On July 11 2015, Serena Williams beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to win Wimbledon for the sixth time, bringing the number of her major grand slam wins to 21! She is the holder of all four major tennis titles, an achievement that we can now proudly call “The Serena Slam”.
As I watched her win the Wimbledon Championship, I was convinced more than ever that we can all learn something from this phenomenal woman. As we admire one of the greatest sporting champions in the world, I believe that it is just as important to learn from her greatness. We must find our own greatness and be a champion in our own lives; whatever it is that you are trying to achieve in business or in life, you can be just as successful in your own right.
Here are just a few things that I believe we can learn from Serena:
Never Give Up
We hear this all the time, but how many of us really understand what this means? Never giving up means that even when you lose, you keep on trying. If there’s something in your life that you are trying to accomplish but challenges and barriers keep getting in your way, take the time to assess a new way of thinking or find a new strategy. Quite often people give up on their goals because of failures and losses along the way, but it is not the goal that is impossible; sometimes it is the strategy used in achieving that goal that is not working. You have to learn from a loss or failure and use it to motivate you further. When Serena loses a game she doesn’t focus on the loss as a disadvantage. She sees it as a chance to work on being even better, and finds a way to win.
Be Gracious and Grateful When You Win
Even when you know you are a winner, be grateful for your wins in every aspect of your life. Wherever your success takes you, gratitude and respect to all those who have been your cheerleaders and supporters throughout your life is so important. Gratitude leads to abundance and it is also a sign of true inner beauty in my opinion, which is one of the things I admire most about Serena.
Do Not Hide Your Gifts
When you know you are great, there is no need to apologise or shy away from your own greatness. The world deserves to see how great you are,and the world wants to share your gifts. This is something I am still learning to be honest, but watching Serena reminded me that I have my own gifts that I need to start sharing and I am sure you have them as well. Very often it feels like bragging or showing off, but it isn’t showing off, it’s showing the world how great life can be if we all shared our gifts consistently and honorably.
Have Fun When You Win
Have fun and enjoy your journey, of course there will be stressful and challenging times, but have fun along the way. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the moment; sometimes we take life a little bit too seriously. It’s important to take a moment to just to have fun when you’re winning and do a little dance when you do win.
Yes sometimes we have to play the game, literally and figuratively, but in everything that you do stand firm in your own core values. No matter how successful you become in your business or career, being true to who you are is essential because there will be moments when the world will try to define who you should be on their own terms. Serena faces the media gaze and pressures more than most, but she continues to stay focused and stays true to herself. Define yourself and your success based on your own values.
Believe in Yourself
This is one of the most challenging but the most essential factors in order to achieve success. You have to believe in yourself. You have to visualise your success and truly believe that you are worthy of accomplishing your wildest dreams. Both Serena and Venus Williams have stated this on more than one occasion and they are champions. If you want to win you have to see yourself as a winner and work towards it.
Do The Work
There is no great success that can ever be achieved without hard work. It is very simple. You cannot expect to achieve Serena’s success if you do not put in the work. Whatever it is you are seeking to achieve in this world, work hard to get there. It is worth it in the end.
Ronke Lawal is the founder of Ariatu Public Relations, and has a wealth of PR and marketing experience in the high growth start-up sector, as well as working for corporate clients in a range of industries, overseeing the development of marketing & PR strategies. PR Coverage for clients gained include: The Independent, Arise News, The Voice, BBC Radio, The Nation Newspaper, Vogue Bambini, Bloomberg TV, Vox Africa, OHTV and many more. Follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.