Mindstate Motivation Blog

Chicken or the Egg?

Our individual success in large measure is driven by our level of self-esteem and self-confidence. Each of those characteristics is built on continual positive reinforcement or the experience of success. Is that one of those chicken or the egg things? In order to achieve success, we have to have good self-esteem and self-confidence but, conversely, those characteristics come from experiencing success.

Well, who cares! Just go after whatever it is you want. Reinforce the positives and don’t dwell on the negatives as you go.

Please pardon the reference to a sporting event as an example but it clearly affirms what I just wrote. The example is a recent football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills. The Dallas quarterback, Tony Romo, threw several interceptions and also fumbled the ball. It looked like the Cowboys were going to lose the game because basic rule #1 in winning football games is don’t turn the ball over to the opposing team through mistakes like throwing interceptions or fumbling the ball. Final result of the game…Dallas came back to win!

There may be several reasons why that happened but I contend the key reason is captured in the thoughts I expressed in the second paragraph of this article. Romo and the Cowboys could have wallowed in the misery of the incessant negatives happening throughout the game and they would have surely lost. But…they wanted to win so they focused on the positives they had going for them. Things like: Their quarterback who, while still learning his craft, has shown he’s a fighter and has come back from deep adversity in the past; the record of the Cowboys over the years shows great experience at having a winning attitude; in several key positions, they have some of the best talent in the league…and, I could go on and on about the positives on which they could and did focus. Dwelling on those positives brought them victory not the other way around!

Another example of what I’m talking about, Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had many negative occurrences during her period in office. One of the most negative was Argentina deciding it wanted to claim the Falkland Islands as their own even though the islands were under British rule. The negatives in the situation for Thatcher were many. First and foremost was the loss of national pride should the Falklands be turned over to Argentina. Another negative was the discussions between the two countries became acrimonious and the sabers began to rattle. To top it off, the Falkland Islands, although British territory, are thousands of miles from Britain. That being said, the logistics of conducting a war at such a distance with limited military assets looked insurmountable. Final result…a war between the UK and Argentina did occur and the Argentinian forces were cast off of the islands and to this day the Falklands remain under British rule.

Here again, there are many reasons why the Falklands remain under British protection. However, the main reason is Margaret Thatcher and her staff focused on the positives not the negatives. They dedicated themselves to doing the things necessary to overcome the negatives not dwell on the negatives.

Does success come before self-confidence or is it the reverse? Chicken or the egg? Don’t dwell on the question! Just “intelligently do” and good things will happen.

I help people and organizations Profit Through Performance. As a speaker, trainer and business consultant/coach, my areas of expertise to help drive improved performance are Success Principles; Leadership, Presentation, Sales/Communication Skills; and Strategic Planning/Problem Resolution.

Copyright (c) 2007 Gary Greenfield, Performance Alliance, L.C. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be used without prior written permission.

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