Losers Say, “I Can’t.” Winners Say, “I Will!”


I saw a graphic the other day that was a chart comparing the differences between winners and losers. No, it wasn’t sports-related, it was comparing the mindsets of people who view themselves as successes in life against those who see themselves as failures.

Here are a few of the comparisons I remember seeing:

  • Winners say, “It’s difficult but possible.” Losers say, “It might be possible, but it’s too difficult.”
  • Winners see possibilities. Losers only see problems.
  • Winners make things happen. Losers let things happen.
  • Winners seek solutions. Losers make excuses.
  • Winners say, “I was wrong.” Losers say, “It wasn’t my fault.”
  • Winners say, “Let me do it for you.” Losers say, “It’s not my job.”

I was struck most by what I think is going on in the minds of so-called winners and losers. In fact, I think I can give you a pretty clear idea because I’ve acted out both roles at various times in my life.

The Real Difference Between Winners and Losers

Losers aren’t willing to try. They’re afraid of not succeeding, so they don’t take the chance. Losers live in fear of failure, so they hold themselves back.

Losers have an “I can’t” attitude.

Winners are winners because they try. They don’t always succeed, but they are willing to take a shot and miss. Winners don’t let the fear of potential failure hold them back.

Winners have an “I will” attitude.

Sometimes people with a winning attitude are thought of as stuck-up or prideful, but this is usually the jealousy of the loser exposing itself. Being a winner isn’t about cocky confidence, and it’s not even truly about winning more than losing.

In fact, if you closely examine the lives of the people you think of as winners, I suspect you’ll find many more failures than successes. The difference is they didn’t let their failures stop them or hold them back. Like Edison on his quest to create the light bulb, winners learn crucial lessons from their failures and use them as a platform on which to build future successes.

I’m not a huge sports fan, but I’ve always admired Michael Jordan for his work ethic. Look at what he had to say about the times he failed, and how he used them to become an overwhelming success.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
 I’ve lost almost 300 games.
 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning
 shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and
 over again in my life.
 And that is why I succeed.”

 ~Michael Jordan

A winner’s attitude is one that says “I will.”

  • “I will do my best.”
  • “I will try even if I’m not sure I’ll succeed.”
  • “I will learn how to do something I’ve never done before.”
  • “I will help others however I’m able.”
  • “I will continue to learn and grow.”
  • “I will try again after I fail, and I won’t give up.”
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something.
 But I can’t accept not trying.”

 ~Michael Jordan

Originally published at The Incremental Life.

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