The pace of life today is faster than it has ever been. Things change and we always seem to be trying to catch up. We are confronted by challenges and stresses every day. Our lives can feel like running in a hamster wheel, which can be discouraging. This discouragement is exacerbated by our doubts and fears which sabotage our success.
It is when we experience the perfect storm of obligations and stress with loss of focus and discipline that we can succumb to the defeat mentality. The defeat mentality can cause us to spiral out of control. We get stressed so we try to relieve the stress, many times using a destructive behavior which can include over eating or drinking alcohol. These activities can reduce your energy level which increases the negative impact of the stress and leads to the defeat mentality.
Everyone has bouts of the defeat mentality and most people just live with it. In their jobs or their family or their physical conditioning they give up on reaching their goals. The defeat mentality makes you feel like you are in a funk or things aren’t going your way. It is the way that you react to the defeat mentality that determines if you get out of it or live with it. Aristotle said that excellence is a habit. Mediocrity is also a habit.
We have all heard people talk about (or said ourselves) that they are too old for something, or claim injuries that don’t seem to affect them in other ways. I have had people 5 years younger than me tell me that they are too old to do what I do. I also fell victim to the defeat mentality with my BJJ training after my knee surgery. I was physically able to train but I let the fear get the best of me and the guys I trained with have progressed and I have not.
By embracing the defeat mentality, we can convince ourselves that we can’t accomplish our goals. The longer we live with the defeat mentality, the harder it is to get out of it. Mediocrity is a habit. It is easier to stay on the path of least resistance even if you know it will lead to failure.
Why do you have that third donut when you want to lose weight?
Why do you nurse an injury that has long since healed?
Why do you stay in a job you hate?
We do it because it is easier to concede defeat than it is to continue the struggle to success. It is easier and more comfortable to embrace the defeat mentality. There is only one way to conquer the defeat mentality, blunt force. You need to make the decision to change and act on it. You need to get up tomorrow and train, face your fears, and do what you need to do to succeed. Then you need to get up the next day and do it again, then again and again until you build the habit of success.
You can own failure but you can only rent success and the rent is due every day. Work to conquer the defeat mentality. You might find that you are not too old, or that injury really is healed or you can get a job you like. You can be either your best resource and you worse enemy. Fight the defeat mentality and gain the success you deserve.