By Sally Long
1. Winners don’t make excuses. So things didn’t go your way and you had a bad show. It is so easy to find blame in the judge, the setup, the situation and anything else that could possibly help explain the disappointment. However, all of those things are out of your control as a competitor. Winners let go of the things they cannot control and focus on the things they can. This is an important life lesson. Concentrating on doing the very best on the things within your control and being accountable for that is what makes you a winner. So instead of making excuses, take disappointment as a learning opportunity to find one thing you can and want to improve upon for next time. And if you feel like you truly did everything you could to show to the very best of your ability, than really you leave a winner regardless.
2. Winners don’t spend time talking bad about others. I have learned that true winners do not spend time criticizing or gossiping about others. They don’t sit around and narrate the failures or shortcomings of fellow competitors. First, if you have ever been great at anything, you have probably failed as much as you have succeeded. Winners recognize that failure is part of the learning curve to success. So when someone is struggling, they can relate to the frustration and are more eager to help than hinder with gossip. Secondly, it is wasted energy to talk negatively about others. Winners are too busy tending to their own business. They keep their head down and are focused more on achieving their own success than tearing down others.
3. Winners are students of the game. A winner knows that they can constantly be improving, and so they continue to study to be the very best they can be. Even here at ShowBloom and Emmert, we’ve been in business since 1881 — that’s over 100 years – but we are constantly upping our game to improve our product and make improvements. A winner asks a lot of questions, pays attention and makes observations. They are not afraid to seek constructive feedback. They keep their mind open and remain humble enough to learn new things.
4. Winners stay positive. This can be really hard, because we invest a lot of ourselves in livestock and horse showing. But I love the quote “Don’t let a win get to your head or a loss to your heart”. Winners don’t let a disappointment keep them down and thus detrimentally affect possible future performances. This can be easier said than done but two things I think are helpful in keeping a positive attitude. First, stay away from eternalizing a bad show, instead of “I am a bad showman”, simply say “I had a bad show”. The ability not take losses personally and move on helps maintain a positive mindset. Secondly, keep a perspective. The opportunities that livestock and horses allow us are a privilege. Winners have an attitude of gratitude and focus on how fortunate they are for experience even if it did not go the way you wanted.
5. Lastly, winners do less talking and more doing. Winners always let their actions speak louder than their words. If you want to win, put in the work, be the very best you can and spend less time talking and more time doing.
As you head to your next show, contemplate these things. Your attitude and mental game should be as prepared as your show animal. From all of us at ShowBloom – we wish you the best of luck at this month’s shows and remember – we’re here to help do everything we can to keep you on that winning track!