Winning Strategies

“There are two ways to become a champion. The slow way is to learn from your
mistakes. A much faster way is to learn from other people’s mistakes as well
as from your own. ”
Think Better, WIN MORE!

With the new year just ahead, I decided to pull out my copy go-to motivational action guide, Think Better, WIN MORE!How Sports Psychology Can Make You a CHAMPION by my friends and mentors, Dr. Rob Gilbert and Coach Mike Tully. Weighing in at 100 pages, this energizing primer is brimming with practical advice, not just for athletes, but for anyone who aspires to excellence in their chosen field. Its focus on attitude, effort, practice, goal-setting, and mental toughness is tailor-made for us as writers.
While it’s packed with skill-building strategies, one chapter caught my attention: “The Five Biggest Mental Mistakes and How You can Overcome Them.” Here they are in a nutshell:

Mistake #1: Holding Back — “Holding back is the biggest mistake you can make in sports or in life. Think of all the things you could have accomplished if you had been able to put aside your doubts and just go for it!” Going for it means getting that crazy story idea down on paper instead of letting it drift away — or going all out in a query letter to attract the agent you’d really love to work with.

Mistake #2: Giving Yourself Too Little Credit and Mistake #3: Giving Your Opponent Too Much Credit — So often we “play small” and give ourselves a hard time, bemoaning our lack of skill or experience, instead of focusing on building them, and applauding ourselves when we really fight through a tough obstacle. We become our own “opponents,” instead of our own advocates. Not a winning strategy!

Mistake #4: “Trying” — “Trying is lying. As Yoda said to Luke in ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ You can’t try to get to practice on time. You can’t try to do your homework tonight. You can’t try to finish this book. In all cases, you either do or you don’t. When a friend says they’ll try to give you a ride to the airport, it’s time to call a cab. Don’t be a tryer, be a doer!”

Mistake #5: Doing What’s Expected — “The real secret of success is simple: Do more than expected…Excellence isn’t expected effort. Excellence is extra effort.”

Mistake #6: K-A=O (Knowledge Minus Action Equals Zero): To avoid mistake #5 by doing more than expected, Coach Tully and Rob Gilbert threw in another major mental mistake: not acting on what you’ve learned. As they put it, …”if you know what to do, but don’t do what you know, it’s worthless.”

Knowing what mistakes to avoid can be a huge confidence booster. If you’re ready to jump start your upcoming year with peak-performance strategies, then check out Think Better, WIN MORE! on Amazon. For more inspiration, call Rob Gilbert’s Success Hotline (973.743.4690) and visit Coach Tully’s blog ( And write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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