Success vs. failure. What makes the difference?

If you’re human, you want things.
You want to have things, you want things to happen.

Small things.

A little lie in after a long night.
Your coffee made just the way you like it.
Some recognition for your efforts at home and at work.

Bigger things.

Taking much needed time off — just for you, no apologies.
Finally defeating ____ (stress, anxiety, procrastination, addiction, relationship problems) and all those persistent annoyances that darken your mood.
Stepping up and claiming a level of well-being and enjoyment that’s been eluding you, but (somewhere deep inside) you know you deserve.

Wanting things is easy. It comes naturally.
Getting the things you want is more complicated.

Success is by no means guaranteed.

What makes the difference?
What makes some people perform better and achieve more than others?

Is it education? Genes? Personality? Environment? Pure chance? Destiny???

What I (and a whole host of researchers in the fields of psychology, cognitive science and, more recently, neuroscience) have observed is that one major contributor to enhanced performance is your Inner Game.

As Tim Gallwey, author of the landmark book “The Inner Game of Tennis” (and many more since), puts it:

There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How you play this game usually makes the difference between success and failure.

Tools like creative visualisation, mental rehearsal and attention training have been used systematically for many decades in competitive sport to achieve excellence — Tiger Woods, one of the most successful golfers of all times, is renowned for his mental game.

But it doesn’t end here: there’s an Inner Game to every area of human endeavour.

Back in my musician days, I spent many hours mentally rehearsing my concert programmes, in addition to practising physically. Getting down to writing my first book (yep, it’s happening!), I realise there’s a big Inner Game to being an author too.

Then, there’s the Inner Game of business, leadership, home-making, eating well, keeping fit, raising children…

Are you starting to notice the Inner Game being played in your mind right now?

So, what is it exactly?

The Inner Game refers to the internal process that precedes and underpins all outward behaviour and action.

Tim Gallwey’s succinct definition is:

Inner game is what enables you to act. Nothing less, nothing more.

He explains:

Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game; where the outer game is fought against another opponent and the inner game is fought against your own inner doubts and fears.​

In other words, if you “play” well, you’ll be free from self-imposed limitations. You’ll get out of your own way and enable yourself to realise more of your potential (and get results). Truly, the difference between success and failure lies within.

Interestingly, these days the term “Inner Game” is popular with pick-up artists: Urban Dictionary’s top definition suggests that:

your inner game is the opinion you have of yourself (your self esteem) and the pursuits in life that make you interesting and successful. This all contributes to your self confidence. A confident person is more likely to score with women.

Pick-up artistry aside, the benefits of enhancing self-esteem and developing a positive attitude to life are obvious.

And, no doubt, there’s an Inner Game to dating, relationship and sexual performance.


The Inner Game comes easier to some than others.

Some play the game well, without consciously trying to, or even knowing how they do it.
Others don’t.

If you’ve had a lifetime of negative experiences, you won’t find it so easy.

Just beginning to understand the game is a journey in itself. Playing it well is another thing.


Getting the psychology right takes you a long way, but that’s not the end of the road.

At the risk of causing you to raise an eyebrow, I’ll come clean and let you know in no uncertain terms: there’s a spiritual technology to getting what you want, i.e. manifesting your desired life experiences.

Cosmic laws of creation and your own Soul’s directives consistently override lesser or misplaced efforts.

It’s possible to find yourself in alignment spontaneously, but becoming conscious of spiritual co-creation makes for a gigantic leap forward.

Now, that’s the Ultimate Game!

By raising your consciousness, you gain an undeniable advantage.

Oprah Winfrey certainly got her Inner Game right, but she credits her amazing success primarily to her spirituality. She declares:

I wouldn’t be who I am today without a spiritual consciousness, without spiritual values and, ultimately, without spiritual love.

Using spiritual principles saves you from misplacing your energy and exhausting your will-power.  Mental gymnastics will only take you so far.

You gain incredible strength and discover unlimited resources of psychic energy that enable you to overcome challenges and pursue what has true meaning and purpose for you.

A new sense of authenticity emerges. A paradoxical feeling of contentment, even as you remain curious and motivated to pursue your passions.

Every day is an opportunity to become greater than yourself.

The Ultimate Connection Coaching® is designed with your success in mind.

As a transformational life and relationship coach, I draw on a range of modalities to skyrocket your awareness and personal satisfaction across every area of your life.

Are you ready to get on top of your game?

Book a FREE Discovery session to get started.

Special event:

Learn more about secrets of success in my upcoming talk “The Low-Down on Desire: The Spiritual Way to Success, Abundance and Romance”, organised by the London College of Spirituality.

Continue to the event page.