The Blog.

How do you know you are winning?

27 Jan 2014 | Mind monkeys

I often ask my clients, “What does success look like to you?”

We talk about what they want to achieve, their goals and dreams. We talk about outcomes, and how brilliant life will be when they have them.

But that’s not enough.

It’s not enough to know what it looks like when you’ve won. You also need to know what winning looks like.

Sometimes winning looks nothing like won.


Won is what it looks like when you get there. Crossing the finish line, hitting your target, performing at the Royal Albert Hall.

Winning is how you get there. The plodding and panting, the flops and falls, the wrong note and screeches, and the hours and hours of practice that goes on behind the scenes of every success.

Two things happen when you only focus on ‘won’.

1. You get overwhelmed.

A big goal might be exciting, but when you wake up to it everyday on your to-do list and find it’s too big, that’s just fuel for procrastination.

As I said to one of my Babysteppers this week. Even a baby’s first step is the result of hours of shuffling, stretching, tumbling and moving that didn’t look anything like walking. If something feels too big. Break it down even more. Until the first step becomes something you can take from where you are right now.

2. You mistake progress for failure.

My 8 year old tried proper bowling the other day – actually bowling the ball rather pushing it down a big slide. If we measured his success by his ability to hit strikes he’d be one miserable child. Instead we looked for improvement: “Yay you knocked down two more this time!” because that shows he’s working his way up to the strike.

The same goes if you’re setting yourself a target to make 10 calls a day. If you make 6 out of 10, have you failed? Or have are you over halfway there?

If you’re trying to set a new daily habit of getting to bed early, and manage to do it once in the first week. Do you berate yourself for the 6 late nights or celebrate the 1 early night you managed?

I’m a big believer that what you focus on grows.

If you want to win, you need to focus on winning – not just the finish line, but the daily baby steps you take to get there.

So what does winning look like for you this week? How do YOU know you are winning? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.


  1. Becky Goddard-Hill

    Great post’s all about the process and pregress getiing you ever closer

    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks Becky! So important to acknowledge the ‘getting closer’ rather than interpret it as ‘not there yet’ 🙂

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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