Self Esteem


When examining the whole Winning = Success / Being the best you can be discussion, consider the following:


The struggle for self worth and esteem remain a central and ever present sub-conscious pursuit for the majority of humanity.


Winning in sport has evolved into one of the most popular ways to seek self worth due to its purposeful competition and clear cut win / lose structure.


Winning at anything (even if its hard) is still a lot easier than fulfilling your potential.


Striving for an intangible that will in all likelihood will always remain unknown is far less motivating than achieving a specific, measurable objectives.


To feel good about ourselves, it is usually sufficient just to be better than somebody else. Beyond that, there is little psychological payoff for additional effort.

We are both directly and indirectly taught to believe that by being better than someone else, we become “ok” ourselves. So logically, if we defeat more people our worthiness must grow to even greater proportions. Unfortunately, this little ego ploy doesn’t actually stack up. Our intrinsic “goodness” or worth is not relative at all, having nothing to do with anyone else. However, while we believe it does, we will be driven to keep feeding our ego in order to ensure our “ok” status is maintained and preferably, elevated regularly and indefinitely.

The need to win is both addictive and contagious. However, a rational investigation will reveal that unless an individual changes their core level beliefs about themselves and their place in the world, winning can never be a long-term solution to low self-esteem. Like a drug, its high cannot be sustained. Its fix will never be enough.

Few athletes or coaches have ever seriously considered this alternative to using winning as the prime motivator and priority in sport because:

  1. it is simply too hard
  2. nothing else appears to motivate as effectively and
  3. neither sport nor our egos provide a tangible payoff for anything beyond winning.

The truth is:

  1. the alternative will always be hard. That’s just the way it is when one sets about changing an entrenched paradigm
  2. the alternative will produce more winning along with its numerous additional rewards, so its motivating capacity is potentially greater than winning alone
  3. Again, our alternative should deliver victories in equal or increased amounts compared to current outcome levels. Simultaneously, it will reduce the urge for ego gratification by causing self worth and esteem to spontaneously rise.

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