This is something that can be a great asset as it means I work tirelessly to improve and always put in my very best effort. However, it also means that I am relentless with myself and that I can let a “loss” distract me from the value of the lesson an experience can provide. There is little doubt in my mind that many of you out there experience this same sensation of disappointment and discouragement after a loss.
So what can you do to address these feelings when you’re not number 1. And, most importantly, how can you ensure that you derive benefit from every experience, regardless of the outcome? Here are some ways you can better deal with times when you do not achieve first place.
Have appropriate expectations
Something I’ve often written about is the importance of perspective, which goes hand in hand with expectations. While it’s true that the goal of competitions is to win, it is not necessarily the only outcome that could be considered a “success.” Therefore, it is advantageous to set your expectations towards learning and growing from experiences, rather than looking at winning as the only worthwhile result.
Separate your worth from your performance
Wow, that’s a loaded one that is easier said than done (and frankly, probably deserves its own post…). Too often we can find ourselves defined by our activities and results. You increased the number of page views to your blog? Your self worth increases. You saw a dip in traffic? Well, now you feel downright inadequate. Separating who you are and your worth from the things you do and the outcomes you drive is the best way to stay positive in all situations and allow room from self-reflection and improvement, rather than negative thoughts.
As cliché as it is, know you are solely competing against yourself
As we know, comparison is the root of many problems (just look at all of the posts out there about the evils of social media as an encourager of the comparison trap). Knowing this, it is clear that the most important form of competition is that against the “you of yesterday.” Are you taking steps each day to be better than the day before? Even if you weren’t judged the best in a particular situation, can you be proud of the effort you extended and improvements you made? If yes, then you are exactly where you need to be (another cliché, this time from yoga class haha).
When you understand that winning and losing with grace makes you a better competitor and person, as well as contributes to your growth and self-improvement, you will soon find that you can embrace any situation.
How do you deal with losses?