Winning through losing

From an early age, we learn from our parents and society how important it is for us to win, but I believe we need to know what it means to lose, more than what it means for us to win.

If children win all the time, they will never know what it means to lose. We learn so much more about sportsmanship from losing, more than we do from winning. We learn more about the value of losing when we come to examine our loss and understand why we didn’t win.

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

We are all winners and need to recognise we are, even if we lose. Just because we lose doesn’t mean we are losers. If the average child in school finishes last in the egg and spoon race there may be various reasons why that child didn’t win. We must always reassess.

Finishing a challenge makes us a winner. Trying to win is a challenge in itself and that makes us a winner. Society should embrace both in equal measures. Generally there is too much emphasis placed on winning and not enough on losing. If more people came to lose instead of winning, they’d be classed as winners for losing.

It would also make winning sweeter. Like the stigma behind disability there is also a stigma behind losing. It’s okay for us to lose. We’re all winners, whether we come first or we come last. It’s 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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