No one likes to lose! We all want to win. But why? When an individual wins, there is usually an increase in testosterone levels, which influences an increase in dopamine, a chemical messenger that hits the reward center in the brain. This winning effect, makes the winner feel good. Feeling good, can further impact our wellbeing and will even make us live longer. Here are ten things you can do, to improve your levels of achievement, when it comes to the psychology of winning.

1. Visualize
Develop the habit of visualizing. This means creating in your mind a mental picture of the outcome you would like to have. Hold on to that picture in your mind and experience it in the present moment, as if you have already achieved it. This is because we usually move in the direction of the thoughts we are currently having.

2. Set clear goals
Visualization is important, but without goals, there is nothing to aim at. So write down your goals, with long-term and short-term components and read them every day. By keeping them ever present in your mind, you are communicating to yourself their importance. The mind, will then start looking for ways to achieve them, even from a subconscious level.

3. Stay present
Being in the moment improves performance, preserves energy and enhances one’s focus. So don’t be a captive of the past and don’t be preoccupied by the future. Instead, engage all the senses and stay present, whenever you are involve in a task or activity.

4. Focus on the positive
Stop asking questions like, “What if I fail?” Instead ask questions like, “What if I succeed?” Worrying about the negatives won’t change them, so look for the positives and let them occupy your thoughts. As a matter of fact, within every adversity, there lies an equal opportunity, so look for it.

5. Be self-aware
Self-awareness always precede change. Without a conscious awareness of what needs to change, nothing will change. As Socrates puts it, the unexamined life is not worth living so know yourself. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and improve on them daily.

6. Practice self-talk
One of the reasons losers lose, is because of what they keep telling themselves. In other words, losers practice negative self-talk, while winners practice positive self-talk. If you want improve your chances of winning, use words like I can, as opposed to, I can’t; I will, as opposed to I think when talking to yourself.

7. Compete only with yourself
In the game of life, never compare yourself with others, it will prevent you from being authentic and if you are not authentic, you can not be creative, imaginative and the best version of yourself. It is true that losers focus on winners, while winners focus on winning. A winner knows his biggest competition is always with himself and so he or she, is always trying to “best” herself every day.

8. Leverage failure
Winners learn from failure. They don’t allow failure to stop them or deter them. They do inventory on their failures, as they strive to be better. In essence, winners see failure as feedback.

9. Manage your emotions
Take charge of your emotions by navigating frustration and anger. As a matter of fact, the thing or one who angers you, controls you. Accept the fact that you cannot control external events. What you can control though, is yourself and your response to the events.

10. Be invested
Be invested in whatever it is that you are pursuing. Don’t do it just because someone else asked you to. Own it. Spend your money, time and emotions on it. If you invest your all in it, your chances of winning will increase astronomically.

So what game of life are you engaged in currently? Do you want to be a winner or continue winning? If you do, you must always pay attention to your psychology and be mindful of the fact that success is 80% psychology and 20% strategy.