Seems like a strange thing to say, doesn’t it.
I mean all of us know how to use. In every head to head competition, exactly half the players are going to lose.
That describes every one of us.
And when we strive to do something new, we fail. Often.
Unless we set our sights so insanely low that we never lose. But then, we never achieve anything.
That doesn’t describe you. Otherwise you would have never arrived at this post.
So yeah, in one sense we all know how to lose.
The thing is, most of us don’t know how to lose productively and constructively.
We internalize failure rather than use it as a platform for growth.
Think back to the last time you were reaching for something difficult, and you didn’t make it.
How did it feel?
What was your emotional response to failure? What was your first instinct? To lash out? To blame someone or something for the loss?
To play the victim card? “Poor me! I’m not smart enough/strong enough/good enough!”
Did you convince yourself you didn’t really want what you were striving for in the first place?
One of the modern classics of business and personal development is The One Minute Millionaire, by Robert G. Allen and Mark Victor Hansen. The fictional story around the lessons packs an emotional wallop.
One of the most memorable lines is in the nonfiction part. (Sheer genius: the left side of the book is the fictional story; the right side is a “how to manual” for becoming a millionaire. Both parts are in perfect sync.)
Four simple words…
Live Above The Line.
When we try at something and fail, there is a line. Below it is blame. It’s what I described a few paragraphs above. That negative emotional response to failure. It makes us afraid of risk, and leads to a spiral of underachieving and living small.
Above the line is learn. That is when we drop our defenses. Our need to blame someone or something for our lack of success.
Indeed, it’s where we stop seeing losing as a negative. It’s where we celebrate the chance to get stronger, smarter and better.
And for those who are really emotionally mature, it’s a chance to congratulate, make friends with and seek help from the winners.
Because who you spend most of your time and energy with is who you become.
And most winners really enjoy pouring into losers who embrace the experience, and decide to learn from it.
That’s how virtually all winners got to be winners in the first place!
There’s one basic trick in knowing how to lose…
Stop thinking of it as losing.
Call it a step on the road to winning.
Or call it an awesome lesson.
Or call it a reminder that you aren’t yet ready for the success that comes with winning.
Change the emotional response to losing.
And get ready for a whole bunch of winning!
When was the last time you felt great about losing?
What kind of victory did it help you get ready for?
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