Outwit, outlast, outplay… or overcome?

Working with a large government department, I have encountered many ‘long-termers’, employees with 20+ years experience within the organisation and two distinct mind-sets seem to prevail.

The first are those who have the survivor mentality – they’ve outwitted, outplayed & outlasted! Team members who feel they have won because they have simply survived. Contrasting this is the overcomer mindset – they haven’t outlasted anyone or anything, they have adapted and risen above circumstances – they have consistently overcome.

One is neither right nor wrong. Whatever one we carry with us, though, impacts on how we see ourselves and how we interpret situations. We can choose to respond to a challenge – a considered, pragmatic response aimed at overcoming. Or we can react – a more immediate, emotion-based reaction stemming from how this situation makes us feel. One overcomes, the other survives.

Both approaches may enable us to endure. However, one enables us to enhance both our capacity and capability so that what challenges us now, will not in the future. The survivor mentality is one we repeatedly employ, often to the same set of stimuli. Both approaches start with a decision. A decision to survive or a decision to overcome.

What’s your choice?


What do you think?