Hey, champions. I know the title 7 HABITS OF FAILURE isn’t appealing, but please stay with me. Receiving and applying the fundamental principles shared in this article can spearhead your journey to greatness. I hope you enjoy it…

Here’s the harsh reality about failure and how it impacts the journey of champions. The road of failure is one of the most popular roads traveled by champions. Champions are champions because they don’t view failure as a final destination. They see failure as a pit stop along the championship journey and an opportunity to start again with more information.

If you can’t move beyond life’s difficulties, you’re never going to achieve any great victories in your life.

Many people hold the common belief that it takes luck or happenstance to become a champion, but I’m about to tell you why that belief is absurd. Luck or happenstance has nothing to do with being a champion. Rather, it’s the daily habits and mindset of the individual that determine whether they will reach the pinnacle of excellence or fail. If you truly want to become a champion and wear the crown of zero regret, then it’s important that you identify bad habits and avoid common pitfalls in order to set you on the right path toward being a champion.

If you have never failed at anything, I’ll confidently say this: You have underachieved your entire life. Failure itself will never stop you from being a champion.

Here are 7 HABITS OF FAILURE that can – and will – derail any chance you might have at being a champion if you don’t address and conquer them.

1. BEING AFRAID OF CHANGE

The first reason why you aren’t championing the space in which you reside is because you’re afraid to change. What are you afraid to change, you ask? Well, everything! To be a champion in all aspects of life, you have to learn how to change your behaviors, mindset, how you spend your Intentional Growth Time (IGT) and maybe even the company you keep. Remember this. Not everyone is going where you are.

I’m a firm believer that people like change and the growth it represents. What they don’t like is the transition it takes to get there. But like Henry Ford observed, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

In order to achieve your desired level of greatness and overcome failure, not only do you have to think outside the box, you also must refuse to live in a box at all and must play the game of life differently than how you’re playing it now. Even the smallest changes that you make in your daily habits can make a huge difference!

The champion’s grind is real, the journey will be exhausting, and the rewards are worth every second of blood, sweat and tears.

2. BLAME SHIFTER

We’ve all been there before…that moment where we put the blame on someone else for our lack of being champion-like or when we give up because a situation is out of our hands. Well, let me tell you something. You aren’t accomplishing anything by blaming other people for your failures or giving up because you have no control over a situation. Instead of blaming others, accept responsibility for your failure, move on and start over again.

“A man can get discouraged many times, but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stop trying.” – John Burroughs

Most people that become champions take responsibility for their actions, they don’t blame third parties or other people for their problems, and they believe they can overcome any obstacle as long as they work hard to do so. It’s your mindset that will determine whether you really can overcome the impossible or not.

3. NOT BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

It’s one thing to blame others, but it’s even worse to not believe in yourself and your aspirations in life.

Maybe you aspire to make something out of yourself in sports, business and life, but your head is bombarded constantly with negative thoughts saying you aren’t ready or you aren’t good enough. Well, you know what? Those thoughts in your head are right. You aren’t ready, and maybe you aren’t good enough.

But so what? Are you going to let your thoughts stop you from taking the first step and doing what you were destined to do? Are you going to let a bunch of thoughts tell you what you can and can’t do in life? Break the shackles now and follow your heart. If you believe that what you’re doing is right and it’s what you were meant to do, then don’t let those thoughts in your head or anyone else tell you otherwise. Do what you love, and live life as you want. Believe in yourself, and you can overcome any obstacle that tries to feed those negative thoughts.

Doubt and fear are the freeways traveled by underachievers. Ambition, determination and fortitude are the toll roads to being a champion.

Here’s what you say to people who doubt you. “Thanks for the motivation. I’m planning on succeeding with or without your permission.”

4. PROCRASTINATION

The difference between those who become champions and those who fail is time management. Being a champion is intentional and deliberate, and those who achieve the crown are doers who get things done on time. Failures are naysayers who try to talk the talk before walking the walk. In order to reach the pinnacle of excellence in life, you must learn how to defeat procrastination daily and motivate yourself each day to perform your tasks flawlessly.

“We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.” – Herb Kelleher

Not only do those who become champions get things done, but they’ve also learned how to pick themselves back up after having a bad day. This is just as important as getting things done because you can’t let a bad event stop you from completing your day-to-day tasks. You can’t get back wasted time, but you can take preventative measures to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. It’s called learning from failure. The choice is yours.

5. NOT KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT TO DO

Failures have a hard time determining exactly what it is that they want. Maybe when you were a young kid, you wanted to be an attorney when you grew up. And as you grew up, you changed your mind dozens of times. Perhaps even now, you’re still unsure of what you want to do, which is perfectly okay. You have the rest of your life ahead of you, so there’s plenty of time to think this through!

Do you want to know something interesting? Those who become champions know exactly what they want to do in life. In fact, they probably knew what they wanted to do from an early age, long before they should even have been thinking about it. And the reason they became champions is because they stood firm with their aspiration long enough to achieve the ultimate goal. For some careers, you may achieve the pinnacle of excellence quicker than in others, but that doesn’t mean that the quality of the achievement is the same. Pick your career wisely and preferably something you love doing.

“What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.” – Gretchen Rubin

6. LACK OF PLANNING

Let’s face it. We have a much better chance of arriving at a destination when we set our sites on a particular location. If you start a journey without a plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure. In life, there are many other people out there who probably have the same goals and aspirations as you, and you’re fighting against them for a slice of the success pie. If you want to win, then you have to strategically create the best plan possible.

Everyone has 24 hours in a day. Champions plan and execute their 24 hours more effectively.

If your plan really is as good as you say, then there should be no reason for your failure. The thing is, there is no such thing as the best plan. Every plan has flaws, and the person executing the plan could make mistakes that foil a good plan before the plan is even fully executed.

Failure is the condiment that champions use to add flavor to their journeys.

When planning to be a champion, don’t just have a Plan A. Have a Plan B and even a Plan C. Let failure know that you were expecting him, and show him your Plan B. And if that doesn’t work out, whip out Plan C.

7. THE FEAR OF FAILURE

The last and most common reason people fail is because they’re simply afraid to try something new because of the possibility of failure. We’re afraid to take our chances and climb the mountain. We’re afraid of what might happen or whether we actually have a chance to reach the peak of our potential.

The bottom line is absolute: Until you overcome the fear of failure, you won’t ever reach the pinnacle of excellence in anything. Until you develop an unwavering degree of confidence and strive to be a champion in all areas of your life, you will continue to be mediocre. Simply stated, you won’t ever get the results that you hoped for.

Undesired results should be viewed as a detour, not a dead-end street. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall. What matters most is your commitment to get back up and stay in the fight.

Champions are not born. They are shaped, molded, broken, repaired, transformed and made whole as many times as it takes to become a champion.

Being a champion is intentional and deliberate!

After years of coaching Major League Baseball executives and transformational leaders around the world, I have often witnessed highly accomplished people who ascended to the apex of their particular field by relying on their current level of expertise, core values and skillsets. But in due time, every leader reaches a point where their performance becomes stagnant, and they begin descending. Most leaders don’t know why or how they’re experiencing this steep decline in performance, and very few recover because they refuse to hire a leadership coach.

In closing, I want you to know that YOU ARE MADE TO BE A CHAMPION, and CHAMPIONS use failure as a springboard. Don’t get discouraged when facing failure because it’s actually preparing you for the greatness that awaits you.

I hope you will embrace the takeaways from this read and apply these fundamental principles throughout your journey to becoming a champion.

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Bo Porter has more than 27 years of MLB experience as a player, coach, manager, front office executive and broadcast analyst. He is a proven leadership coach for high-profile executives and elite leaders in the sports industry. As a business development consultant, Bo provides tangible value by helping companies improve profit margins, and he’s a change agent for organizations looking to enhance, reboot or pivot their strategic plan. He understands the value of team building, the challenges facing athletes when they transition to life after sports and the value add of transformational leadership. Known as the “Coach of Champions,” Bo has coached, mentored, guided and influenced countless others to reach their full potential en route to championing their lives. Using his vast professional experiences, Bo has developed a holistic platform and become a force for all that is good. He’s the founding president and CEO of CORE Magazine, a digital and print-on-demand quarterly periodical reaching millions of growth mindset readers in business, sports, leadership, philanthropy and marketing.

Aspiring leaders register for his Champions of Leadership Program to successfully navigate the ever-so-important world of sustainable excellence in business, and athletes at all levels utilize The END GAME Bridge to Excellence to prepare for life after sports. Bo also is a highly sought keynote speaker and author. Read his books, subscribe to his podcast and follow him on the social media platforms below: