Winning Comes After Many Losses
I don’t like losing…
One of the things that I’m working on getting better at, and maybe you are too, is losing.
I don’t like it.
I could end this piece of writing right there, I just simply do not like losing. It sucks.
Naturally, in the way that I am and the way that I enjoy carrying myself as an individual is someone who is incredibly competitive. I have not met many people who truly enjoy winning as much as I do.
Then there’s the other side of it. I want to win. Period.
By any means necessary, I want to win.
No matter what it is, I want to win.
Not only that, but I want to win convincingly and consistently.
I’m not good enough
That poses a major issue especially when there are things that I just might not be that good at.
There are times where winning really is not an option for me because I don’t have the background. Often, I can find ways to improve myself and win regardless but sometimes I cannot.
I’m not the best or that good on many occasions and I’ve always known, understood, and respected that.
But the fact remains that I’ve always believed I could improve enough to be a winner — no matter what it is.
I’m continuing to remind myself that this is not always possible. There are going to be things and there are going to be times where I simply can’t win. I simply cannot become good enough to win. I am simply not built to be competitive in certain areas.
We must learn to accept that.
We must come to terms with the fact that we cannot win everything.
Especially lately, this has been a trying thing for me. It’s like okay I’ve been losing a little bit in this thing or I haven’t been succeeding to the level that I desired to so let me take a step back and let me evaluate myself further. Why am I not performing where I want to be?
Why can’t I win?
Diagnose the reason.
Are you doing something wrong?
I ask myself where I could improve.
What needs to be done so that we can win at the desired level?
Is this possible?
Maybe it’s the other side of things…
Maybe I’m just a loser.
Maybe I can’t win regardless of what I do.
Maybe the needed skill set is not something that I can attain or develop.
I don’t think it’s possible for me to become the best jockey in horse racing history — I’m over 6 feet tall.
I don’t think it’s possible for me to become the best video game player in the world — I don’t have the senses or quick reactions.
I don’t think it’s possible for me to become the greatest scientist — I have never had a long-lasting passion for scientific experiments.
I’m not yet totally sure what I need to tell myself to become content with either stepping away from something, cutting my losses, and accepting that occasionally I’ll lose…
Or… maybe I need to realize that there are things outside of my control. I could be unprepared for a certain event because I’m reaching too high.
“It’s imperative that we understand the reason for losses so we can learn from them.”
Losing is not bad
Now don’t get me wrong… I don’t have anything against losing.
I am well aware that there are areas that I can win and there are also areas that I will lose.
If there are areas that I can win convincingly and consistently, which there are, that’s where my time and energy should be spent.
It’s the same for you. I know that you have won before and you’ve also lost before.
People are great at certain things and honestly horrible at others.
Lots of people talk about this — this is nothing new.
Many people focus on and teach winning. People say that you are to follow your passions but science shows that passions develop AFTER proficiency.
The better that you get, the more masterful you become, the more that you enjoy it. People like Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan — they have won consistently and they are all looked at as some of history’s greatest players in their respective sports.
As you become better and better and more specialized, you will love what you are doing at a deeper level. Beyond that, the rewards will also increase. You will be solving things that have more impact and you will be winning at greater levels.
I don’t have a problem with losing… it’s quite the contrary
Back to the beginning, I said I don’t like losing (and I don’t think that you like losing either).
But that’s not the full truth.
I don’t mind losing, it’s directional.
I really have a problem with not winning.
If I’m doing something and not winning, I take issue with it.
I want to win in every area that I’m part of and in every area that I’m competing in, there is no way around that. That’s undebatable.
Anybody who knows me well can back this up, they’ll tell you.
I’ve always desired to win, maybe I haven’t always asserted my competitiveness, but the drive has been there as long as I can remember. I’ve always been thinking about ways to win — whether high school gym class or whether a high school tennis tournament — I wanted to win.
Playing chess with my Dad? I wanted to win.
Playing video games with my roommates? I wanted to win.
Purely speaking, I wanted to win and I still do.
When the stakes are high
Sometimes with winning, the stakes are high.
You see this most clearly in sports.
There are regular season games and there are playoff games and then a championship.
You can lose regular season games — just not too many.
You can lose playoff games (in some sports) — just hardly any.
You can NOT lose the championship game — or it’s over.
When there is money on the line or a reputational impact… I want to win even more than usual.
Even when it’s just bragging rights, I crave winning.
You cannot always win. I cannot always win.
Success is fleeting and there are going to be a number of different things that we cannot win at no matter how badly we want success.
I will never be a world class basketball player — it’s not going to happen.
At times, we all need to step away.
We need to recognize when winning is not an option and we need to step away. We need to redirect. Maybe we need to go back to the drawing board, change our strategy, and come back again. Maybe we need to do something else entirely.
Whatever it is, winning is an option for all of us, we just need to find it.
We need to move out of the arenas where we are losers and move into the arenas where we are winners, that’s where we need to spend more time.
“You’ve already won. You were born a winner. Consistently executing at your true best will ensure success.” — Harrison Wendland