Learn 3 steps to create the ultimate win, even when things are going wrong.
“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.” – Vince Lombardi
How do you create more wins? In your company and in your life…
Have you ever had a day when everything went wrong? From the moment you got up, things just went downhill.
You got out of bed and stubbed your toe on the way to the bathroom. Then you accidentally knocked your toothbrush in the toilet.
You managed to shower and dress without incident. But then you went to make a cup of coffee and realized that there was none left.
You never go without coffee. But you don’t have time to go to the store because you’re already running late.
We all have those days of covers over your head.
On days like that, you must remember the cause of our results: our thoughts influence our feelings, which influence our actions, which influence our results.
Most of us have had stretches of time like that. When you’re having those difficult times, getting a win can change the whole game.
People think that wins just happen. That you have no control over them. But today we’re going to talk a bit about that mindset. Because it’s not true. You can create wins.
In this post, you’ll learn what happens to your mindset on a bad day. How to turn that around. And I’ll give you my simple, 3-step formula to help you create more wins in your life.
The ability to create more wins is one of the traits of transformational leadership. If you’re looking for resources to help you lean into your purpose as a leader who can inspire and motivate, download my free eBook, 22 Great Qualities of a Transformational Leader.
If you’re ready for more wins, keep reading.
What Happens on a Bad Day?
A seemingly bad day can turn into a negative perspective that continues to create more… well, we’ll call them losses.
Something sours your day and everything starts going wrong.
I was talking to a client who didn’t have just one day like that. She had a whole stretch of days like that. And she was full of anxiety and worry when we started our conversation.
“I have had a day. We’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks. We haven’t had a win to celebrate in a long time. And on top of feeling frustrated about the way things are going, let me tell you what happened to me today…”
She came into the office in the morning, and was greeted by a ringing phone.
It was her number one client. This client accounted for a large portion of her yearly revenue, and she’d spent years cultivating the relationship.
Her client told her that they made a decision to shift their account to another agency.
When she hung up the phone, her best employee knocked on her office door. This was a long-running, highly valuable employee who checked every single box.
She was the kind of team member you’d absolutely hate to see leaving. But that’s just what happened. The employee’s husband was transferred to another city, and they’d made the decision to move.
In less than one hour, she got fired from her number one client and her best employee quit. She was super discouraged.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Have you ever had that kind of day?
Let’s get into some psychology behind this because it’s more than “bad luck”.
What the Reticular Activating System (RAS) has to Do With Bad Days
Have you ever heard of the Reticular Activating System (RAS)? This is a part of your brain that helps you focus on what’s important.
On the Life & Transformation blog, we talked about this briefly in a post about dreaming a new dream.
This is an integral part of visualizing, for your business and your life.
But let’s backtrack, what is RAS, and how do you use it in your daily life?
One thing that I know to be true is that whatever I’m focusing on expands. And RAS gives you the scientific explanation for why this happens.
In primitive times, we’d use this natural ability of our brain to determine the dangers around us. We’d use it to notice things that our brains had categorized as life-threatening, like a tiger in the jungle or a very severe storm.
Let’s look at a few modern examples:
If a tired mom and dad are on an airplane, they can sleep right through the rumbling engine, normal air travel noises, and probably even the voices of other passengers. But if their baby starts crying, they’ll wake right up. Because their RAS teaches them to focus on the sounds of their child.
Another common example is when you buy a new car. Say you buy a new, red Volkswagen. You get in your new car and drive it home. Suddenly you see red Volkswagens everywhere.
There aren’t more red Volkswagens on the road. Those cars have been there all along. But you’ve started noticing them because they’ve become familiar. It’s something you’re focusing on.
So what does RAS have to do with bad days?
There’s a power in optimism for leaders because it creates a mindset and vibration that attracts opportunities and growth. It’s a way to use your focus in a positive way.
Just like you focus on things that alert you to danger or have some personal connection to you, you also focus on feelings. When things seem to start going poorly, when we feel helpless or as if we’ve been blighted by some invisible bad luck, it activates our RAS. This makes us begin to see everywhere that we’re not winning.
That’s exactly what my client above pointed out. That everywhere she turned, it felt like she was losing. She needed to know how to shift the energy to turn things around.
How Do I Create a Quick Win?
There’s a 3-step formula I use to create a quick win in this situation. It will refocus your brain and help you find that victory to boost your confidence and get back on the winning track.
Some of this might sound cliché. You might think, “Ugh, that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a way to move the metrics or bust goals or create some measurable gain!”
Those goals are important. First, you must get into the mindset to achieve them. This is how you get back to that winning, productive mindset.
The 3 steps are:
- Focus on the Ultimate Win You Already Have
- Find the Little Wins
- Celebrate The Wins
1 — Focus on the Ultimate Win You Already Have
You already have the ultimate win. One of my first mentors explained this to me.
“John, remember this, no matter how bad things, no matter what you’re facing in your life, remember this: if you’re breathing, you have the ultimate win. You have another day of life.”
I first heard those words at a point in my life when I was completely bankrupt in every sense of the word: financially, emotionally, spiritually, relationally. I was completely bankrupt.
You may hear that phrase and think it sounds trite. But I can tell you with unequivocal certainty that over the last 30 years, that phrase has become super powerful for me. And it will for you, too, if you take the time to really show up with gratitude and thought for what that means.
I invite you to take a deep breath, and know that this is the ultimate gift. No matter what you’re facing, if you’re breathing, you can turn it around.
You can get more clients. You can get more employees. You can get more wins.
Each day in front of you is the opportunity to start fresh. To breathe deeply, and lean into your purpose.
2 — Find the Little Wins
Once you’re in a mindset of gratitude, you can take that energy to find some other places where you’re winning. It becomes contagious when you look for it. You’ll start focusing on the wins.
What wins have you had in your company or in your life? Even a small one.
An employee who tackled a new skill or project and did outstanding. Some new skill you’ve mastered yourself.
That’s the second step. Find the little wins. They can be anything. And you’ll find that once you identify a few of them, you’ll find more and more.
3 — Celebrate The Wins
The third step is to celebrate those victories. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant. I encourage you to stop and celebrate them. Celebrate the team members who made them possible. And yes, celebrate yourself.
I encourage you to make a practice of this. If you pause to breathe in gratitude for another day, identify small wins, and celebrate them regularly, you’ll keep your mind focused on winning. From there, you’ll create more wins in your personal life and your business.
Learn to Create Wins Like a Transformational Leader
Today, we talked a lot about how your mindset matters in your ability to create small and large victories in your business (and your life).
You heard about my client’s sudden run of supposed “bad luck”, where everything seemed to keep going wrong. And you learned what my own mentor taught me during my lowest time.
You’ve learned three simple steps to give you a quick win. And they are steps you can use over and over again to continue to train yourself to look for the wins on a regular basis.
If you’d like more information on the mindset of great leaders, I’d love to offer you a free gift: 22 Great Qualities of a Transformational Leader. You’ll learn the power moves transformational leaders use to inspire their team and skyrocket their results.
Think Bravely and Act Boldly!