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Winning Experiences

Winning Experiences
Written by Aush Chatman

You know something in this world that feels good? Winning.

I’d like for you to do a really quick mental exercise, take 30-60 seconds to think of a time where you won, and more importantly had that elated feeling of being a winner.

I hope you have a story from your life in mind. Mine (for example) is the time in college I threw someone out at home from deep right field on a one hopper to the catcher for the clean tag on the lead runner, which led to a throw from the catcher to third to tag out the batter…BOOM! Double play for the final out of the inning. Which won us the game really (we had one more inning but that shut down their momentum). Still gets me amped just thinking about it!

Where I am going with this is I have been working on cultivating a winning experience for myself. There is nothing wrong with objectively assessing your own performance good or bad. Too often though I think we only pay attention when we assess that we made a mistake or didn’t live up to our own lofty expectations.

What about when you do something well, and more to the point, we DO assess that we did a good job, but we only dwell on it when we don’t get the validation of other people. Especially someone that we think SHOULD be validating our WIN. My question is, can we be content with knowing within ourselves that we did a good job and actually celebrate that WIN?

Sometimes we can let that lack of recognition throw us off our game. We consistently put in effort but it goes unnoticed and could lead us to stop performing. To stop performing would ultimately be an incredible disservice to the world. To stop performing to “Show them what they are missing” is a childish and immature move, a tactic that all of us adults should avoid IMHO.

There are some pitfalls to this so before I move on let’s look at the two I can think of:

I feel the need to speak on Narcissism for a second because this (above) is NOT a path to being a narcissist. I want you to be able to distinguish the two because it is important. What I am advocating here is based on a job well done, a Win, a Victory. This is not based on a need for admiration or validation for people to see you as you see your idealized self.

PROCESS VS OUTCOME

I also feel the need to talk about process and outcome. I definitely think there is more value in living your life being process-oriented over outcome-oriented, that is a personal belief that maybe not everyone fundamentally shares. So let me be clear, giving yourself your own winning experience for a win is absolutely focused on OUTCOME. After all if you lose, it probably wouldn’t be congruent to celebrate with a winning experience moment. That doesn’t mean you have to despair of course, because you can celebrate the learning experience, but that should be different than a WIN.

But as much as I want to live my life less outcome-focused it does not mean outcomes are not important. You play a game to win it, so desired outcomes drive the process and the outcome/results inform revisions to our tactics and strategies for the next time we play. Outcomes are an important part of our feedback loop then.

Ok, so back to the point, I want you to think about what a WIN looks like for you during a workout. I don’t even want to judge what a WIN is for you right now, but consider things like:

1) Giving full effort

2) Showing up consistently

3) Getting through a whole class without being self-conscious about how you look or move

4) Enjoying the workout

I’m sure there are a MILLION other things, I would stay away from WINs in relation to other people , beating Lalo in a workout or something of that nature for example. Could be a great goal honestly if you take it the right way, but I want you to experience WINs on a more routine basis and let’s face it, beating Lalo…it’s gonna be a minute for all of us!

To close; we want winning experiences in many areas of life even outside of the gym. Maybe you have been a great daughter, but your dad has never or will never say that to you, can you give yourself a Winning Experience in that? Maybe you have been an unnoticed loyal friend, or a hardworking employee, can you remember what a winning experience feels like and give that to yourself? That won’t replace the slight of not receiving that outside validation, but I believe that is a sign of a healthy well adjusted person to be able to see value even when someone else doesn’t, and you all HAVE IMMENSE VALUE.

Invictus Blog Winning Experiences Winning Experiences Written by Aush Chatman You know something in this world that feels good? Winning. I’d like for you to do a really quick mental