Winning through losing

From an early age, we learn from our parents and society how significant it is for us to win, but what it means to lose is even more important.

We can be prepared, trained, focused and experienced and still not win. Losing is an inevitable part of life, we cannot be winners all the time. Over a lifetime, we will lose more than we will win, so it is important we know how to deal with it.

Even if we lose, we need to recognise that we are all still winners. Finishing a challenge makes us a winner. Trying to win is a challenge, and overcoming any challenge also makes us a winner. Society should be embracing both in equal measures.

If a child in school finishes last in the egg and spoon race, there may be various reasons why that child didn’t win and, although it doesn’t feel good to lose, losing helps us to learn valuable lessons.

Like the stigma attached to disability, there is also a stigma behind losing: that perhaps a person is weak or didn’t try, but it’s okay for us to lose, we must be okay with it. Whether we come first or last we are all still winners. It is therefore our perceptions that need to change.


9 Dec, 2011

8 thoughts on “Winning through losing

  1. It’s true that sometimes failure is a very powerful lesson in having a reality check that you are not the only person on the planet.

    It definitely helps you appreciate the times you are successful all the more; rather than just expecting it.

  2. Very good post. I agree with you an all accounts.

    My daughter used to think she had to win all the time and would get upset when she didn’t.

    I’ve seen a lot of kids do this, but I think those with special problems are more prone to it because parents treat them with kid gloves, when all they need is to be treated like a normal child.

    1. Thanks Lisa. Ditto. I’m not sure how many parents discuss losing tournaments with their kids. School is where all this seems to start.

      It’s hard for kids to work through the fundamentals of losing, but is well worth the effort. It’s part of life I feel. They have to be prepared for it.

  3. A person must learn how to lose with grace. People cannot win all the time. Losing is a part of life and teaches us so much.

  4. There is definitely too much emphasis in society on winning at everything.

    Most people can’t handle it, since it’s hard to deal with it if you haven’t really dealt with it before.

    I’ve dealt with too much of it, so now I have to learn how to live with it so I can get on with my life!

    1. Randy I totally agree. I would think those of us who have never experienced losing, won’t know how to deal with it, in the same way those of us who continue to lose won’t experience what it feels like to win.

      Unfortunately when we lose, we have the emotional ties that bind us to the act of losing and it’s those feelings that make it hard for us to deal with, made worse because of society and what society expects.

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