Vail Valley: You’re only the underdog if you think you are |

Vail Valley: You’re only the underdog if you think you are

Michael NortonVail, CO, Colorado

Football season is a perfect time to talk about underdogs and upsets.Every week in the NFL and college football, there are several games that some call “upsets.” Statistically speaking, I can buy in to the whole underdog and upset concept, but in reality, I don’t see things that way. Do you believe that the players and coaches for the Denver Broncos didn’t honestly believe they were going to beat the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers? And do you think that anyone on the CU Buffaloes football team didn’t suit up believing they would beat Kansas?We have to remember that in both the NFL and the college game, the players taking the field are considered the very best athletes at their positions. In the NFL, these are professionals who have earned their status through hard work, dedication and commitment. They have been trained by the best coaches in the world and undoubtedly have been blessed with some God-given talents that set them apart from the rest. These combatants work hard in the offseason, practice hard all week, study game films and then come ready to play and expect to win each weekend. How about you? Do you consider yourself an underdog? When you do win, is it considered an upset? Too often this is exactly what happens. We underestimate the years of training and education we have had. We think success is something that happens to other people and not us. We live our personal and professional lives like underdogs, never believing or expecting to win. And when we do win, it must be a miracle or an upset.Did you ever have a conversation with a fan, a true fan, about an upcoming game where, based on the numbers and win-loss records alone, it was more than likely that their team was going to get destroyed? But this fan’s belief was so strong, their faith so deep and their passion so genuine that they have almost sold you on their teaming winning outright. When was the last time you sold yourself on you? You are the most loving and nurturing mom or dad, and there is no sweeter and more attentive spouse than you. When your company is in need of a “get-it-done” effort, you rise to the occasion and lead-others to a higher performance. Faced with a selling situation where the competition is stiff you dig down deep and leverage skills and relationships that allow you to win the tough ones, the close ones. These aren’t upsets – you expected victory. You aren’t an underdog, you are a winner.Never let anyone tell you differently. Take the time to train and educate yourself, motivate and inspire yourself and remember that you, too, have been blessed with God-given talents just like any professional athlete. Talent without effort breeds mediocrity and when you believe in you and your ability, purpose, passion, and hope you will never buy-in to the underdog and upset concept again. Wow! Your recent feedback has been awesome and I so appreciate all the e-mails and corresponding with each of you. Forget about being an underdog in any situation ever again – from now on you are the favorite in the game of life. I would love to hear about your winning expectations at And make it a better than good week!Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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