Top performers such as LeBron James, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Tiger Woods have a way of captivating our attention no matter what they’re doing. This concept was on full display recently as Tiger Woods was close to winning another major at the PGA Championship.
Normally winning championships and Tiger Woods are synonymous with each other, but Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major in a decade. In fact, he’s been fairly irrelevant from a perspective of actual contention.
Nevertheless, seeing Woods recent resurgence over the last two major championships reminded me of why he’s still one of sports biggest stars. In fact, if you peel back some layers, you’ll see that Tiger Woods is teaching us about mental toughness and how to adopt a winners mindset with these four principles.
1. Being yourself is more than enough.
In today’s world (especially on Instagram), it seems that there are a plethora of individuals who seemingly have it all. In fitness, it’s the perfectly sculpted body that is on display. In business, it’s another story of someone making six-figures in 3 months. And at the beginning of his journey, Woods was a mythical figure who couldn’t do any wrong.
As we all know, this period of seeming invincibility came to a screeching halt with multiple incidents. Woods plummeted down and struggled massively in both life and his sport. But, this very fall from grace made Woods more relatable to everyone.
I make mistakes each day. Many of you reading this make plenty of mistakes on a daily basis. And now, we saw that Tiger Woods even makes mistakes.
Just as Tiger owned up to his mistakes, it’s imperative that you own up to your mistakes when you make them. While the initial inclination is to feel you’ll lose business, trust, or connection–the opposite will happen.
You’ll garner more respect because you’re being authentic and truthful.
2. Be willing to admit your mistakes.
If Tiger continued to deny all of those past mistakes and deflect them onto everyone else, he wouldn’t have earned back the public’s trust and support.
Looking at the Tiger Woods situation reminds me of a lesson I was told as a teenager which stated that “It can take years to build a strong and powerful reputation, but all of that can be wiped away with one irrational decision.”
However, he also reminded me of the second part of the equation, “People are forgiving even to those who make the biggest of mistakes if they feel they’ve learned their lesson and are truly sincere with their apologies.”
Just as the human life is fragile, our reputations and businesses are fragile. Mistakes are bound to happen, but how will you respond? Anything other than taking extreme ownership of the situation isn’t good enough.
If you’re sulking in your mistakes and not dealing well with the scrutiny, take solace in the fact that the world loves comeback stories. A good second act and redemption arc are more than possible.
But people will only give you the chance of rewriting the script if you’re completely transparent and upfront with what you did.
3. Sometimes taking steps back is the only way to go forward.
If you look at the world from a purely superficial standpoint, you may be inclined to think that success is a straight line projection upward. However, achieving success is anything but a linear climb upward. Instead, success is filled with many dips and setbacks along the trek upward.
Between injuries and missing the cut at 15 of the previous 18 majors, Woods efforts to climb back to the top is teaching us that the journey is anything but pretty. During this time, Woods had to make some changes to his game which may have been tough to adjust to in the short run, but will provide big dividends in the long run.
As you go about your journey, don’t be afraid to take steps back in the short term because often times, that’s a necessary action needed to ensure a more fruitful future.