What Is a Winning Attitude?
Although winners may be born with talent, attitude is something they attain through training.
"Attitude isn't something you're born with, Attitude is a decision."
There are two components to a winning attitude: a desire to win, which is externally driven, and a desire to perform your best, an internally driven wish.
GMAT candidates obviously have a desire to win, but once the competition starts, the true Winners switch their focus.
Rather than worrying about winning, they worry about performing their best. After all, they can't control the outcome of the test or how well their competitors perform, but they can strive to reach performance-related goals within their control.
Measuring Success Your Own Way
Let us take an example from sports, an area which is at least as competitive as the GMAT, if not more.
Gold medallist speed skater Bonnie Blair raced not against her competition but against the clock. If she beat the clock, she believed she had a better chance to beat the competition. "When you become your own yardstick," she says, "you experience success, no matter if you win or lose."
That's the attitude Joanna Zeiger, a 30-year-old triathlete from Maryland, is taking to the Olympics. She's not putting any pressure on herself to win, only to do her best and have fun while doing it.
"If the race isn't fun and if I don't feel good about it, then the outcome doesn't matter because I haven't enjoyed the experience," says Zeiger. "When I race, I want to enjoy the experience, and when that happens, I'll have a better shot at doing my best."
Obstacles That Stop You From Being a Winner
No matter what your level of competition, it's not easy to adopt a winning attitude.
Perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks is focusing on the outcome rather than the activity.
"You need to focus on getting better, not being the best,"
When you lock into the score or the time, then the whole experience becomes miserable.
Another obstacle is an obsession with comparing yourself to others. Maybe you get upset because you're not as good as someone else, when in fact, that someone else has different genetics, background, experience and training.
Instead, you need to adopt internal ways to measure your performance, rather than just comparing yourself against other people.
e.g. Instead of comparing your performance in the Verbal section, to the performance of someone who is a professional writer, and feeling miserable about it, you should evaluate your own performance week to week.
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