DON’T FOUL OUT: How to Remove “I Am A Loser” From Your Vocabulary

Have you ever found yourself thinking: “I am a loser?” If so, then I wrote this article for you.

Let me ask you a question: What’s the opposite of success?

If you answered “failure,” then sorry – you’re wrong! Failure might be the LITERAL opposite of success, but in the real world, things are very different.

Because here’s the truth: In the real world, success is BUILT on failure.

After all, we all make mistakes. We all mess up every now and then. We all make bad decisions. Once in a while, we all let our emotions get the best of us.

But still, despite the mistakes we make, some of us still come out very happy, successful, and satisfied. Most others don’t. What’s the difference?

Here’s the real question: Are your mistakes leading you to success… or are they leading you to make MORE mistakes?

And that’s our activational lesson for this week. No matter how many mistakes you make, no matter how frustrated you get, no matter how hopeless the situation may seem, I got one piece of advice for you:


What do I mean by “Don’t foul out?”

It’s a basketball term. In basketball, when you break a rule, you’re issued a “foul.” And when you commit six fouls, you “foul out,” and you get kicked out of the game.

And that’s DANGEROUS when you’re the team’s superstar! When you foul out, you flush your team’s chances of winning down the drain.

That’s pretty much what happens when you “foul out” in life. You’re the superstar in your life, and when you “foul out,” then your goals in life remain unfulfilled, and you never reach the success you’ve always wanted. That’s a scary thought.

But how DO people “foul out in life?”

Ultimately, we “foul out” in one of two ways: (1) Either we give up, or (2) We run out of time.

Here’s the fact: Life is short. You and I, we won’t be around forever. That means we only get so many chances at success in life, and every “foul” we commit, every mistake and failure we chalk up, every golden opportunity we miss, brings us closer to “fouling out.”

Of course, there’s good news: ANYONE can break the cycle of failure and frustration in their lives. This week’s article will show you how.

It all starts with stepping back, looking at your situation, and asking yourself:


Here’s what I mean by “insanity.” Have you ever heard of Albert Einstein? My friend Albert once said:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

Put simply: You can’t make the same mistakes over and over, and think you’ll win in the end!

Failing doesn’t make you a failure. It’s failing to adjust that makes you a failure. In life, it’s not the strongest who survive, but the most adaptable!

In basketball, your team needs to score more points than the other team to win. And the more your team breaks the rules, the more fouls you commit… and the smaller your chances of winning the game.

So to get back in the game, you need to take a time out, regroup, make the right adjustments in the game plan, and then get right back into the grind, a little smarter than before.

Likewise, in life, there are rules to be followed. No matter what your dream is: Whether it’s to graduate with honors, or to get that promotion, or to win that championship, or to become a millionaire entrepreneur, etc… Chances are someone else has already done it before.

They achieved YOUR dream by following certain rules.

Here’s a suggestion: Instead of trying to forge your own path, why not walk down the road they’ve already paved for you?

Instead of making the same mistakes over and over, why not follow the rules THEY followed on the way to success?


Over the past several years, I’ve talked to millions of people in schools, sports teams, corporations, individuals, and advocacy groups all over the world. And I’ve noticed something: When it comes to success, there are really only two kinds of people in the world:

1.) People who make excuses, and
2.) People who make adjustments.

Naturally, the people in the second category are the ones who become very successful. Everyone makes mistakes… but not everyone makes adjustments. And by making adjustments, your mistakes end up pushing you closer to your dreams. That’s the key!

You grind. You make a mistake. You make an adjustment to follow the “rules” more closely. You grind again, this time better and smarter. Repeat until you get what you want.

Over time, all those little adjustments will line up and bring you to one success after another. Achieving your dreams becomes so much easier.



Right now, I want you to ask yourself: What failure, mistake, or frustration keeps happening over and over in your life? What recurring “foul” do you keep committing, and it’s holding you back from achieving your one big goal?

Take a quick “time out” in your life and do this 5-step exercise:

Step #1: Get a sheet of paper and write down your “one big foul” at the top. Just be honest with yourself.

Step #2: Below It, write down the reasons WHY you keep committing your “one big foul.” Do you keep running out of time? Do you keep running out of energy? Do you lack the skills? Do you have bad habits that make you mess up? Or do you simply NOT know what the “rules” are?

Write them all down!

Step #3: Below the reasons, list the ADJUSTMENTS you need to make to stop committing your “one big foul.”

Maybe there are some people you need to hang out with less.

Maybe there are some TV shows and video games you need to quit.

Maybe there are some skills you need to develop.

Maybe there are some websites you need to stop visiting.

Maybe there are some groups you need to leave.

Maybe there are some habits at home you need to change.

List down as many adjustments as you can think of, but do highlight two or three adjustments that you’ll make THIS WEEK.

Step #4: Below everything, write down in big letters – you guessed it – “DON’T FOUL OUT!”

Step #5: Tape it on the wall, read it every day, and EXECUTE!

Remember: You don’t fail when you make mistakes. You only fail when you don’t make the adjustments. And you only fail when you quit.

So don’t stop working. Don’t stop grinding. Don’t foul out.

And stop saying “I am a loser,” because success may just be an adjustment away.

Stay humble and hungry,


P.S.: If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this week’s Monday Morning Activation video. If you like it, be sure to subscribe and share!


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Posted on July 26, 2015 in Blog

Responses (30)

  1. Rosastri
    July 27, 2015 at 7:44 am ·

    Amazing!! Thanks for your examples and for making it easier to understand and to take that step forward and change!!
    Thanks for the time you put on inspiring others!!!

  2. Mark
    July 28, 2015 at 10:32 am ·

    Great article – we need more people putting this message out to young people to combat all the negative messages/ judgments they receive. I did not fit in when I was young but one thing someone casually said to me stuck with me – its the years after high school that matter most, when people can do their best. This was in the 80s when high school was considered the glory days. After hearing these words, I knew I did not want to be one of those adults that still lived in the high school mentality and worked to build a rich and interesting life, not focused on fitting in but on personal growth and passion.

  3. scott
    July 28, 2015 at 10:33 am ·

    The way I feel great about myself is by making someone else’s day. It’s hard to feel inferior when people smile back at you. I don’t have a pin-up girls body, a fat wallet, my dream job or, a guy. What I do have many people want and no one can take from me.

  4. Maria
    July 28, 2015 at 10:34 am ·

    I can think of anything special about myself. Seriously. No job, no education, no talents, social disorder. But that’s okay. If I just accept that I am who I am, loser, whatever, and just don’t care that I don’t have much to offer, it helps.

  5. Ramos
    July 28, 2015 at 10:37 am ·

    Great blog…sometimes its hard to be positive though, when the chemicals in my noggin are cray cray…but great advice nonetheless.

  6. mary
    July 28, 2015 at 10:38 am ·

    Thank you for the advice! I am forwarding this to a friend,hope it helps! In your opinion,do u think its normal for a widower to say hes a looser? Is it grief talking?

    • EBG
      July 29, 2015 at 6:47 am ·

      I believe that when you are grieving it is very important to look after yourself and be kind to yourself. When we grieve we are filled with emotion and often struggle to understand why we are feeling the way we do. Grief has a way of taking hold of us. My suggestion is talk to your friend and make sure they know they are not alone and you and others are there for them. Let them know that it is okay to feel like that in the short-term but they will need some support to move to a better place.

  7. Mr. Mac
    July 28, 2015 at 10:40 am ·

    Great Article. As for myself am usually a very positive person but once in a while when that little negative voice creeps in I start to think of the reasons I love myself. So here are some. I love that am kind and generous and help strangers. I love my great personality. I love that am strong willed. I love that am enthusiastic and spiritual.

  8. Mark Scott
    July 28, 2015 at 10:41 am ·

    the best article ever….it made me realize how much we complicate stuff…thank you!!!

  9. Maria Ramos
    July 28, 2015 at 10:41 am ·

    Thank you for this article

  10. Jeremy
    July 28, 2015 at 10:42 am ·

    Thank you for this article

  11. Kirstin E
    July 28, 2015 at 10:44 am ·

    I have 2 things I do…1 I tell myself no judgments, 2 and I preface this…I do not in any way shape or form think I am better than anyone…I imagine myself on a pillar with arms open wide, hair blowing in the wind and let all the negative go by…the “I’m too old.” “I’m too fat.” etc, the gossip at work, the worry about bills etc.

  12. Kathy DalPra
    July 28, 2015 at 10:46 am ·

    This is beautiful and so are you. Thanks for the loving tips.

  13. Eric
    July 28, 2015 at 10:46 am ·

    Thank you so much, built my self esteem.

  14. dana
    July 28, 2015 at 10:47 am ·

    Absolutely LOVE this. I write about similar topics. I had spent so much of my life believing the negative thoughts I had about myself because I never knew I could question them.

    Once I figured out that I could take a pause and ask if my negative and judgmental assessments of myself, and the world in general were true – I began to experience a level of freedom I never knew existed.

  15. swati
    July 28, 2015 at 10:49 am ·

    Very nice message. Very much needed in our surroundings where everyone is supposed to be perfect.

  16. Brian
    July 28, 2015 at 10:51 am ·

    Thanks a lot for the nice article! it’s meaningful to me for making it easier to understand and to take that step forward and change!! .

  17. bush H
    July 28, 2015 at 10:53 am ·

    I love this, “You don’t fail when you make mistakes. You only fail when you don’t make the adjustments. And you only fail when you quit.”

  18. Emmi IL
    July 28, 2015 at 10:54 am ·

    Thank you beautiful eric, I love this post, will be showing it to my 11 year old niece

  19. B. uno
    July 28, 2015 at 10:59 am ·

    Thank you for all your articles ..Wish I could truly express my appreciation ..Past words !!

  20. Josten
    July 28, 2015 at 11:03 am ·

    Giving ourselves a break and forgiving are very important steps to break out of the I am a loser mentality.
    Great post as usual

  21. Bob Patterson - WorkloadMaster
    July 28, 2015 at 11:05 am ·


    Very powerful and thoughtful post. Thank you for writing it.

    Too often I’ve fallen victim to the I am a loser mentality myself. For me the best medicine has been doing the five steps you listed above

  22. amanda
    July 28, 2015 at 11:06 am ·

    I love this. It is so damaging to ourselves to hold on to a I am a loser mentality, and yet so hard to break free from at times. An inspiring read

  23. alex fayle
    July 28, 2015 at 11:13 am ·

    I spent a long time reading your post and the benefits you outlined described exactly what i do.
    Your five tips will help lots of people looking to break free.

  24. kelly
    July 28, 2015 at 11:33 am ·

    Very true man. I realized point 2 only recently that i need not to go for everything, pay attention to only what will benefit me.

  25. sarah
    July 28, 2015 at 11:35 am ·

    This will also help
    Join a book club. Do volunteer work. Start a weird but interesting hobby. Stop seeking people’s approval. Have better posture. Clean the house. Tip generously. Smile. Avoid negative people. Talk to strangers. Count your blessings.

  26. Gfina
    July 28, 2015 at 11:37 am ·

    This is actually a well written blog. I would like to know your thoughts of how one breaks bad habits? How would you help them from seeking the very accustomed comfort of immediate gratification?

    • EBG
      July 30, 2015 at 5:26 am ·

      The first thing to do would be to establish what the outcome of your efforts would mean – not just to yourself. Bad habits also bring people around you to an uncomfortable place. Nothing in life that is good, comes easy. It is really important to develop your knowledge and work on your education to grow a long-term positive result in life. In my opinion, we all have to apply discipline and common sense to any strategy to break bad habits.

  27. alex fayle
    July 28, 2015 at 11:39 am ·

    Excellent steps. My best quote is “Start feeling yourself like a Winner. “

  28. anne
    July 28, 2015 at 11:40 am ·

    Thank you

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