Celebrate Your Business Wins Like a True Football Fan

It’s Super Bowl time. As a big football fan, I always love the Big Game (although it is a lot more fun when my team is in it). But at this time of the year, I always think about the odd way that fans like me react while watching a game in which we have zero control over the outcome.

For instance, I am superstitious when watching games (wearing my “lucky” t-shirt), I find myself yelling at the TV, and I often cheer so loud that I know my neighbors down the street can probably hear. I refer to my team as “we” – “We really need to start calling more aggressive plays” – assimilating myself to the team. And when the team wins, I feel like I’ve won too. Winning can feel euphoric, and losing can trigger the opposite. Why do these things happen to our brain and bodies?

–Do these reactions happen when “winning” and “losing” in business too? The answer is YES.–

According to medical research (see this quick video), when your team is winning, your brain starts releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps to regulate the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. And when your team is losing, there is a higher production of cortisol, a stress triggered hormone made in your adrenal glands and a lower production of serotonin, which can lead to feelings of depression. In addition, the release of dopamine makes us feel like we are a part of the team. This is all in response to a game that we have no control over, are not playing in, and theoretically have only a remote connection.

So how can we relate this response to business? In business we have more control. Our “wins” and “losses” are much more a result of our own direct actions. What if we focused more time on recognizing and celebrating our own wins – the little wins as well as the big triumphs? We can actually produce similar brain/body reactions in ourselves and that of our team. You can’t deny that winning feels good and it is scientifically proven. Let’s recognize more business wins and celebrate them. It’s good for the body, the brain and the business!

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