6 Rare Traits Of People With A Winner's Mindset Who Actually Succeed In Life

Just a few small traits separate champions from everyone else.

Last updated on May 29, 2024

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You want to be a champion. Everyone knows it, especially you. But what does a champion mentality look like?

Luckily, there are certain signs to look for that determine if you have this mentality. And if you don't recognize any of these traits in yourself, maybe it's time you develop them.

Here are 6 rare signs you have a champion mentality and succeed in life

1. You do your best work when you feel least like it

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The average person doesn't do what they're supposed to if they don't feel like it. A winner pushes through and shows up even when they don't feel like it.

But a champion? They are the ones who do their best work when they least feel like it.

If you turn around "not feeling like it" days into your best days of effort, it's a sign that you have a champion mentality. It means you are resilient and don't let negative feelings prevent you from achieving your accomplishments.

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2. You realize that 'now' is all you have

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The old adage that makes you cringe — "Tomorrow never comes" — is so accurate, as you may be starting to realize that "now" is all you have. And while almost everyone has heard of this adage or mindset, only a rare few have the self-control to practice its implications.

For example, perhaps one of your friends wants you to go to the movies with them, but you have plans to work on your latest writing or project that you decided you would finish that day.

When they ask, "Well, is there a deadline? If not, you can work on it tomorrow," you reply, "No deadline, but I still have to do this today" because you are sticking to your guns and not putting off your work for another day.

Though your friend may be confused, it's a reminder that it's incredibly normal for people to put off their "today" work to tomorrow. And they don't feel like it's a big deal, even if it's a big deal for you.

So, realizing that "now" is all you have is a big sign of a champion mentality.


3. You have a mindset of 'one more'

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A "one more" mindset means doing something outside of your comfort zone, and spending more time and effort to see results.

A good example would be going to the gym, completing sets, and then doing "one more." Though in your head you may be telling yourself that you'd already completed your workout, pushing yourself further is valuable in some contexts.

However, that's only the case in the right situation. If you and your friend just finished eating an extra-large pizza and one friend says, "One more?" that's a different situation.

For people with a champion mentality, they push themselves to go the extra mile.

RELATED: 9 Basic Habits That Will Make You Respect Yourself


4. You don't 'downgrade' guilt over broken promises

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Somewhere along the line, self-help has taken a deadly turn. It's the "Go easy on yourself" turn, a philosophy that claims that if you don't do something you told yourself you would, you shouldn't beat yourself up over it and go easy on yourself instead.

But that's not self-help. That philosophy teaches you to be soft and tells you to be okay with the fact that you don't respect your own word.

Champions don't believe in this philosophy. If they promised themselves they'd do something and they don't do it, they let themselves feel guilty. They don't downgrade their guilt. They don't go easy on themselves. Instead, they make sure they feel the pain and guilt so they keep their word the next time.

That's not to say you should be completely against going easy on yourself; rather, it's a caveat. On an overall basis, go hard on yourself. Do hard things. Push yourself. Only in very rare cases, as a way to protect your mental health, should you go easy on yourself.

5. You occasionally sacrifice 8 hours of sleep

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Everyone is a big fan of sleep, and most people try to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. But that number may vary — perhaps one night you're sleeping for 9 hours, or another night you get even more.

But among those with a champion mentality, from time to time, they end up sacrificing their sleep to keep their promises.

For instance, pro basketball player Kobe Bryant probably got 8 or more hours of sleep every night. However, in one of his interviews, Bryant talked about how he would go out late at night with his teammates to bond with them. But the next day, he was up at 6 a.m. to wake everybody up for practice.

Or take David Goggins' example. One time, he finished his day at 2 a.m. and was supposed to be in the studio to record his audiobook the next day at 9 a.m. However, Goggins runs a few miles every morning, so that day, he woke up at 6 a.m., ran his miles, and then went to the studio.

This isn't to say you should sacrifice sleep all the time or that it's a good habit to have. It's not. Chronically sleeping less than 8 hours leads the body to self-destruct.

However, in your journey there will be some days when you're just not able to find the time to do what you told yourself you would. On those days, when it's time to go to bed, you can either tell yourself that 8+ hours of sleep is important and fall asleep. Or, you can consider that day a rare exception where you sacrifice your sleep and do your work.

RELATED: 5 Tiny Signs You Have Impressively Powerful Discipline


6. You take full responsibility when things go wrong

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Most people have found themselves in a position where they try to reach out to pitch an idea for a project. After scouring the internet for a way to contact this person, and maybe even sending several emails, you are finally able to schedule a call.

But while you are super excited and well-prepared for the pitch, when you begin talking about your idea, the person seems to have lost interest after a while, telling you all the problems with your idea, and perhaps even asking you to reach out again, if and when you have something better.

You will no doubt feel dejected and will probably complain to your friends or family, saying something like, "That made me angry. I wish they would have paid a bit more attention or given me the benefit of the doubt and actually realized the potential of my idea."

Your wise friend may respond with something like, "Maybe it was their fault. But putting the blame on them isn't going to get you better. The next time you pitch them or someone else, assume full responsibility. Believe that it's completely on you to actually make them buy what you're selling."

Your friend's point of view blows your mind, creating an epiphany of sorts for you.

You see, there are certain things outside of your control in life, and how other people act and behave is definitely not in your control. So what's the use of complaining about it?

The only person whose actions and competency you can control is you. So you might as well believe that it's always on you and focus on what you can do to tilt the favor in your direction.

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Akshad Singi, M.D. is a writer whose work has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, Medium, and more.