It has become the story we are always told as far as our national teams are concerned.
The latest episode is our national teams' poor showing at Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup and the Under-20 Cosafa Metropolitan Youth Championship.
At the Cecafa, the Flames were booted out of the competition in the quarter final by hosts and defending champions Tanzania.
Yet analysts said Malawi were the favourites in this game because Tanzania were the weakest team among the eight quarter finalists.
In fact, the hosts sneaked into the quarterfinals as the third best losers alongside their kindred Zanzibar.
Last year, it was the same story as Malawi were also beaten in the quarter final by Ivory Coast in a game the team's performance left a lot to be desired.
After the game the coach did not waste time to blame the referee for Malawi's loss.
It was de javu for most of us as we remembered the Chad debacle when Malawi failed to qualify for the Gabon/Equatorial Guinea Afcon final after a two-all draw against the hosts.
While many did not watch the game against Chad and can easily sympathise with the Flames, many of us watched the game against Tanzania as it was beamed live on Supersport.
Of course the referee's decisions might have been questionable at times but it was clear that the Flames were tactically outmanoeuvred by Kilimanjaro Stars on that fateful Tuesday afternoon.
Despite enjoying a healthy goal possession, the Flames failed to come up with better scoring opportunities that could translate into goals.
The hosts, on the other hand, though starved of possession, hit us on counterattacks and could have scored more than two goals.
If truth be told, our team was not as good as it seemed. The only game in which the Flames showed some signs of prowess was against Kenya, otherwise the performance of the team in the game against Sudan and Ethiopia left a lot to be desired.
With the Flames booted out of the Cecafa competition, Malawians' hopes were in the Under-20 in Botswana but then complacency cost us a place in the final as well.
After beating Lesotho and Seychelles to qualify for the semi final, coach John Kaputa and his boys thought they were in heaven.
Unfortunately, they forgot to check the two teams' positions on Fifa ranking which could have reminded them that their victory against these minnows meant nothing.
Then in the semi-final they met their match in Angola who mercilessly embarrassed us because of the very same cancer of smugness.
Angola qualified for the semi-final after beating Namibia 4-3 despite trailing 3-0 at some point in the game.
I would believe Kaputa and his backroom staff watched this game as part for their preparations and were aware that leading two goals was not victory until the last whistle.
Yet, despite having this knowledge, Malawi were so complacent after scoring those two goals and were hit where it hurts most as Angola came from behind again and scored two quick goals before scoring two more goals in added time to finish us off.
Have we learnt any lessons from these defeats? I doubt.