You may be wondering, How does one lose and still be a winner? Surely once a person has suffered defeat, they are deemed the “loser” of the bout right? In the tangible sense, this would hold true. However, one can take a loss and still be considered a winner based on their reaction to losing.
There are several instances in life besides sports and friendly competitions in which we would say we took a loss. For example, not getting selected after an interview for your dream job, getting rejected by a girl after mustering up the courage to speak to her, receiving a lower grade than you expected on a project you spent several weeks creating, and many other areas in your life where you have fallen short of your goal.
These failures and shortcomings are just a few examples of what humans experience daily. Some handle these losses better than others and will usually find ways to learn from their mistakes. From there, self-improvement develops. Thus resulting in a higher chance of success when another opportunity arises.
True winners understand that there is no victory without struggle. Those who adopt that mentality will benefit greatly.
A Loss Doesn’t Define Who You Are
To remain a winner after a loss, you must realize that a loss or failure doesn’t determine who you are as a person. Just because you didn’t make the basketball team doesn’t mean you weren’t meant to be on the team.
The coach may have decided that you lack a particular skill or ability that he seeks within his players. Use that opportunity, not to quit and self-loathe, but to continue improving your skills.
A true winner knows that when plan A doesn’t work, he doesn’t automatically switch to plan B. He goes back to plan A and revises it relentlessly until he crafts a strategy that will be more effective. Your instructor told you that your art didn’t qualify for the competition? Don’t give up and throw your canvas away. Keep pushing every day, not to satisfy your instructor, but to instill in yourself that one loss will not prohibit further growth.
You will improve immensely as you continue to work on your craft for the many months and years to come. Never let a loss paralyze you and make you feel incapable of improvement. There will be more opportunities to give it another shot, but only if you are willing to accept your losses and persevere.
“If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress.” – Frederick Douglass
True Winners Have Taken More Losses Than They Can Remember
Anyone who is a master of their craft was once a student in that field. Anyone who is successful knows that on the road to success, it is inevitable that you will take a certain amount of losses before the victories begin to take place.
This ability to take losses over and over again separates those who will eventually quit from those who will carefully evaluate each loss and find an alternate route to success. When you develop this pattern of thinking, you begin to realize that losses are virtually wins within themselves because each loss reveals the methods that DON’T work.
Treat each loss as a lesson. From there you can eliminate all the processes that don’t work and take note of the ones that do work until you have established a system that will lead you to victory.
In order for this to happen, you must be prepared to go through the dreadful process of taking countless losses.
Effort Is Beautiful
Even if you lose you should be proud of yourself for making an attempt. If you asked your boss for a raise and he declined, congratulations on your effort.
There are people out there in a similar predicament who wish they had the same courage to do what you did. The results of your failed effort may sting or feel uncomfortable in the moment, but the feeling will subside.
There will be times when you are ridiculed, criticized or laughed at. You can either let it motivate you or hold you back, the choice is yours. Putting your fear to the side and exhibiting your best effort will always give you a greater chance of succeeding when the opportunity presents itself. To be the best you have to try and fail, but never fail to try.
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Some Things Are Out Of Your Control
The worst thing you can do is blame yourself for something that is out of your control. There will be numerous instances where you put in tremendous effort and still fall short of your goal.
You may be assigned to a group project in which you spend a considerable amount of time working on your part of the project, only to find out that when it’s time to present, your peers have not fulfilled the responsibilities they committed to, resulting in a poor grade for everyone involved.
No matter how stern and diligent you are in reminding your peers of their responsibilities, you have no control if they will follow through with them. It’s in these moments that we must remind ourselves that there will be things that affect us that are outside of our control.
If a similar situation arises, you will know to communicate your problems to your instructor beforehand to ensure they are aware and can possibly eradicate the issue. What separates winners from losers is the ability to accept what can’t be controlled and putting a concentrated effort into working on all the things they do have control over.
Accept Your Losses With The Same Attitude That You Accept Your Victories
The mark of a champion lies in his ability to handle defeat. He doesn’t blame others for his losses. Instead, he embraces the loss, as tough as it is because he knows that a loss isn’t a direct reflection of who he is, neither is a win. If you are relentless in your efforts to improving yourself, then there is a much better chance that you will win time after time.
At the end of the day, a win or a loss is only a judgment of a result. A person’s character and how they accept their wins and losses will reveal if they are a true winner or not. If you want to be the best at winning, you must learn how to be the best at losing as well.