4 Keys to Winning When You’re an Underdog with the Odds are Against You

We have all had underdog moments. These are times when the odds are stacked against us, we find ourselves ill prepared, or see a long uphill battle in front of us.

Perhaps you are experiencing an underdog moment right now.

Maybe you are:

  • Trying to land a job against very tough odds
  • Opening a business in the face of a strong headwind
  • Looking to turnaround your performance when everything seems insurmountable
  • Taking your team from struggling to winning
  • The list goes on and on…

Whatever your situation, I invite you to take a few minutes to consider how well four underdog keys are present in your life.

Key #1: Take on the right mindset

  • What’s your mindset?
  • How do you see yourself in the situation? Victim? Feisty upstart? Etc.?
  • Do you sport a large chip on your shoulder?
  • Are you quitting in your mind before you even got started?

Key #2: Set a clear goal

  • Have you taken the time to set a clear goal, even in the face of serious adversity? Is your goal specific or vague?
  • Have you shared the goal with others to gain feedback on it?
  • If so, what have you done with their comments?

Key #3: Commit to doing the the hard work

  • Are you willing to do the hard work needed to persevere through the tough times?
  • Are you working in smart ways, asking for help as needed? Or, do you take everything on your own shoulders and make things harder than needed?
  • Are you constantly acquiring new skills to accelerate performance?
  • Are you working while others rest?

Key #4: Get someone in your corner

  • When times are tough, who will be in your corner? Who is rooting for you to win?
  • Are you willing to share your goals and progress with your cheerleaders so they know what to root for? Or, will your ego not allow you to bring them into the discussion?
  • Are you willing to take time to celebrate small victories with someone who is your advocate?

Being an underdog can be a tough and exhausting situation, but doing it well, can be the source of your greatest successes.

I wish you all the best as you strive to win in the face of adversity.


Here’s a video to help you share the underdog concept with your team. See if you can guess where Patrick is before he tells you. (Hint: think underdog story)

We have created a tool suitable for printing, posting, and sharing. It depicts the 4 keys and the questions contained herein. You can find it here.

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash