From an early age, we learn from our parents and society how important it is for us to win, but perhaps it is more important, we experience what it feels like to lose.
Because I had little to no motivations, this wasn’t a phase I went through, but children sometimes do go through phases where they won’t play with other children unless they know they’re going to win; this may be brought about by their parents teaching them how important it is to win.
But if children win all the time, they will never learn what it means to lose. We learn so much more about sportsmanship from losing than we do from winning. We learn about the value of losing when we come to examine our loss and try to understand why we didn’t win.
We can be completely prepared, trained, focused and experienced and still not win. Losing is an inevitable part of the process; not everyone can be winners all the time. Over our lifetime we will probably lose more than we will win, so it’s important we know how to deal with losing.
We’re all winners and need to recognise we are even if we lose. Just because we lose, that doesn’t mean we’re a loser. If the average child finishes last in the egg and spoon race in school that’s okay. There may be various reasons why that child didn’t win.
But finishing the challenge makes us winners. Having a go is a challenge and that also makes us a winner. Society should embrace winning and losing in equal measure. There is too much emphasis placed on winning and not enough on losing.
There has always been a stigma behind losing and perhaps that is what needs to change. In my mind, we’re all winners whether we come first, or we come last. It is our perceptions that need to change.