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15 Characteristics Of Winners

Written by: Cedrick Webb, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Winners are not born; they are made. They are made over time. They are shaped through experience, molded through challenges, and constructed by focus. The mindset of winners is developed over making intentionally difficult long-term decisions. The actual winner knows that they cannot choose the easy path, for determining the easy path would be a slap in the face to their overall goals.

Silhouette of a man holding a trophy at sunset.

So, what does this winning mindset look like? As a legendary football player, Walter Payton said “A winner is somebody who has given his best effort, who has tried the hardest they possibly can, who has utilized every ounce of energy and strength within them to accomplish something. It doesn’t mean that they accomplished it or failed, it means that they’ve given it their best”

Below are 15 characteristics of the winner's mindset. If you focus on developing these, you will continue to grow and become the winner you genuinely desire to be.

1. Don't Make Excuses

Making excuses is for the weak. Winners don't look for excuses; they look for growth and opportunity. Excuses will always be there for you, but the possibility won't. Excuses don't help or serve any cause. They ruin a cause or movement.

Life doesn't reward excuse-makers; it rewards attitude and effort. Excuses are the antithesis of attitude and action, the enemy of progress, and cancer to growth. As the brilliant Benjamin Franklin said, "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."

2. Make The Priority The Priority

The priority must always be the priority. If something is important enough to you, it will take precedence. If it is not important enough, it will take a back seat.

Priorities always rise to the top. It will be obvious what is a focus in someone's life, by not only their words but ultimately their actions. How they prioritize their time, energy, and attention speaks to the priority. The beautiful thing about high priority is that your life will become simpler. Decisions will become simpler because your priorities will be clear. More straightforward decision-making will lead to much greater clarity and growth.

3. Bring Others With Them

Winners know growth and culture enhance themselves and everyone around them. When a winner is truly serious, they want to help others win. Assisting others to win teaches the winner more about themselves.

When a winner finds another winner, they want to be around them more. They recognize that they are being made better and making others better. The old proverb goes, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proper sharpening is suitable for both. The true winner finds and surrounds themselves with the right winners that bring out the best in them.

4. Know Themselves And Are Honest With Themselves

Knowing yourself inside and out is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and the world around you. To know yourself is to know your strengths and weaknesses, failures and successes, and lastly, your limitations and capabilities. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses lets you understand where you fall short and how to improve. Knowing your failures and successes allows you to draw from your experiences to apply to future endeavors. Knowing your limitations and capabilities will enable you to dream and show the world that anything is possible.

As the profound philosopher Socrates once said, "To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom." Wisdom is within you. It starts with knowing yourself and being honest with yourself. Once you understand yourself, you now have the keys to your world.

5. Don't Waste Time

Time is one of our most valuable commodities. We all have the same 24 hours each day; the winner knows they must maximize their time to reach their goals. Time moves fast; the winner knows how to corral it. The winner controls their time before time controls them.

Wasting time means wasting energy. Knowing what to invest your time in is key to maximizing time. As Stephen Covey said, "The key is not spending time, but investing in it." Invest your time in the right people, processes, and purposes. Time is limited; invest it wisely.

6. Expect To Win

Winning starts with the mind. Where your mind goes, everything else will follow. Winners cannot afford doubt or negative thoughts; they must train their brains to see their future success and expect it.

Zig Ziglar once said, "You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win." Winners know they are meant to win and don't settle for anything less. Because they expect to win, they will find a way to win. Winners always find a way to win.

7. Are Brave Enough To Fail

To achieve anything significant, you must be brave enough to fail. Everyone fears failure and winners have a stronger fear of mediocrity. Mediocrity and greatness do not go together. The winner knows they must conquer the fear of failure to achieve excellence. The only way to conquer fear is to take it head-on and be brave enough to fail.

Being brave enough to fail becomes much easier when the other components of the winning mindset are intact, especially knowing themselves. Knowing your past, present, and future is a confidence booster in facing fear.

8. Appreciate Feedback

Feedback is the breakfast of champions. A person of growth recognizes the value of feedback. They not only receive it, but they also embrace it.

How we receive and embrace feedback separates the good from the great. NBA coach Doc Rivers once said, "Average players want to be left alone. Good players want to be coached. Great players want to be told the truth." They know that where there is truth, there is the freedom to grow.

9. Don't Give Up

Quitting is never an option for winners. Failure happens to winners; quitting does not. There are lessons to be learned in failure, no lessons to be learned in quitting, only regret.

Legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth said, "It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." Quitting and failure are two different things but closely related. Quitting is a matter of will, and failure is a matter of skill. Once you accept leaving as an option, you will fail more often. If you never take quitting as an option, everything you put your mind to, you will win.

10. Find Solutions Instead Of Problems

Some people find solutions to problems, and some find problems to solutions. The winner is solutions focused. Anyone can find problems; not everybody can solve them.

The winner looks at every problem as an opportunity. Where there is a problem, there's also an opportunity to learn and grow. Focus on the solution, not the problem itself.

11. Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility is a mark of maturity. Immature people make excuses; mature people take responsibility. Winners know they are responsible for everything they want and desire. They know they get what they work for, not what they wish for.

Winners know that no situation is too big for them. They shine their brightest when times are most challenging. When no one else wants to take responsibility, that's their time to assume responsibility. This is their time to shine.

12. Always Learning

Learning and teachability go hand in hand. Learning is knowledge; teachability is applying that knowledge. The winner feeds their mind with knowledge and finds practicality.

The winner knows that learning is essential to growth. The day they stop learning is the day they stop growing. The true winner takes their learning to the next level. They don't just look at knowledge; they seek it out, chew it up, and examine it thoroughly. They spit out the fat and consume the nutrients they need for growth.

13 Always Give More Than Expected

Winners are always givers, not takers. Where everyone else is looking to receive, the winner wants to grow and influence others. They know that they have value to offer.

They promise little and deliver big. The winner digs deeper and finds a way to give more than they thought they had. In doing so, they widen their capacity to grow.

14. Boldly Ask For What They Want

True winners are bold in what they ask for but not in an arrogant way. They know what they want and boldly ask for what they want. They can be bold in what they ask because they have spent countless hours executing their plan.

Asking boldly for what you want is an act of faith and community. When a winner asks for what they want, they invite you into their circle. Because they know this, they rarely ask for anything. But when they do ask, it's bold!

15. Don't Follow The Crowd

Winners carve their paths. Following the crowd is for the insecure. Winners know that the wrong group can bring down anyone, so they are careful not to follow the crowd.

Winners think outside the box; they look for new and better ways of doing things. Albert Einstein once said, "The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before."

A winner's mindset is essential to long-term success. It starts with your thinking and turning those thoughts into action. To be a winner, you must begin by thinking like a winner. Mindset is everything.

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Cedrick Webb, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Cedrick Webb, is a leader in digital marketing industry. He is CEO of Smart Digital, a leading company in digital marketing for small businesses. Smart Digital specializes in website design, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media management and more. Smart Digital offers its services with the utmost integrity and aims to simplify digital marketing for small businesses.



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