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. Artists 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 has 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 lose.
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 state anxiety level and cognitive anxiety before the competition was significantly higher in participants who lose.
On the other hand, winners tent 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, testosterone levels are lower.
In other words, you need to get more aggressive 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. Once 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.”
Summary: According to Alicia Salvador conscious or unconscious thoughts of the individual will ultimately determine the coping behaviour. Active copying leading to victory or passive copying leading to defeat.
A passive pattern, characterised by negative mood. Cortisol increases (anxiety-fear) together with insufficient testosterone levels. SNS (sympathetic nervous system) activation is also low. There is a higher probability of losing.
On the contrary, If the individual ‘appraises’ the situation as:
– important for him/her, and
– dependent on him/her, and
– he/she has resources to control it,
the probabilities of employing an active strategy increase.
This coping response includes increases in testosterone, especially in an aggressive/competitive situation. SNS (sympathetic nervous system) activation (fight or flight response).
In the majority of competitions, an active pattern of responses would increase the probability of obtaining the victory.
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 better focus and will 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!
Salvador, A. (2005). Coping with competitive situations in humans. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 29(1), pp.195-205.