It’s easy to be a good winner, but do you have what it takes to be a good loser? It’s hard to lose when you’ve worked tirelessly to achieve a goal, when friends and family come out to support you –– and you don’t want to let them down. Of course, any loss can be heartbreaking, and even embarrassing, given that everyone knows the score and there’s nowhere to hide. But even though losing can be unnerving, being a good loser is essential to becoming a winner.
Being a good loser does not mean being content with failing or condoning a half-baked effort. Instead, being a good loser helps build character, provides valuable lessons, and helps you become mentally prepared for your next challenge.
This Is How Losers Lose
Whether failure becomes a stepping-stone or a stumbling block depends on how you handle it. Here are six ways poor losers react to a situation:
Wallow in self-pity. Some people feel so sorry for themselves that it becomes all-consuming. They drag themselves down.
Shut down. Some folks refuse to talk to anyone and shut themselves off from the rest of the world.
Deflect personal responsibility. Some people spend time and effort creating excuses, pointing fingers, and casting blame for their loss.
Develop a victim mindset. Some folks think the world is unfair and feel they’ve been mistreated. This can lead to destructive negative emotions such as anger, envy, and even hatred.
Acquire a self-defeatist attitude. Some people beat themselves up believing that one loss makes them a failure. This can develop into a chronic pessimism in which they refuse to get back on the horse.
Remain stuck in the past. Some folks harbor on a defeat rather than look forward to their next opportunity.
Winners Know How to Lose
Your ability to maintain a positive attitude, learn, and move forward will determine whether you win or lose in the future. Here are eight guidelines to consider:
Take time to mourn the loss. It’s natural to get upset after a loss. Give it a good cry and move on.
Be positive. Winning without honor is worse than a loss. Hold your head up high. Remain calm and level-headed. Tomorrow’s another day.
Remain true to your values. These are the times when real leaders reveal their character. Show some grace and self-control. Be a positive role model. Do yourself proud.
Own the loss. Don’t look for excuses or cast blame. Accept responsibility for the loss or you’ll never take corrective action to better yourself.
Determine why you lost. If the loss was due to poor effort or careless errors, shame on you. It’s one thing to lose to a better opponent and quite another to beat yourself.
Raise your game. What can you do differently next time you’re faced with a similar situation? Learn and improve.
Turn barriers into hurdles. Don’t let challenges deter you from your goal. Winners run toward challenges; losers run away from them.
Don’t quit. Show some grit and determination. One loss doesn’t make you a loser any more than one win makes you a winner. As Norman Cousins, the political journalist, said, “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
You Win Some, You Lose Some
Some people believe there shouldn’t be losers –– every participant should be a winner. I believe losing is an important part of life. Losing makes you self-reliant; it’s an opportunity to accept responsibility for your own destiny. Losing builds confidence and makes you strong; it inspires you to weather setbacks in the future. Losing teaches you humility; it keeps you grounded. Losing provides valuable lessons; it proves that no matter how good you are, you can always become better. Losing fosters determination; it proves that when you’re steadfast, you can overcome almost any challenge in life. Last, but not least, losing builds character. As Chilon of Sparta, one of the “Seven Sages of Greece,” said, “Prefer a loss to a dishonest gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time.” The bottom line is that you can lose and still come out a winner. Think about it…what do you stand to lose?
What Do You Think?
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