Who do you picture when you think of a winner?
An Olympic gold medalist? An everyday hero? Maybe yourself?
If you want to win in life, you need to develop a winning mentality.
In this article, you’ll learn 19 strategies to help you do just that.
What Do Winners Have in Common?
The thing that winners have in common is their mindset.
Winners don’t give up. They don’t take setbacks personally or blame others for their failures.
Winners are consistent. They keep showing up day after day, putting one foot in front of the other as they work toward their goals — no matter what life throws at them.
What Is a Winning Spirit?
A winning spirit is an intangible quality.
It is characterized by self-confidence and a positive, optimistic perspective on life.
Someone with a winning spirit also knows how to celebrate others’ success, as well as how to lose gracefully.
What Are the Qualities of a Winner?
Some of the characteristics that winners share include:
- A positive attitude
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Emotional intelligence
- Decision-making abilities
- A vision for the future
How Do You Get a Winning Mentality?
The good news is that anyone can develop the qualities of a winner.
Here are 19 strategies for developing a winning mentality.
1. Embrace Failure
People with a winning mentality know that failure is an inevitable step on the path to success.
We learn from our mistakes. Therefore, the person who never fails never learns what it takes to succeed.
Having a winning mentality means embracing failure and learning from it.
2. Celebrate the Small Wins
It’s easy to get so focused on the big goals that you forget to celebrate the milestones along the way.
Celebrate every achievement, no matter how small.
It’s important to stay focused on your goals to keep you motivated through your challenges.
But it’s equally important to look back and take stock of how far you have already come.
3. Cultivate Gratitude
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to live charmed lives?
They’re always happy, they have loads of friends, and they always land on their feet.
Maybe you’ve wondered how they do it.
Their secret is that they appreciate what they already have and, thanks to the law of attraction, they attract more good things into their lives.
Focusing on what you lack attracts more lack. Whereas focusing on gratitude attracts more things for which to be grateful.
Try writing three to five things you’re grateful for every day — either first thing in the morning or last thing at night — and see what difference it makes.
4. Set Yourself Up for Success
Winners don’t procrastinate. Yet procrastination is something many of us struggle with.
An easy hack for overcoming procrastination is to set yourself a daily routine and schedule and stick to them.
Aim to wake up, eat, exercise, and work at the same times each day. Prepare your meals ahead of time, so you don’t waste time thinking about what to eat.
This will reduce decision fatigue and leave you with more mental energy to focus on your goals.
5. Surround Yourself With Winners
They say we are the sum of the five people we interact with most. That means if you want to be a winner, you need to surround yourself with winners.
What a winner looks like to you will be different from how it looks to others.
The important thing is to find people who have achieved something similar to what you want to achieve or model behaviors that you wish to implement more in your own life.
6. Make Self-Care a Priority
A winning mentality is knowing that you are your own biggest asset.
Burnout is worn as a badge of honor in our hyper-productive society, but it’s actually counterproductive.
Working yourself into the ground isn’t going to make you a winner. On the contrary, it will hold you back from achieving your goals.
That’s why winners know they need to prioritize self-care.
Yoga, meditation, and exercise keep your mind and body in good condition and resilient to challenges.
Reduce sources of stress in your life and find ways to let off steam by having fun.
7. Eat Healthily
Food affects your mood. 95% of your serotonin — a mood-regulating hormone — is produced in the gut. Yet, the majority of people have unhealthy guts.
Limit intake of refined carbs such as white pasta, bread, rice, and sugar. Avoid fried foods. Reduce caffeine intake.
Increase intake of gut-healing foods, including oats, organic bone broth, chia seeds, almonds, olive oil, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir.
Focus on eating a wide range of vegetables and fruits, including plenty of green leafy vegetables.
If you eat meat and other animal products such as butter and eggs, look for organic, locally sourced options.
Journaling is so effective because it’s like free therapy. It’s a safe space where you can explore and work through your thoughts and emotions.
Use journaling to release negative emotions and turn negative beliefs into positive ones.
Write out pages of affirmations to reprogram your brain and train yourself to have a more positive outlook.
9. Believe in Yourself
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Believing in yourself is key to succeeding.
All winners believe in their ability to achieve their goals, and they don’t let any setbacks along the way weaken that belief.
Self-confidence has a huge influence on the outcome. It makes the difference between those who succeed and those who fail.
10. Prepare for the Worst but Expect the Best
This is a way of managing your expectations. If you always expect the best possible outcome, you may be disappointed.
It’s best to remain open to the possibility that your efforts may fail.
At the same time, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to the best of your abilities.
If you prepare for the worst but work for the best possible result, you avoid disappointment in the event of failure.
It will also make success taste even sweeter.
11. Be a Lifelong Learner
Winners know that constantly growing and evolving is one of the best ways to develop a winning mentality.
People who remain stuck in their ways are likely to stay the same and never grow.
They will soon find themselves falling behind those who choose to be a lifelong student.
12. Control Your Emotions
Not letting your emotions control you is essential to developing a winning mentality.
It’s natural to have emotions, and it’s healthy to allow yourself to acknowledge and express them.
However, you must not let your emotions control your actions. Instead, take time to process negative emotions rather than reacting.
This will help you move forward with peace and clarity.
13. Make a Commitment
It might sound obvious, but winners don’t give up on their goals.
They keep going through every failure and setback until they achieve them.
The secret behind this winning mentality is commitment.
To win in life, you must commit — to your goals and yourself.
That commitment is what will get you through the hard times.
14. Be Yourself
Winners stay true to themselves and don’t try to copy or be anyone else.
It takes originality to win — so embrace your unique magic unapologetically.
15. Take Responsibility
Your life is the outcome of your decisions and actions.
No one is responsible for you other than yourself.
Whether your life is great, or bad, or somewhere in between — own it.
Blaming others is not a winning mentality.
16. Set Goals
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up going nowhere.
Winners know how to set big, scary goals.
But they also set smaller milestones to keep them motivated by celebrating the wins along the way.
17. Make a Plan and Stick to It
Setting goals is important, but alone, it’s not enough.
Once you know what your objectives are, you need a plan that will get you there.
Work backward from your goal to figure out the exact steps you need to take to achieve it. Then, set yourself a realistic time frame for each step.
The next step is simple but surprisingly difficult — stick to the plan you set yourself.
Making a plan and sticking to it requires discipline, commitment, and motivation.
18. Find an Accountability Buddy
Going it alone is not easy.
Being accountable to another person is often an effective way of developing a winning mindset.
It can be a friend, relative, or even a coach. The important thing is that they commit to supporting you in achieving your goals.
19. Monitor Your Progress
Sometimes we can get so focused on our goals that we forget how far we’ve come.
Monitoring your progress against the goals you set for yourself reminds you how much you have already achieved.
This keeps you motivated to keep working toward your goals.
A Side Note for the Overachievers
While a winning mindset will give you a positive outlook on life and make you more resilient to external shocks, you don’t have to win at everything to be a winner in life.
In fact, overachieving is often a sign of emotional dysfunction that often ends in burnout.
Think of all the megastars who have ended up destroyed by their own success.
Living an average life has its challenges, but ultimately, it’s usually a more balanced and healthy option.
Watch this video by the School of Life to learn more about why you don’t need to be exceptional.
Remember — to win at life is to be happy and fulfilled. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone. And your wins don’t have to come at the expense of others.
Quite the opposite. Having a winning mentality means lifting others with us as you rise.
Use these 19 strategies to develop a winning mentality and improve your life as well as the lives of those around you.