The Mindset of a Winner: How to Think Like a Champion

What does it take to develop the mindset of a winner? Let’s examine key factors that contribute to a winning mentality, and ways to think like a champion. 

The Mindset of a Winner: How to Think Like a Champion

The mindset of a winner is one of the most fascinating mental frameworks to study. 


We often wonder: What keeps certain people motivated and laser-focus towards their dreams? Why do some people succeed where most others would fail? 


These are intriguing questions, particularly for people who are on the path to achieving their own goals and hope to follow in the footsteps of champions. 


In this article, we'll uncover the answers to those questions by investigating the key characteristics behind a winner’s mindset, and reflecting on important reminders that we can all benefit from.  


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.


What Makes a Winner a Winner? 


Since we'll be speaking a lot about them, it makes sense to first define what a "winner" even is.


Individuals who could be considered "winners" come from many different walks of life. They vary in age, industry, and background, and yet they all have one key trait in common: their mindset


Because at the end of the day, a winner is simply someone who makes things happen - someone who applies high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution to the achievement of a desired target.


But there’s more.


People who can truly be called winners don’t just get lucky  - they don’t just succeed one time. Rather, because of their mental framework, winning becomes a habit, a pattern, a reputation.


Are you a winner?


If you don't think are yet, don't get discouraged. 


As famous author Zig Ziglar said: "Attitude is more important than aptitude."


Winners are not born - they're made. This means that as soon as you adopt the right mindset, you can start winning too. 


How to Develop the Mindset of a Winner

Here are six important steps to developing the mindset of a winner:

1. Know What You Want 


Self-awareness and a deep understanding of what you want in life are so important. 


After all, how can you be a winner when you don’t know what you’re trying to win? 


In an interview, Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, described certain aspects of his mindset that helped him become so successful.


In the early stages of his career, Kobe would watch experienced players like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. He would see them do unbelievable things and often wonder if he could ever get to that level.


He didn't know... but he was determined to find out.


In the video, Kobe explained that when you know what you want, “the world becomes your library to help you become better at your craft.”


This is so true. 


Clarity about one’s goals is an integral part of a winner’s mentality.


When you know what you’re looking for, then it’s easier to find it. When you know what you want, you become highly sensitive to opportunities around you that can help you achieve your goal. Additionally, knowing what you want puts you ahead, because you can then immediately start training and building yourself up to the level where you are able to obtain what you desire.


To others, it may seem like luck.


But it’s not luck at all. It’s all part of the plan.


2. Take Full Responsibility 


You simply cannot be a winner if you keep blaming other people. 


Winners take responsibility for their life: for their failures as well as their successes. 


That’s what enables them to keep winning, because they’re able to honestly assess their own strengths and weaknesses, and take the necessary steps to improve. 


Winners don’t think the world owes them anything. They realize that most people stand in their own way by blaming others for mistakes and failures. 


When you blame others for your problems, it essentially absolves you of responsibility. It means that you don’t have to do anything to get rid of the problem, because technically, nothing you do matters anyway.


That’s how people get complacent and stay in the same place for years, while they watch others progress. 


On the other hand, because highly successful people take responsibility for events in their lives, they are able to take action to control their lives. 


Even when things don’t work as you plan, you gain great benefit from looking internally and analyzing the situation to see what you could have done better.


When you do so, you enjoy life more, because you are able to fully celebrate your victories, knowing what it took to overcome the obstacles along the way. 


3. Stay in Your Lane 


When you’re a runner in a race, one of the worst things you can do is turn your head to the side and start watching your competitors. 


If you ever do this, you’ll notice that you’ll start to slow down significantly, lose focus, and you might even cross into someone else's lane. 


Why would you ever look to the side, when the finish like is ahead? 


That’s another distinguishing trait of winners. They stay in their lane. 


People who are truly winning in life are not concerned about what others are doing. They don’t have time for distractions, because their eyes are firmly fixed on the prize. 


In addition, winners are not consumers - they’re producers


While they can benefit from the advice and inspiration of others, they spend most of the time planning and implementing their own game plan. 


So if you want to develop the mindset of a winner, you have to maintain your focus and stop comparing yourself to others



Do your own thing, and do it well. 

Stay in your own lane and keep your eyes on the prize.Stay in your own lane and keep your eyes on the prize.

4. Be Persistent and Consistent


Persistency and consistency are two words that have defined the behaviour of winners throughout the ages. 


In life, nothing is handed to you on a platter. 


You have to work hard, and you have to keep saying “yes” to yourself even when others tell you “no”. You have to keep knocking on doors even when they get slammed in your face.


That’s persistence. 


But you also have to be consistent. 


You have to keep showing up and putting in the work even when no one is watching. You have to get through those months and years where you don’t see any results, those times when you just want to fold your arms and quit. 


Here’s the thing -  winners view success as a marathon, not a sprint. They know that the journey will be long and difficult, but this doesn’t stop them. 


When you’re in it for the long haul, you automatically get creative and adaptive. You accept the challenge and gear up.


For winners, there’s no other choice


5. Don't Follow the Crowd 


Winners don’t settle for average. 


They know that average just won’t cut it, because average effort produces average results at best


Highly successful individuals know that at times they might have to stand out from the crowd. They are aware that sometimes, people who don’t see their vision will think they are crazy for exerting themselves. 


Yet it’s okay, because a winner is never looking to follow the crowd. 


If you ever find yourself doing something that everyone else is doing, it’s good to check in with yourself and ask yourself why. Are you taking the mainstream, so-called “easy” route? Is that what you actually want for yourself, or are you scared to make a move and be different? 


If you know that you want to be an entrepreneur, then don’t settle for a job. 


If you want to volunteer and travel the world, then don’t settle for an average life.


Take risks, and be willing to carve out your own path, even if it makes others stop and stare. At the end of the day, you will have to live with whatever decisions you make. So live the sort of life that you will be proud of many years from now. 


6. Imagine Endless Possibilities


Always remember that you are only confined by the walls you build yourself. 


One of the most important aspects of the mindset of a winner is self-efficacy: an individual's belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce a certain outcome. 


Don’t put artificial limits on yourself. 


If you find that you’re sometimes doubtful of what you can achieve, I recommend that you read The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone.


In the book, Grant explains that the biggest mistake most people make in life is not setting goals high enough. If you want to succeed, you need a total mindset shift. You actually need to set targets that are 10X bigger than the goals you currently have. Sounds scary right?


But that’s just the mentality that winners have.


It's that mindset that allows them to achieve things that others could only dream of. Instead of being solely focused on what is, winners envision what could be


If you want to learn more about the 10X rule, you can get the book for free here


Final Thoughts


As we have explored through this article, the secret of winning in life lies in seeing things differently. You can only go as far as your mind takes you. If you want to change your life, you have to change your mindset. 


But you can make the choice today, to start thinking like a winner. You can choose to view problems as opportunities, to view failure as a necessary precursor to success.


When you adopt the mindset of a winner, you adopt the whole lifestyle. Once you lay the mental foundation, it’s only a matter of time before you start seeing the results.  


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