Defeat is part of life, just like winning, but nobody wants to be defeated. Whether you are an athlete, a businessman, a politician, serve in the military, or you are just an everyday Joe, you want to win. Everything inside you desires to have one in the win column. The stronger the drive you have to win, the more you have to lose.
Winning vs. losing is affected by how you handled your last win or loss. Were you elated over the win to the point that you took things for granted and became lazy, thus setting yourself up for a loss? Were you despondent over a defeat to the point that you just threw up your hands and gave up trying? Either way, that is unhealthy and self-defeating.
Here are some practical tips when you experience a defeat:
Tip 1. Losing a battle is different from losing a war. Plan for the next battle and adjust to make sure that you have the resources, energy, focus, and determination to win. Don’t go into a gun fight with a knife. Don’t try to take on an army by yourself. Don’t go into battle without the energy you need to fight. Make sense?
Tip 2. Evaluate why you lost and learn from your mistakes. If you don’t change what you are doing, how can you expect different results?
Tip 3. Don’t give up. When you have experienced defeat, the taste of victory is that much sweeter. Focus on your goal and don’t let temporary setbacks keep you down.
Tip 4. Have a coach and a cheerleader. If you have someone that can help you see clearly and put things in perspective, it helps. We all need a kick in the butt occasionally or someone to just say, “Snap out of it!” Of course, we need encouragement and support as well. A good coach will keep you on track, and the cheerleader will help you stay motivated. They both have their place on your team.
Tip 5. Keep things in perspective. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy by making mountains out of molehills. Don’t become a drama queen where EVERYTHING is a “Woe is me” moment. Little things have a way of escalating if you let them. Don’t let them!
Defeats can be a good thing if you learn from them, become energized by them, and use them to motivate you forward. Next time you face a defeat, put it in perspective and see what you can do to make something positive out of it. Just doing that will improve your win/loss ratio.
I hope you turn the defeats you face into points of grace.