The Learnings in Losing
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Losing can come in many forms through the journey of life.
Losing can be materialistic, situational and also deeply personal.
One thing is for certain, losing is inevitable.
I’ve lost people I love and it impacted my life tremendously.
I’ve lost in my career and it filled me with self-doubt.
I’ve also lost my phone. I’ve lost on black jack. I’ve lost on Madden. I’ve even lost my mind when the Green Bay Packers have lost in the playoffs these past 9 years.
Regardless of how I’ve lost, I’ve learned that losing is a process that includes three things and each provides us with life-changing results.
When a loss is handed to you, accepting it is hard.
When we realize that losing is an inevitable part of life and forget the word “part” – we’re going to have a harder time accepting loss.
One of the greatest martial artists of all time once said:
“Defeat is a state of mind, no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality. Defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to exert greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path to leading to success and truth.” – Bruce Lee
The result of accepting our losses is Awareness.
Awareness in our wrongdoing, our environments, our relationships and our effort.
Recently, I’ve come to the realization that I’m really good at making pivotal decisions.
They’ve not always been the best ones, but I am assertive when I make them.
It’s hard to overcome losing when your decisions are the ones that got you there in the first place.
The great Tony Robbins says decision-making is what shapes our destiny. He says:
“All decision-making is a values-clarifying exercise.”
It's one of my favorite quotes.
It’s life changing to know the decisions we make, ultimately, at their core, can clarify the values we are driven by.
The result of decision-making is Power.
Power in realizing our life decisions will leave us with good or bad results dependent on the values they are grounded by.
I’ve always been a very competitive individual and in my earlier years, I hated the idea of losing at anything, let alone the act of embracing loss.
I’ve lost numerous times in life yet I’ve always managed to find the will to keep on moving forward.
There’s absolutely nothing special about that. Millions of us do this every day.
The difference is acknowledging that our loses are but micro-moments that most of the time are driven by short-term desires and our will to move forward is driven by our desire to continue to live life for a cause bigger than ourselves.
Leader and entrepreneur Simon Sinek calls these “finite” and “infinite” games.
And another iconic and timeless leader, Martin Luther King Jr. once said:
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
The result of embracing our losses is Humility.
The Humility to accept loss as temporary and to live life in the service of more than just yourself.
Despite the social stigma that losing carries in our culture, I am a believer that losing can be a catalyst to living a fulfilled and joyous life.
I’ll end this article with another good take from Simon Sinek and introduce a word often confused with losing…failure.
“There is a difference between losing and failing. Losing reflects the score. Failing reflects our attitude.”
What has losing taught you in your career or life in general?
Please comment and share your thoughts.