from the beginning. TIP: The biggest problem, though, is the stress during the exams. You can use different techniques to relax.
For example, a good way to relax and go to sleep is thinking of all the things and people in your life you are grateful for.
Yet, the best thing is not to get stressed during the exams in the first place. Here is the trick. Instead of spending less time with your friends during the exams, spend more time with them. In particular, more exams you have, spend more time with your friends. Don’t do the opposite.
7. Would Better Sleep Help You to Stop Procrastination?
There is a new study from the University of Amsterdam. Wendelien van Eerde and her colleges conduct it. The research team demonstrated the connection between sleep quality and procrastination. The poor quality of sleep is leading to more work procrastination the next day. Yet, not everyone was affected by the sleep quality. Only employees low in trait self-control did. So if you are high in trait self-control, congratulations! You will procrastinate less regardless of your quality of sleep! That’s it. Take care and Don’t waste your precious time! Remember, when you do everything you have planned, you will FEEL GREAT at the end of the day! (Photo by Carl Heyerdahl/Unsplash)
How to Lose Belly Fat Without Cravings and Starving (supermarket shopping list included)
Is it really difficult to lose belly fat?
Exercise alone doesn’t work. Diet doesn’t work long term. You never achieve your goal or the result doesn’t last.
Why did you have to face starving, cravings and hair loss instead of belly fat loss?
You are wasting time and money, the result is not coming, you are more stressed and depressed than before. Start eating to comfort yourself, fast non-functional ‘cure’ from depression and anxiety.
Vicious circle, right?
You are confused, sick and tired…
And the belly fat is the worst part!
It’s not just making you hate how you look, it’s dangerous for your health too, because the abdominal fat is associated with the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and cancer!
The good news is we can do something to prevent the diseases.
Dr Shawn Talbott in his book ‘The Cortisol Connection’ explains what stress does to us, how chronic stress leads to more belly fat and why it’s dangerous to our health. He explains how to deal with it as well.
Let’s jump in.
According to Dr Shawn Talbott, you need to learn to control only 3 things if you want to lose belly fat.
#1. How to Control Stress (cortisol) Levels Mostly by EATING?
WHY?You need to control stress because stress increases cortisol and chronic stress (constant high cortisol level) INCREASES APPETITE and CRAVINGS (especially for certain foods like calorie-dense sweets and salty snacks).
The result is an ABDOMINAL FAT GAIN!
HOW? There are a lot of ways to decrease stress:
1.1. Avoid stressful situations (whenever you can) in the first place.
1.2. Reduce caffeine, too much caffeine leads to nervousness and anxiety.
1.3. Avoid alcohol, because it causes dehydration, which your body perceives as a stressor. Alcohol also increases the occurrence of nighttime awakenings.
1.4. Start using vitamins and minerals, ‘stress-formula’ multivitamins, as Dr Shawn calls them. Take at least vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and B-complex vitamins.
1.5. Drink 4-5 cups of green tea per day.
1.6. Do physical exercise, meditation, tai chi, etc.
1.7. Avoid any kind of deprivation:
-sleep deprivation – sleep 8 hours and 15 minutes every night
-water deprivation – drink at least 8 glasses of water every day
-avoid food deprivation as well – STOP DIETING.
1.8. But EAT right instead:
-eat 3 meals and 2 snacks every day. 3 Meals per day must consist of (1) tightly closed fist-sized whole carbohydrate source, like pasta, bread, cereal
(2) the palm of your hand-sized protein, like fish, eggs, low-fat yoghurt, low-fat milk, chicken, steak, etc.; (3) fat size of the OK sign made by your index finger and thumb, like olive oil, butter, cheese, nuts, etc
(4) fruits and vegetables of the size of your open hand, prefer the ones have bright orange, yellow, red colours for carotenoids and bright blue, purple and green for flavonoids
2 Snacks per day must consist of (1) fruits and vegetables of the size of your open hand and (2) fat (olive oil, butter) size of the OK sign made by your index finger and thumb.
-EAT yoghurt with probiotics – Bifidobacterium longum (anxiety), Lactobacillus rhamnosus (stress), Lactobacillus helveticus (depression)
You need to consume about 1200 – 1800 calories per day (depending on your body/hand size). This amount of calories is associated with long-term weight-loss success.
TIP: Because it’s difficult to measure calories, I suggest starting just with the above diet and losing 2-3 kilos only by eating less fat and sugar and more fruits and vegetables. Or, at least stop gaining weight.
This way you ensure the amount of food is necessary to start losing the weight. This is what I did, I was 69 kg and now I am 66.5 kg.
Experiment with new food, find out what you like and don’t like. For example, I discovered that I don’t like raw vegetables, but like boiled vegetables, especially dark green, like peas and broccoli.
HERE IS YOUR SUPERMARKET SHOPPING LIST FOR THE FOOD WHICH HELP YOU TO LOSE BELLY FAT (you can make a screenshot to keep it for your shopping time):
#2. How to Control Testosterone Levels to Lose Your Belly Fat Forever?
WHY? Because high testosterone levels cause fatigue, loss of muscle mass, reduced sex drive and BODY FAT GAIN!
There is a study conducted in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where the researchers found that overweight men had low levels of testosterone. And, low testosterone was actually related to increased FAT GAIN in the ABDOMINAL AREA!
HOW? Dr Talbott suggests different natural ways for controlling testosterone. Because two of them are already covered above (controlling sleep and water deprivation), you have only two things to add:
2.1. Exercise. According to Dr Shawn Talbott and scientific research he is referring to, physical exercise is more important to maintain the weight than to lose weight. The best physical activities to increase your testosterone levels are: endurance exercise works and lifting weights. For best results, you need to add fast walking and running.
I found this YouTube video (Fat Eliminator by Minna) several years ago, which helped me to lose 7 kilos. I recommend it because it’s 50 min long exercise, which will be necessary to lose a lot of belly fat. Plus, at the end they add hand weights.
TIP: Once you know that you are eating right and the correct amount of calories, add exercise to start losing more weight faster. I know it could be difficult to change the habit and start running outside suddenly, besides the rainy or cold weather could be an obstacle.
If you don’t want to go outside to run or don’t want to go to the gym. We will bring the gym to you. Well, just part of it. The best part.
2.2. Change the way you perceive and cope with stress. To control your testosterone levels,you need to learn how you perceive and cope with stress in different situations. The positive and natural response to stress is a temporary rise in the cortisol level.
A negative, unhealthy response is when you keep mentally ‘revisiting’ stressful event over and over (worrying) – your cortisol levels rises, and testosterone levels fall.
Psychology study conducted by Alicia Salvador at the University of Valencia has shown that when humans cope even with social competition, ‘psychobiological coping response’(fight or flight) is activated.
Studies on mammalian species have shown that the hormonal changes (increase in testosterone levels and a decrease in cortisol levels) depend on the outcome of the competition (winning or losing).
Alicia Salvador showed that in humans hormonal changes (decrease in cortisol and increase in testosterone) depend less on the outcome of the competition and more on the copying strategy before the competition.
Winners show active copying patterns in stress situations. Active coping is when you perceive your stress as a challenge. As a result, you have a better mood, high levels of testosterone and SNS (sympathetic nervous system) activation.
#3. Control Your Body’s ‘Fat-Storing’ Enzyme (HSD) by EATING
WHY?The scientist in Mayo Clinic found that stress management techniques can control only about a third of the total cortisol.
Another third is controlled by HSD.
Some people don’t have high cortisol in their blood, but they still gain weight because of the high cortisol inside the cells, which is increased only by the enzyme called HSD (11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1).
In abdominal areas, a high HSD activity leads to a bigger waistline.
Researchers from the USA National Institute of Diabetes had conducted long-term (5 years) study and found: a direct relationship between HSD and abdominal fat gain.
Not only this, the researchers found that HSD high activity has ‘a causative role in promoting obesity’.
It’s complicated. But, fortunately, it’s super easy for us (once scientists discover this) to reduce the HSD activity naturally !
HOW? One more natural and crucial step to take if you want to los belly fat –again, By EATING. The good news is that ‘Fat-Storing’ Enzyme (HSD) can be reduced naturally by consuming more flavonoids. Just by eating apples and onions (contain flavonoids called quercetin) and soybeans (contain flavonoids called genistein and daidzein).
Yes, you heard that right.
So, I have already added to your NEW SUPERMARKET SHOPPING LIST :
Wait, is it really important to lose the belly fat?
Let me tell you a story.
I had an aunt, we loved each other very much, and I was trying to copy her in everything. I was pleased when I found something we had in common. But, she was very anxious and had a big belly.
‘This was the one thing I didn’t take from her’, I thought then. As a teenager, I had the flattest belly among the girls at school, and I was very proud of it!
But, later after I turned 30, I started to notice that I am very anxious like my aunt. My belly started growing too. Then I first read an article saying that belly fat is a consequence of stress and anxiety!
True, my belly started growing when I began to work as a cashier in a very busy greek restaurant. There I was literally alone taking orders for eat-in customers plus answering delivery phone calls.
I used a computer for taking orders, had taken a fast typing course already then, but still, I barely managed to take all food orders and had a lot of stress, of course.
My belly started growing for the first time.
So, I was like my aunt after all!
Ok, what’s so wrong with this?
The problem is she had a very high pressure.
She had three strikes caused by cardiovascular disease, which is a consicuence of stress.
And she died…at the age of 60…
Can the belly fat really kill you? Well, it’s not the belly fat itself, but the belly fat is a sign of your poor health. The sign that you need to do something about your health. This is quite helpful, I would say.
Four years ago I reached my maximum weight of 67 kilos (I am short, so it’s a lot for me). I wanted to lose 7 kilos. I started little exercise, fast walking, eating apples, starving. It was tough.
But, it worked!
I lost 7 kilos in about three months. Good news, right? Not really. Because I gained 3 kilos very fast after.
Two weeks ago I was 69 kilos and my belly/waist reached 101 cm!
Dieting and worrying about my weight causes me additional stress, so sometimes I just give up, stop dieting, stop measuring myself. But, after a while, when I check my weight…OMG, here we go again.
And until now I did not know how to lose 7-9 kilos again, because I did so many things, I didn’t know what exactly worked.
And I have heard different bits of advice like ‘exercise with hand weights’ or ‘you need to eat wholegrain bread’. I was asking why I should do it? I wanted to know the deeper reason.
In his book ‘The Cortisol Connection’ Dr Shawn Talbott explains in depth why do we need to exercise and eat wholegrain bread.
I had another obstacle while trying to lose the belly fat. As I found out from the book, it’s called by nutritionists metabolic adaptation. Here is the thing – when I started to eat less, I lost several kilos from the begging, but after several weeks this process stopped.
Dr Tabbot explains: ’Weight loss continues for a few days or weeks, and then it stops. The wight may even start to creep back on to your hips and belly.
This is an example of your body’s adapting its metabolism (by burning fewer calories) to its new environment (fewer calories being consumed, higher cortisol levels, lower testosterone level, etc.).’
TIP FROM DR TALBOTT: you need to ‘outsmart’ the metabolic adaptation if you want to lose belly fat. He suggests the 3S approach: first S is for small, meaning doing little changes in diet (not starving), so we don’t provoke the metabolic adaptation process (start burning fewer calories).
Second S is for simultaneous, meaning to control three things at the same time, the three things I have described in this article above: #1 controlling cortisol, #2 controlling testosterone, and #3 controlling HSD.
Third S is for sustained, meaning that you need to keep at it for life!
For life, rithgt!
I don’t want to go back never again! I lost my 2 first kilos only by step #1, just to make sure I am consuming the correct amount of calories. Now I am adding step #2 – exercise, and step #3 – controlling Fat-Storing’ Enzyme (HSD) by eating apples, onions and soybeans.
You can do the same. You will feel so good and proud of yourself. People will keep noticing and saying that you lost weight and look very beautiful and slim.
The most important thing is you will know how easily you did it. You can keep your desired weight without starving and without struggling. Your biggest desire to just eat and don’t ever worry about fat belly will come true.
The goal is to stop worrying and just be happy.
You will start enjoying your meals and your beautiful life.
It’s possible, you will get there!
If you would like to learn more, find Dr Talbott’s book here.
The book ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You’ is written by the professor Cal Newport. It’s a career advice book with practical steps you need to take for having a remarkable career.
What Does Author Mean by ‘so good they can’t ignore you’?
Cal Newport says your skills must be way higher than acceptable. You must be perfect, ’so good they can’t ignore you’. Additionally, you need to find a mission. Then, finally, you will feel confident and happy.
Does It Have Scientific Terminology Which is Difficult to Understand?
No, the author uses several terms in this book. Some of them Cal Newport created himself to explain his method better. For example, craftsman mindset, career capital, dream-job elixir.
Is the Author’s Advice Difficult to Follow?
No, there are only 4 rules to remember:
Rule 1 – Don’t follow your passion.
Rule 2 – Make sure you have excellent skills in what you choose to do. This takes practising your skills every day.
Rule 3 – Take control/freedom of your life.
Rule 4 – Find a mission in your life after you have enough skills, when you are ‘so good they can’t ignore you’.
Does the Author Support his Method with Enough Evidence?
Cal Newport uses a lot of research and case studies of successful people. By the way, some of them he interviewed himself. More than that, he is telling us about changes in his own career life which he made following these 4 rules.
Why is This Book Unique?
First of all, it changes completely the perspective you have about your life and career. Actually, starting from the end (passion) is a huge mistake.
Cal Newport states that the advice ‘find your passion’ or ‘follow your passion’ is not good advice. He says not to follow your passion. He suggests improving your skills first. Master something and passion will follow.
By the way, this book even helped me to understand my husband better. He loves working hard. I often ask my husband ‘what’s your favourite job?’. He always answers ‘I have done different jobs and I loved them all’. Now I understand what does he mean.
The Ultimate Guide for Your Remarkable Career
The truth is, by the title of this book, you can’t understand how deep is it. I would call this book ‘The Ultimate Guide for Your Remarkable Career’.
It’s a practical book. Gives you step by step guidance which you can use to make the best of your career. And more than that, you can start from the point you are already. You can follow then the next steps necessary for the best career results.
Above all, this book will organise your career.
It’s time for action!
It’s your time to shine!
You can have control of your life and career.
When you start following Cal Newport’s advice, you will feel confident about the steps you are taking. The skills you are improving. You will be surprised by new opportunities opening for you.
You will be who you want to be, make money you want to make, have success you want to have. And, what is most amazing, you will love what you are doing, love yourself and be happy.
You can find and use the book ‘So good they can’t ignore you’ as an ultimate guide for your new remarkable career.