“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou
Ralph W. Emerson wrote: “Our strength grows out of our weakness. A great man is always willing to be little. While he sits on the cushion of advantages, he goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits; . . . he has gained facts; learned from his ignorance; been cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill.”
Winning, we all want to win. Nobody wants to lose. Few of us just do not care. We are naturally competitive and it starts early in life. Something as simple as playing with friends when we are very young can turn into a competition. The winner of the race across the yard is happy and expresses his joy with a happy smile and jumping up and down. The loser of the race is not smiling, may even be crying and is probably angry. Losing makes them feel bad. They do not like the feeling and they decide next time they will be the winner of the race.
Being defeated is never comfortable but it is always an opportunity. When we lose it is important to reflect about the why. Why did this happen, why was my opponent better, what did they do that I did not do? We need to evaluate our performance and find ways to improve.
When we fail the world does not end and life goes on. What we do with our failure will determine where we go from there. If we just accept our failure and decide, “that’s it, I cannot do any better” we have placed a limit on ourselves. We will become complacent and become mediocre. We will not improve.
On the other hand if we take the time to dissect our failure we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow and to become better.
“The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own. To me, every day is a struggle to stay in touch with life’s subtleties. No one grows without failing.”
Bill Bradley, former U.S. Senator and professional basketball player
Failure is a challenge. A challenge that only you can decide to accept or to deny.
I would not recommend denying a loss. Do not place the blame somewhere else. Own it and use it to become better.
When you accept the fact that you did lose you have already taken a step forward. It happened, this time someone else did a better job. Let’s face it, we cannot and will not win them all. It is realistic, and it is the best practice to understand that. You will be more open to analyzing what happened and learning from it. It will enable you to do a better job next time.
Life is all about lessons and learning. When we are working or playing there is always an opportunity to learn and get better. The good thing about losing is we pay more attention. Winning is great but when you are really good and win most of the time you tend to relax and just go along for the ride. There is no reason to practice or to try new things.
When we lose, it is like a kick in the gut. It makes you stand up and take notice. Loss makes you question yourself. What happened? Do you like the feeling of defeat? Hell, No!
When you have worked hard at something and end up not coming out on top it is extremely disheartening. It can suck the life out of you, cause anger and be the catalyst for depression. Case in point was my reaction for not having an article accepted which you can find here: https://medium.com/@lindalatt/what-made-me-throw-a-temper-tantrum-3bcdb2ee8a82?source=friends_link&sk=d42129c788ad027864c15e13c470c90b
Defeat and anger can be used as a tool, a weapon. I was really pissed off but it made me just want to try again and again. It is an incentive. Use your anger and disappointment to improve. Work harder!
If you are angry good, that is not a bad thing. Use your anger to strengthen your will. Challenge yourself. Everything we do is constantly in flux and nothing is guaranteed. Take your anger and turn it into positive action.
Ask your self why you did not win. Be your own biggest critic. If you are working with a group, or have a mentor, ask for feedback. Look for ways you can improve the next time.
Dissect yourself. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. We all have some of both. Remain positive and keep working toward being better. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all wake up every day and ask ourselves what we are going to do better today. A tiny thing but just think about the possibilities.
Winning and being successful is not guaranteed. You have to be willing to put in the work. When I started my blog I had no idea the amount of work that is required to be successful.
I am a long, long way from success but I am passionate about my dream I continually work on remaining positive and having a great attitude. I always strive to be better.
I hope I have the right formula moving forward in my quest to be a writer, a good writer. If not then I will do some adjusting on my journey. I will put in the work. There will be more disappointments but with each I know I will learn from it and get better. I will be a better writer and a better person for the effort.
Hopefully, I can help influence you as well to stay positive. We may not always win but as long as we learn from our mistakes we are all winners. Always put in the best effort and always look for ways to improve.
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!