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It was Henry Ford who said "If you think you can or think you can't, you're right." Behavioral science has revealed much of our success is determined by how we think (Baker, Ct, & Deakin, 2005). Here are the differences between how winners and losers think. The choice is yours.

How Winners Think

  • "Winning is a consequence of my ability"
  • Believe they can succeed
  • Failure blamed on lack of effort
  • To turn defeat into victory: try harder
  • Failure increases motivation
  • Plan path to succeed, and have alternatives
  • Take measured risks
  • Direct energies to challenges rather than worry
  • Seek solutions, not excuses

How Losers Think

  • Attribute failure to lack of ability and/or resources
  • Attribute success to luck or weak opponents
  • Focus on problem causes
  • Believe powerless to change because no amount of effort will overcome incompetence
  • Strategies; fakes injuries, offers token efforts, rejects success, focuses on doubt and inevitable failure, "how soon will this be over?"

Baker, J., Ct, J., & Deakin, J. (2005). Cognitive characteristics of expert, middle of the pack, and back of the pack ultra-endurance triathletes, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, vol. 6, pp. 551-558.


Larry Hart

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