The Secret to Victory? It’s Not What You Think

What’s the real fuel that can power you to victory?

Talent. Luck. Hard Work. Sure, they’re part of the process. But according to a whole host of world-class athletes, the real secret to success is last thing you’d expect – but it is definitely #STOUT.

The key is what all athletes dread most – DEFEAT.

Competitive DNA loathes losing, yet if used correctly, losing can play the biggest role in the process of crafting your A-game. Whether it’s on a basketball court or in a boardroom, defeat is a powerful force that drives learning and determination.

STOUT Takeaways for Using Defeat As Fuel  

▸ Don’t let defeat swallow you up or knock you down.
Use it to motivate, goal set and fine-tune your craft.
▸ Recognize defeat as a challenge.
How bad do you want it – whatever “it” is? Defeat is your chance to gut up, push through, and discover your inner strength.
▸ Be open to change.
Audit the situation and reflect: what’s going right, and where are things possibly going off track? Be open to a course correction. Defeat is your opportunity to grow.
▸ Be patient.
Self-reflection may reveal that you’re heading in the right direction. In that case, defeat is a signal that the loss is circumstantial, and you need to just keep pushing.

It can be easy to feel alone or hopeless when things go wrong or you experience a setback. But if you’ve ever been in any of the situations below, you’re in some very good company:

  • Didn’t Achieve What You Know You’re Capable of?
    Michael Jordan failed to make his high school varsity baseball team – and went on to be one of the greatest NBA players of all time.
  • Performed Poorly Under the Spotlight?
    Peyton Manning went 3-13 his rookie year in the NFL. His brother, Eli Manning, led the league in interceptions. Both are now Superbowl champions.
  • Had Your Dream Snatched Away?
    Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl Anthony Towns was part of the Kentucky Wildcats team whose bid for a perfect 40-0 season was stopped with a loss after 38 wins.
  • Been Underestimated?
    JJ Watt of the Houston Texans tops the list of active NFL players who had to start as walk-ons.
  • Stuck in a Rut You Can’t Get Out of?
    The Chicago Cubs spent 108 years as the country’s “lovable losers” before finally winning the World Series in 2016.

So how do you get back up and achieve your goals?

How do you push forward to find your victories, as these athletes have? By turning that defeat from a depressant into an accelerant – use it as fuel to re-evaluate, bounce back and push even harder.

As all these athletes prove, it’s not what happens to you, but what you do with it that determines ultimate success or failure. When it comes to handling defeat, the goal is to Win from Within®.

Win from Within® is a registered trademark of Pepsico