Are You a Defeatist?
According to Google, a defeatist is “a person who expects or is excessively ready to accept failure.” It’s fitting, but I think they need to add “…and is almost guaranteed to fail.”
How many successful people do you know who approach situations believing they’ll fail? Does Tim Tebow expect to fumble every play? Do you think Obama or Romney actually consider losing the election this November? Heck no. Everyone loses, but defeatists set themselves up for failure.
Winners, on the other hand, expect to succeed. They might drop the ball or lose the election, but they never go in with a negative attitude. Winners may lose, but defeatists almost never win.
Failure is a part of life. It shouldn’t, however, be the foundation of your worldview. Would you give up pursuing women just because you got stood up on prom night? Would you stop wearing clothes just because you wore big ass JNCO jeans back in high school? I’d hope not.
Being confident is believing in yourself. It might not be thinking you’re an infallible god, but it’s certainly not about thinking you’re some kind of hopeless loser either.
If you truly believe in yourself and your abilities, you know that you can succeed; and if you’re not ready to succeed, you do everything in your power to make it possible.
Note the phrase “excessively ready to accept failure” in the definition. You should definitely be prepared to accept failure. You shouldn’t however, think you’re such a lost cause that you’re 100% certain you’ll fail. Heck, I might not be able to figure skate, but I’d at least give myself a .0000034% chance I could land some double axle whatever if I really tried.
I’ve met my fair share of defeatists in my day. These weren’t pathetic losers in any sense. Most of the defeatists I’ve met are guys with actual skills and talent. They totally have what it takes to succeed, but see themselves as unable to do so. It’s like Gallagher thinking he doesn’t have what it takes to smash watermelons. Any intelligent person could see the potential in these guys, but they picture themselves as hopeless losers.
I’ve also met a good deal of what I’d call winners. These people were really no more skilled or talented than their defeatist counterparts. What set them apart and made success possible was mainly attitude. Winners don’t give a damn about odds.
If you consider yourself a defeatist and actually want to succeed in life, ask yourself, do you fail 100% of the time? Seriously, you’ve probably at least gotten a high score in skeeball at least once in your lifetime. You know you’re capable of winning. When you’re ready to man up and acknowledge you actually have skills, you’re ready to win.
Go in thinking you’ll win and you’ll actually up your chances of doing so. You might not be able to slam dunk or down 100 hotdogs in one sitting (not yet), but you most certainly will succeed at least once more in your life.
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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.