Do you follow professional tennis? Even if you see an occasional item in the news about it, you know that Serena Williams wins often.

This is a sport from which many top-notch players retire by the age of 35, or even 30. What gives her the edge and the drive to continue winning as she nears 40 years of age? Read on to learn about Minda Zetlin’s take on this.

Minda Zetlin, the “Laid-Back Leader” and a regular contributor to Inc. magazine, attributes Serena’s winning ways to her mindset. As regular readers know, I believe mindset is at the root of every human success or failure.

Williams has what Minda terms an “internal locus of control”. She believes her performance is what causes her to win or lose. When she wins, she celebrates her performance. When she loses, she blames herself. Sure, her opponent played a brilliant game! No matter, Serena believes she wins or loses by her own performance.

Serena recently lost the Australian Open tournament to Naomi Osaka. Minda provides a link to Serena’s post-tournament press conference. Serena talks about making “easy” mistakes – mistakes of her own doing, not “forced” by her opponent. She ended up leaving the press conference in tears!

Some people criticized her for not crediting her opponent’s great performance. Right or wrong, Serena was totally focused on her own mistakes which she sees as the cause of her loss. In her mind, it doesn’t matter how her opponent played. All that matters to her is: How did she play? And she didn’t like the answer!

Often people find it easy to blame outside forces, especially when outcomes fall short of their expectations. This is basically a “cop-out”. Here’s an article I wrote several months ago on taking responsibility.

If you are determined to be a winner, a mindset like Serena Williams’ will serve you well!

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