I’m a sucker for a good quote.
Athletes who’ve reached the pinnacle of their field have insights applicable beyond the confines of sports. A good quote offers a glimpse into the champion’s psyche, a peek at the steeliness that helped propel the athlete to the top.
But here’s a quote that kind of stumps me.
A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.
–Billie Jean King
When I first read King’s words, I said, Yes! There’s so much to love about this quote. It’s terse. It’s memorable. It has wonderful symmetry. It has that unflinching tell-it-like-it-is quality that’s the hallmark of the greatest champions.
Then I started thinking about it. What does it mean? Why would someone be afraid of winning? Am I afraid of winning? I don’t think so–but maybe I’m so used to my fear that I can’t see it.
I know some really smart people read this blog, so I’m going to enlist your help. Is there validity to King’s assertion? What does a fear of winning look like? (And how do you get over it if you have it???)