We live in a society that is obsessed with winning. If you’re like me, you’d rather be on the winning side of things than the losing side. Winning is fun.
In order to win most any competition, you must beat your opponent. That much is obvious. Yet there’s another opponent to be mindful of. This one doesn’t stand across the line of scrimmage or sit on the other bench. This is the opponent you see when you look in the mirror.
The first rule of winning: Don’t Beat Yourself.*
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the media attention swirling around Tim Tebow. Moving into the role as starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Tebow has a current record of 6-1. Most of the comments about Tebow center around four words: He is a winner.
The football analysts are struggling to identify why this is happening. They argue against his mechanics and his methods. Yet, he is finding a way to win.
The best analysis I’ve heard to explain the Tebow phenomenon: He doesn’t beat himself.
He doesn’t turn the ball over. He’s consistent. He is mentally tough. He is focused.
He plays to win. This is different than playing not to lose. It’s about not doing the things that often lead to a loss.
Tebow is continuing to do what he did while playing at Florida – his best ability may be his sense of responsibility. He works hard, steps forward and says, “You can count on me.” Then he delivers.
You and I can learn to not beat ourselves when we take responsibility for ourselves. Responsibility is a promise to take ownership and leadership in one’s effort to do what’s best, whether we win or lose. Responsibility puts the weight of the outcome on one’s shoulders. If you mess up and choose not to take responsibility, anything else that comes out of your mouth will only sound like an excuse.
Taking responsibility is necessary if you’re going to strive for excellence instead of excuses. Taking responsibility is what separates leaders from the rest of the pack.
*Famous football adage