Losing is never fun. Especially for someone that’s super competitive. I’ve always been that way, ever since I was a kid. Now that I’m in my 40s, I’m slowly starting to look at losing differently. Instead of letting it get me down, I’m allowing it to teach me some things. Here’s what losing has taught me.
I’ve always played soccer and I’ve been on winning teams and losing teams. Most recently, I’ve been on a losing team. I’m not talking about losing a few games, I’m talking about losing every single game. Man, it’s been depressing. In fact, so depressing that I almost thought about quitting. I even talked about my thoughts with my cousin and teammate. I told her it was time to hang up the towel and quit. Instead of letting me do that, she talked me out of it. She reminded me that each game is like my gym time and playing allows me to get in a good workout. And she reminded me that the ball has to get through every player on the field before it gets to me – the goal keeper. Losing every single game is tough and yes, as a goal keeper, I’m the player that takes the loss to heart.
That emotion that I feel makes me get stronger and stronger after every loss. Taking a loss to heart is painful and is what made me want to give up. Instead of doing that, though, I get back into it every single time because I’m determined to get better. I want to learn new tricks to step up my game and be better. Not only as a goal keeper, but also as a business owner and a human being. The good thing about losing is that it teaches you something and forces to you learn and grow on every single turn.
In addition to being determined, losing has taught me to be resilient. Giving up is something I almost did. I was so ready to stop playing a sport that I loved because I was taking every loss to heart. Like it was my fault our team lost. In reality, it’s not my fault. It’s no one’s fault. That’s why there’s no “I” in the word team. The players on a team are in the game together and a loss is a team loss. What if the whole team decides to give up after a loss? It would be over. Forever! No one want that, right?!
Coming back week after week, despite all the losses, has made me toughen up, create a thick skin and bounce back over and over again. Being resilient is about being cold and unfeeling. It’s about recovering quick enough that you can jump right back into whatever it is you were doing. Losing is not fun, it never is. But losing can make you become strong enough to fall down eight times and get up nine.
It’s About Being a Good Human
Losing has also taught me that life is not really about winning or losing. Whether it’s a sport, getting the promotion over someone else or winning the lottery. Life is not about any of that at the end of the day. It’s about being a good human being. When you lose, you can choose to be angry and upset or proud of yourself and the other parties involved. Which are you going to choose? Yes, it is a choice. Whether you believe me or not, I promise you, how you choose to feel is a choice.
Put it this way, at the end of the day, when you’re dead and gone, you won’t be remembered for how many wins you had in life. They’re not going to put on my tombstone that I won every game in an over 30 recreational soccer league. Ouch! It stings a little for my competitive side to hear that but it’s the freaking truth! People are going to remember you for how you made them feel and what you did for them.
What has losing taught you?
If you’re thinking nothing, hopefully this post will change your mind a bit. If it’s taught you something, I want to know what you learned. Do me a favor and tell me in the comments below. Not only will you be telling me, you’ll be sharing your story with the world. That story, just might help someone else.