Don’t let a Loser Mentality Ruin Your Career

No one in society wants to be considered a “loser” but believe it or not, many people display a consistently negative behaviour that leads people to perceive them as a loser. These losers can’t seem to keep a job; their “good” friendships are short-term while those individuals with a negative influence seem to hang around forever. Eventually, these individuals become social outcasts and openly wonder why they can’t succeed in life or a profession.

Still other losers have a superficial presence in our world. They dress extravagantly; they own large homes, a number of expensive showy vehicles and lots of adult toys. In other words, externally they appear to be very successful both from a business and a social life perspective. Yet, underneath the facade of their public mask, their appearance of success dissolves.

Often these individuals have had several spousal partners, they are deeply in debt, and their integrity in business is always in question. In fact, if you looked deep inside of their lives or their so called successful company, you’ll see that their personal behaviour creates significant turmoil and unrest. As successful as they might appear on the surface, they too are losers.

What then are the specific behaviours that lead people to become losers? Perhaps you’ll recognize some of the following:Man with Tie

  • A selfish personal focus – losers are very selfish as they focus only on themselves and their goals. In my experience, they are also very arrogant and conceited, often exaggerating their abilities and experience. They thrive on the psychological game of “one upmanship” and are constantly buying something bigger or better than their perceived competitor.
  • Applying a win/lose philosophy  losers look at life as though it was theirs to take with no giving expected in return. They operate from the win/lose perspective in business and life situations where “death to the loser” is totally inappropriate. They discount the fact that their approach creates more enemies than friends. After all, they are the ones who are right.
  • All talk, no action – you have probably known individuals who have had many great ideas but can’t seem to implement and create success. There is just something missing in their character. They start with a bang and end with a drizzle. They don’t seem to have the drive, the stamina or the smarts to go the distance. Over time, investors shy away and the loser struggles to find supporters who will believe in their next dream, whatever it is.
  • Always a blaming attitude  losers are often “blamers” as well. Nothing is ever their fault. They blame colleagues, banks, other vendors, their staff as well as members of their family. Anyone and everyone else are at fault, no matter what. Unfortunately, those individuals with a blaming attitude cannot accept their own areas of personal challenge or skill deficits and use blaming as a means to cover up their weaknesses.
  • Negativity is the name of the day – individuals who see life from a negative perspective are simply never happy. They are pessimists who see the world as being against them. They are the constant complainers, nothing is ever done right. Their negative attitude creates a negative environment and soon, their colleagues will shy away because being in negative company drags them into despair.
  • Superficial interpersonal skills – at first glance, a loser may appear quite charming, polite, attentive and intellectual. However, over time you might notice these individuals are constantly talking “above” you. They see themselves as superior. They see their listeners to be in need of teaching. As such, they don’t let someone get a word in edgewise. They need to be the star of the show.
  • Lack of respect for others – losers like to apply the power of attendance to keep other people on edge. They may call for a meeting and then cancel with no explanation. They are frequently late for meetings and tend to leave early because they have more important things to do. People wonder why they attend at all. As well, these individuals may talk a good line but don’t carry through with any of the responsibilities they may have been assigned.
  • General disregard for the value of people – losers don’t recognize the value of building a strong team of professionals around them. In fact, losers are threatened by competent people. They generally distrust others and will not share to the fullest extent needed for success. On the personal side, you will find that losers fail to keep many friendships and so there are few people available and willing to support them when they run into trouble.
  • Poor emotional awareness  losers are simply not personally reflective and do not self-examine their own strengths and weaknesses. They don’t understand what motivates them let alone understand and be able to motivate other people. Individuals with poor self-awareness often inappropriately respond to the challenges confronting them to the extent they may disgrace themselves in public and/or in front of staff.
  • Unyielding and Inflexible attitude  losers are frequently stubborn and are so fixed on their own principles they can’t be swayed to try new solutions to even the simplest of problems.  They are adamant and relentless in the belief that the tried and true methods still apply. These losers are often slow to adapt to new technologies or the new business environment for that matter. Just think of those businesses that are no longer with us.
  • Life imbalance  losers frequently focus on the wrong things in life. They singularly focus on gaining the materialistic symbols of accomplishment such as wealth or fame. This means they neglect the other important life elements such as their own fitness, their spirituality and/or their family for that matter.

However, losers can carry on for some time with the appearance of success. Yet, when these individuals finally come crashing down, believe me, they fall fast and hard and may never recover. Many, as we have seen in the news over the past few years end up serving a lengthy jail sentence.

In my view, there is simply no way around it. If you want to move into and stay in the long term personal and professional winner’s circle, you need to engage in a good deal of personal self-reflection. Caring people have probably been giving you subtle messages for some time, so now is the time to listen.

Yet, self-reflection is very difficult. One way to move through self-examination is to work with a personal, executive coach. These individuals excel at holding a mirror up to your behaviour. They offer assessment tools, workbooks and good old fashioned homework to help you along the path. Think about you really want to lose at life and career?  

Bookmark and Share


  1. Roger A. Hirsch's avatar
    Roger A. Hirsch
    | Permalink
    I may have gone beyond the point of no return: Many of your written comments hit me like a ton of bricks. I only hope I can save myself from total destruction. Many of your descriptions fit my behavior patterns and I realize that I have humiliated myself without paying attention to the road signs. I have many bridges to cross. I know I have hurt my soul mate and I'm very concerned.

Leave a Comment