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In anything you do in life there is always the risk of losing. Unfortunately, if you look around the internet and in most book stores you will find a variety of books and articles written on how to win – but only a few on losing. I can understand that no one wants to be a loser, but everyone can’t be a winner. And until you can accept this realization – you’re going to have a tough time accepting everything that doesn’t go in your favor.

You know what I’ve come to realize, winning is sometimes easy – losing on the other hand is hard. So why aren’t there more books on how someone can cope with losing?

What do you do:

  • when you screwed up?
  • Sure you should learn from your mistakes, but what does that mean?
  • Should you feel bad emotions when you lose to condition your brain against getting the same result another time?

——- Personal Note ——-

It means there is no reason to interpret failure as a negative event. Unless you throw up your hands and give up, then any given failure only brings you closer to success. The problem occurs when we subconsciously believe that a given failure becomes a permanent part of us. We have a tendency to make past failures into a part of our identity. “Who am I?… Oh yeah I’m that guy who sucks at doing my job.” 🙁

The kind of conditioning those results is not helpful. We place a disproportionate amount of importance on avoiding the emotional sting of failure that it often prevents us from trying anything again. So often people deny themselves a chance at what they want because they cannot face the prospect of the emotional sting of losing.

How much it hurts depends on how much you let the loss define you. If you are aware that your identity cannot be defined by ANY events in your life, then loss or failure does not hurt. As soon as you can stop feeding the emotional response to failure with compulsive thinking, it has no negative effect on future attempts. You never have a choice but to continue your life from where you are. So there is never a good reason to lament on failure.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Rachel S
2008-05-16 14:44:58

I am a perfectionist, so I make a point of minimizing the occasions on which I might be wrong by studying and researching fully. If not given that opportunity, I will declare that I do not know something rather than guess and it and risk being wrong. So on the occasions that I do fail, or lose, or make a mistake, I will acknowledge it immediately. And it will stick with me. I will remember it, so I do not repeat it. (Case in point – I remember the word – and its correct spelling – that lost me a shot at the state competition in the fourth-grade spelling bee.)

 
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