How Your Body Rewards You for Success, 
and Punishes You for Failure. 

Winning leads to winning and losing leads to losing.

This statement seems so obvious that most people overlook the power of a few simple words to state an evident truth. If you want to win more, then win more and lose less. If you enjoy losing, then lose more which will lead to losing more.

The reason for this simple and yet profound logic is because of our hormones. Our bodies punish us for losing and reward us when we win. These hormones plus the conclusions we draw from the experience determine our attitude towards the next engagement.

When our attitude is confident and we are sure of ourselves, the chances of overcoming minor setbacks and succeeding long term are much greater. On the other hand, when we are less confident, unsure and doubtful, the probability of being stopped by minor setbacks is higher, and the likelihood of failure almost assured!

After a loss, we feel depressed, less aggressive, lower mood level and are more skeptical towards our chances of succeeding in the future.

After a win we feel high, are more aggressive, have a higher mood level are more optimistic towards the future and are encouraged about our chances of winning again in the future.

It doesn’t seem to matter if the win/loss scenario is small or large. Really? The best strategy is to take on small challenges were the stakes are low, and the risk of failure is little, apply yourself and win! Once you get used to winning, take on larger and larger challenges with confidence and win at them too! Your body will reward you with a rush of feel good hormones.

If you take on too large a challenge and fail, you are more and more likely to fail with each subsequent loss.

Small wins lead to BIG WINS. Small
losses lead to BIG LOSSES.

If you suffer too many losses in a row, even the very best, most resilient person will start to doubt themselves and make up things that may not be true, causing your entire operating paradigm to crash!

Over time the feeling of losing sets in and hardens into an attitude or set of attitudes that make long-term success tough. These people tend to be more negative in disposition and find it difficult to see the positive or bright side in anything.

Over the past thirty years, I have observed many good people fail, and even more, bad people succeed.

I concluded that being good or bad seems to have little bearing on short-term success. Having said that, I have seen many people succeed in the area they were obsessed with only to fail in the fields of life that matter most.

Does that mean we have a free license to do what we want and to be as bad as we want to be? No! There are many benefits of choosing right action over wrong action.

Back in the late 2000’s we were working with a handful of business leaders and entrepreneurs who had been struggling to gain traction for their newly launched companies and projects. We got together in a group and debriefed what was going on. Often there are two reasons why things are not working:

    1.    The reason we tell ourselves.

    2.    The real reason.

Due to personal biases and self-protecting mechanisms, most people prefer to protect their fragile ego’s and to lie to themselves.

After what seemed like forever, we identified a list of 33 Losing Attitudes and their corresponding Winning Attitudes.

The best way to use this list is to determine a Losing Attitude you have, and consciously over time focus on shifting this attitude to the Winning Attitude. Often, this involves flashbacks to the original incident or incidents where we failed, which led to the chain of events that resulted in the losing attitude.

Once you have mastered one attitude, move on to the next one. You will be amazed at how your results will transform in no time!

Here is the list of 33 Attitudes: 

1 Resentment and jealousy towards successful people > Honor and respect towards successful people
2 Lone Ranger attitude (to prove oneself) > Collaborate and cooperate with others
3 Thinking and playing small > Thinking and playing big
4 Not listening to feedback > Listening to all feedback
5 Resistant to other peoples ideas > Open and receptive to other peoples’ ideas
6 Resistant and slow to change > Enthusiastic and fast to change
7 Feigning agreement > Agreeing or not agreeing openly
8 Not speaking up > Speaking up at the first available opportunity
9 Misplaced feelings/emotions > Accurate perception of and assigning the right feeling/emotion to the right area
10 Procrastination > Taking action as soon as possible
11 Blaming others for results > Ownership of results without blame, justification or denial
12 Making excuses > Ownership without excuses
13 Low ethics > High ethical standards
14 Agreeing to rules and breaking them > Making agreements and keeping them
15 Unreliable (low or negative trust) > Establishing trust and reliability
16 No plan or not following the plan > Planning and following through with the plan
17 Competition with teammates > Cooperation with teammates
18 Not asking for help when needed > Asking for and accepting help as needed
19 Cheap and stingy > Focus on value and generosity
20 Fear of mistakes > Accepting that mistakes do happen
21 Fear of success > Embracing success
22 Fear of failure > Embracing and learning from failure
23 Playing not to lose > Playing to win
24 Gambling and taking unnecessary risks > Taking calculated risks
25 Hoping things will work out > Believing things will work out and taking positive action
26 Listening to other peoples’ opinions about what cannot be done > Keeping ones own counsel and following through on ones own beliefs
27 Fear of commitment > Making commitments and following through on them
28 Waiting for other people to make the first move > Taking the first step to initiate and follow up
29 Delegating to others and relying on them to produce results > Empowering others and following up and following through
30 Taking the first no for an answer > Continuing to ask until someone says yes
31 Blaming our parents for not doing it right > Forgiving our parents and choosing differently
32 Sacrifice one area of life for another > Seeing success holistically – including all areas of life
33 Focus on money or relationships > Focus on money and relationships