Dealing with Negativity

I am certain that there are many interpretations to Mark Twain’s quote, “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” I believe one of the challenges that we all face is letting past failures get in the way of future attempts. I think we can learn a lot about overcoming that challenge from sports teams.

By their very nature, sports teams have to overcome a loss quickly. Every week brings a different opponent, a different set of challenges. And win or lose, they have to be ready for next week’s game. A good coach, like an effective leader, knows how important that underlying resilience and confidence is to success. A team’s ability to win is wrapped up not just in their skills, but in what they believe about themselves. Do they believe they are winners, on a winning team, in a winning company, in a winning community?

Our region is destined to lose if we don’t frame our losses and failures as opportunities to try again –and harder—next time. If our defeats become the final word, we’ll continue to lose and, ultimately, take ourselves out of the game permanently. As a region, we cannot surrender to the sidelines. Not only do we compromise our present and future productivity, but that negative energy spreads, depleting the collective oxygen supply and stifling our ability to rebound for the next period.

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