When You Are on Top, Attack Yourself

Maybe you’ve crossed the finish line first, raised your hands in the air, pumped your fists, and celebrated. Maybe you’ve just come off of a big year, quarter, or month. You’ve been given accolades, a trophy, a President’s Club trip, the admiration of your peers, or a huge commission check.

You may wonder, “How much better can I get?”

While you are cashing that big commission check, relaxing on the beach, or walking onstage at your national sales meeting to pick up your trophy, remember that just because you are a winner today does not guarantee that you will be a winner tomorrow.

When you have worked this hard, singularly focused on one thing, it is natural to believe that you have reached an apex, a peak, or a mountaintop. Now that you are sitting at the top on that mountain, you feel you can rest, take in the view, and be content. You can breathe a sigh of relief and allow yourself to believe, for the first time in a long time, that it is all downhill from here.

Take a moment, celebrate, congratulate yourself, bask in the spotlight, but do not slip into the false comfort of contentment or the delusion that it is all downhill from here.

Here is my advice: When you’re in second place, attack the leader. When you’re in first place, attack yourself.

There is no time for complacency. You cannot afford the luxury of comparing yourself to those behind you. Achieving by dumbing down your expectations is just plain stupid.

Create new goals for yourself and new challenges. Raise the bar so that you keep reaching higher. There is no time to rest—the 30-Day Rule will get you.

It is easy to look back at poor performance or a failure with 20/20 vision and find all of the areas where improvement can be made. But it takes loads of self-discipline and the heart of a winner to break down a brilliant performance and then take action to make small adjustments and improvements that keep you ahead of the pack.

The great NFL quarterback Steve Young said that “the principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than the day before.”

This is what all elite athletes and elite sales professionals do. Real winners constantly attack themselves. They pick apart each performance and seek ways to improve. They view each victory as a small step toward new goals. It is this unwavering focus on constant improvement that separates the good from the great and makes today’s winners tomorrow’s champions.


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