I can think of many examples that fit into this blog post, however, here comes a very unoriginal sports analogy (bear with me). Flashback to the recent boxing match in which the very notable David Haye took on Tony Bellew who, some suggested beforehand, was the underdog. After Bellew rather remarkably came out on top, to the surprise of many, I began to think about the meaning and role of the underdog. Not just in boxing, but in life and, particularly in business.
All around us we see the faces of those we don’t anticipate to be winners, yet they manage it. Think of Leicester City Football Club, Donald Trump, JK Rowling, they all won out despite the odds being against them. Why is that? Because we’ve been conditioned to believe that those that are a certain way will always come out on top. In actual fact there’s a lot to be said for being an underdog.
I’d like to take you through my thinking on this…
No Expectations Means No Pressure
Pressure can be a killer for many people. Take it in a literal sense – a pressure cooker works by trapping the food until the temperature rises and all of the contents are well and truly limp and lifeless. You may be thinking – what is she going on about? But the cooker is a metaphor for the mind. When someone can’t handle the pressure their minds will burn out and they’ll lose it. So, if you consider yourself a fully-fledged underdog, then revel in the advantage of underestimation.
A Lot of Successful People Have Been Underdogs
Follow in the footsteps of many. Some of the most successful people have come from rags to riches, been overlooked, undervalued and still made it to the top. One of the biggest advantages of this is the appreciation and ability to not take things for granted.
This ultimately wins the hearts of those around you. Think of how we cheer on David when he’s facing Goliath. One modern day example of this is Anthony Joshua, British professional boxer and IBF heavyweight title holder, he came from a less than impressive background to reign as not only one of best boxers in the industry at this moment, but one of the most publicly supported athletes to date. His humble nature earns him affection and support from his many fans. This all, from my perspective, comes from his time as an underdog.
Always on The Back Foot
Being on the back foot brings about many advantages. The main ones are passion and perseverance, to go after something knowing that it is of the view of others that you will fail, takes a bucket load of dedication and self-belief of steel. This makes you hungry – a characteristic to be proud of.
Final Thoughts on the Underdog and its Meaning
It seems we are always glorifying those that constantly get praised for their work and can often overlook the ones that are working away in the background striving to better themselves despite what others may think.
This blog post is to recognise those people or businesses that are finding their way while up against challenging circumstances. Being an underdog is nothing to turn your nose up at, in my opinion this is the most advantageous position you can be in.
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