Most first time winners are naïve.
They are so happy! They think their lives have changed forever. They believe that they have broken through, and that winning is going to become a way of life. Of course, that’s not true. The truth is that winning is a constant fight, especially for those who are new to it. They are headed into some troubled waters and most don’t see it coming.
How many winners repeat? Not many. Because most fall victim to a slump.
What goes up will come down. Think Superbowl champs who crash and burn in the next season, the Oscar winner whose next film is a flop, the guy who gets a big promotion and then flounders in his new position. There is a massive gravitational pull on winners, drawing them back into mediocre performance or results. Which is why Michael Jordan’s six championships with the Chicago Bulls were so amazing. And why Tiger Woods domination of professional golf captured the imagination of people who weren’t even golf fans.
The slump happens for a lot of reasons. You assume you know how things work and that they will keep working just as well or even better. You forget the intensity that you put into your efforts to win the first time. You imagine and expect that all you have to do is the same things and you will continue to grow even higher. You don’t plan for the unforeseen and inevitable new obstacles that always come up.
Those who win again and again are the ones who find a way to avoid or get out of the slump that is coming. Because slumps happen to the best of us—to all of us. The most successful people look beyond their most recent win and put in the focus, drive, and effort required to win repeatedly.
- If you get a promotion
If you set a record
If you win a contest
If you have a great month
What is probably heading your way is a great big, unexpected slump.
So act accordingly.
1. Do everything in your power to avoid a slump.
Do everything in your power to keep it from happening, otherwise it will surely come. Maintain your intensity. Look for ways to grow and improve. Practice good goal setting. A slump may happen anyway in spite of your best efforts but if it does you will be able to turn things around a whole lot quicker if you’ve put in the focus and effort to stay on track. Your extra efforts before the slump will serve to tremendously limit how deep the fall-off would have otherwise been.
2. Get out of any slump as fast as possible.
If you enter a slump—and you’ll know when you do—take it as a sign that immediate action is necessary. Think about the actions you took in the past to win and reapply them, but with more energy, more consistency, and more drive.
So congratulations on your win! But if once is not enough for you and you want to keep on doing great things, stay sharp and steer yourself away from or out of the slump that is certainly headed your way!