How To Make A Successful Comeback

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In the game of life, you win some and you lose some. It happens to everyone, even the greats. What you may not realize is, winners actually lose waaaayyyyyy more often than losers.

Before we go any further, let me clarify what I mean by “loser.” I mean those who quit or throw in the towel before they achieve their goals.

If you’re still in the game, you’re a winner in my book. Because the game, whatever your game is, can get pretty rough. Even if you are doing something you love, there will always be challenges and disappointments and some bigger than others. If you’re still trying and committed with an open and hopeful heart, you’re a winner.

But still, how do you overcome those bumps in the road? How do jump back up when it feels like you’ve been sucker-punched in the gut?

If you don’t mind too terribly much, I’m going to take a play out of Tom Brady’s book. Now love him or hate him, you have to admit the guy’s a winner.

Ever hear of a little thing called “Deflate Gate?” Last year Tom Brady was accused of deflating the Super Bowl game balls so they would be easier to grip thus giving the New England Patriots an unfair advantage. After going back and forth in court for what seemed like an eternity, the NFL was granted permission to give Brady an unprecedented 4-game suspension, a much harsher punishment than ever before for such an offense.

The entire time Brady denied the accusation, yet he followed the prescription of the suspension to the letter. What happened next? Everyone did their job. The other players and coach Bill Belichick got back to work. They won games and when the suspension was over, Brady jumped back in and led the team to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Sunday…Brady gets sacked twice in the first quarter and the Patriots are losing 21-3 at the half. What happened over the next 40 minutes is one of the most impressive mindset shifts I’ve ever witnessed. The Patriots came back to win the game 34-28 in overtime. Even if you don’t like football, hate the Patriots and think Tom Brady is a lying cheater, you have to admit their performance was incredible.


More importantly, how can YOU engineer a winning comeback next time you’re down on your luck? Here some strategies to get you back in the game as quickly as possible:

1. Go back to your center. If you make a misstep, you need to dig deep and hold on to what you know is your best truth. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. The goal is not to be perfect, but rather to get back on track as quickly as possible.

2. Take your medicine and move on. If you’ve screwed-up, fess up, make amends and accept your punishment. Then put it in the rearview mirror.

3. Identify your “why.” If you want it badly enough, you won’t let anything hold you back. If you needed to get to the hospital, you wouldn’t let a little traffic deter you. You’d find a way.

4. Focus on your goal. Once you know your why, focus on the task at hand to get there. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by the nay-sayers or the odds. Do your job.

5. Wipe the slate clean. Look at each new project, day or opportunity as a fresh start. Carrying the weight of past failures forward will only drag you down. You can’t go back anyway, so why not gift yourself the present moment?

6. Don’t stop before they blow the whistle. It ain’t over til it’s over! You are not down and out until you quit or until there is a definitive end. How many times as entrepreneurs do we give up on clients, contracts or sales before we actually hear “no?” Keep playing!

7. Train like crazy! If you want to be a winner, you have to have stamina. You need to train you mind and your body for the long haul. You can only be a weekend warrior so many times before your luck runs out and pull a hammy!

8. Do a reality check and adjust. Are you really doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Are you working hard enough? Are you following the playbook? Are you doing what your coach is telling you to do? If not, take a pause and get your head back in the game.

9. Play YOUR game. Maybe you bombed because you took some bad advice. Or maybe you saw some greener grass o’er yonder and ventured out of your own pasture. The problem is you left your genius back there. Make sure you are running the strategies that work best for YOU.

10. Evaluate your losses and prepare for next season. You may or may not be going to Disney at the end of the big game, but either way, looking back at what worked and what didn’t will help you know how to move forward with more confidence. Learn from your mistakes, just don’t revel in them.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice a theme here. If you want to make a successful comeback, you need to put the past in the past as quickly as possible. Do what you need to do to make things right, review and adjust and then get back to work.

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