Why We Love Underdogs and Why You Should Never Give Up.

Underdogs – The Definition

An underdog is a person or group in a competition, usually in sports and creative works, who is popularly expected to lose. The party, team, or individual expected to win is called the favourite or top dog.
The first recorded uses of the term occurred in the second half of the 18th century; its first meaning was “the beaten dog in a fight”.

Who is Considered an Underdog

An underdog can be considered a person who doesn’t have money, power, influence and that against all odds he or she succeeds facing an opponent who has all these “qualities”. The underdog can be a simple guy who wins the beautiful girl’s heart rather than the popular, rich boy who usually gets what he wants.

It can also be the poor but smart kid who enters a school, college or university that rich kids usually pay for. The new business owner who wins a contract versus the big corporate businesses or the new writer who stands out and wins the award against consecrated authors.

The small football team who wins the cup or championship competing against other powerful teams, when no-one expects it.

And the list goes on and on.

The Problems Faced by Underdogs

The common problems faced by underdogs are discouraging words they hear repeatedly from the majority. They are continuously being reminded that they can’t win, that the top dogs have the upper hand and that the best way is to give up and admit defeat.

If someone who is considered to be an underdog loses faith in them, the chances of them giving up increase and they will stop following the path to a goal that could have turned out to be exceptional.

Underdogs usually don’t get support from anyone as no-one believes in them and the light of attention is not shined towards them. Underdogs are rather lonely in their pursuit of reaching the goals set and most of the time they don’t have access to the same resources as top dogs.

The Benefits of Being an Underdog

One of the benefits of being an underdog is the fact that people don’t pay attention to you and the actions made by you. This way, you can prepare an “attack” that no-one anticipates. You can surprise, for example, a customer and this unexpectedness might end up to be the winning strategy, making them choose you instead of someone else.

Because top dogs won’t analyse you before a confrontation, the WOW element can be extremely powerful, the shock produced will be real and your chances of success can grow exponential.

What Underdogs Can Do Better Than Others

Underdogs are normally very motivated, are driven by an increased hunger for success, they want to prove people wrong and generally have a greater level of determination compared than others.

They can learn better than others, understand what humility and kindness are, know how to filter negativity aimed towards them, never give up, don’t complain and will do everything they can with what they have available at the time.

Having so many fingers aimed at you, you will strive to work harder than top dogs, pay more attention than anyone else and most of the time underdogs are better prepared than their competitors.

Why People Love Underdogs

People love underdogs as they are the living proof that success can be achieved by any individual in this world when dedication, motivation, hard work and consistency are present.

There is no need for a tone of money, fame and important relationships. Yes, these are helpful but are not the key to someone’s success in life.

Stories and news about underdogs who succeeded are motivational and usually guide young people on the path to success, showing them that hard work and determination will help them succeed on their own.

How To Succeed As An Underdog

  • Have a goal in mind that you want to accomplish and never stop believing in you.
  • Learn, read and analyze what other underdogs have done in order to win. A great place to start is reading biographies of famous people, as you can observe in these books the difficulties others went through and the mindset needed to win when all odds are against you.
  • Understand that without hard work, determination and a constant urge to improve yourself day-by-day, no important thing in life can be achieved.
  • Be smart, learn how to filter unworthy thoughts aimed at you, immoral words and discouraging situations.
  • Never let yourself be intimidated by top dogs. They are scared of you as they are conscious of your chances of victory.
  • Smart people who succeeded in life understood that they must respect the opponent and you will always see them inspiring and helping people.
  • Successful people know how hard the road to attaining important goals is and they are aware of all the required sacrifices.

How To Find Out If You Are An Underdog

If you come from a family that doesn’t have enough resources to sustain your dreams, if you are constantly reminded that you don’t belong in a certain group, if you are being told that you will never succeed, and yet you want to prove everyone wrong and show them what you can do, then you are most likely, what society calls, an underdog.

What Not To Do If You Are An Underdog

  • Do not go around and wear this as a label in front of everyone.
  • Do not fake it, do not complain that you are an underdog and tell others how difficult everything is. If you do this you will become the same as all the other fake people who only want attention, who are searching for an easy way to succeed, who aren’t willing to face the adversity and who want instant gratification.
  • Do not use this as a stigma.
  • Do not quit, even if all the odds are against you and if everything looks scary. As the quote says, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”


  • “It’s one of the most stunning upsets in European soccer history, with little known—or supported—Wigan Athletic defeating the mighty Manchester City to capture the 2013 FA Cup”
  • “Gabby Douglas – she became the first U.S. women’s gymnast to take home the individual, all-around gold medal.”
  • Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent. Today, she’s a multimillionaire. In its first week, her first album became the fastest-selling debut album in British history. And Boyle is famous across the world.”
  • Leicester City FC – won the 2015/16 Premiership title. Leicester was a team of nobodies who’d come from nowhere – in fact, the team was described by one football writer as “a motley crew of rejects, unknowns and never-weres”.”
  • J.K.Rowling – She was still rejected by 12 publishers, and it took a year for someone to agree to publish the first Harry Potter book.”
  • Colonel Sanders – KFC. He took his chances with a chicken recipe his friends liked, at 65 years old. He travelled from state to state trying to sell his idea to local restaurants, but he only took denial after denial. Legend has it, he was rejected 1009 times until he got his first yes. So Kentucky Fried Chicken was born and later came the world famous franchise.”

Being an underdog is hard, but the reward is so much higher when you reach your goals. Regular people love underdogs who win against all odds, as this is a reminder to them that success is not determined only by money and power. They realise that there is always enough space for someone like me and you to succeed.

People will observer how hard work pays off and that the place where you were born, the parents that you have and the school you attended are not always the factors that will shape their future.

Do not stop if you have a dream, even if this seems to be so far to reach. Do everything you can and don’t doubt yourself on the way. You have nothing lose. So, keep going, keep pushing hard and I can guarantee you that someone will notice you and you will succeed one way or another.

Everything you learn on the path you will follow can never be taken away by anyone in this world. Everything that you learn is there to stay with you forever.


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