If we are given a choice between winning and losing in any aspect of life, most of us would want to be winners. It makes us feel good about ourselves, whether we’ve won through hard work or were lucky enough to have chosen the right lottery numbers.
Yet, there is valuable growth and learning that can come from losing—particularly in the business arena—if we can shift our view to see it. In a world where winning has become the way to measure success, this can be tricky.
A Learned Skill
A new mindset on losing is that it’s not simply about being a good loser, although that’s also important. According to business strategist, motivational speaker, and author Dan Waldschmidt, “You’ll never be the best at whatever you want to achieve until you learn how to lose with skill.”
You won’t necessarily enjoy losing, says Waldschmidt, but it’s part of what can make you great. “The lessons you learn from losing against a competitor who’s better than you are incomparably more valuable than the lessons you might learn from beating a competitor you’ve already beaten time and time again.”
Losing helps you “develop the talent, skills, and experience you need to win,” states Waldschmidt, and he advises people to both lose with skill and then find the people or resources that can make you stronger and bring you wins in the future.
In general, we at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) are all about helping you learn so you can experience more and more wins. Please contact us if we can help you in any way on your journey.
A Natural Outcome Of Competition
There’s a saying about gambling: You can’t win if you don’t play. By extension, you can’t lose either. You just sit on the sidelines as an observer, achieving nothing. If you’re going to compete, there’s the chance you will lose, but that’s part of living an ultimately fulfilling life of both successes and failures.
It’s all about your mindset, says a recent article on Success.org. The author states, “Competition is far better for the loser in my estimation than the winner, given the correct mindset. What is the correct mindset? Losing is temporary. Just like winning is and just like life is. In the context of time we can appreciate the ephemeral nature of any loss and find the lesson.”
Losses have the ability to beat you down or fire you up, according to the article, and you get to decide which way it will affect you. It’s often the people who’ve experienced (and learned from) loss and humiliation that become more consistent winners.
A Stronger Connection With Others
Tim Leberecht, founder of Leberecht & Partners and author of the book The Business Romantic, writes on Ideas.Ted.com that, “We ought not to view the professional defeat or the personal loss as just a bump on the road, but embrace the fact that losing is the very basis of our shared humanity.”
Everyone loses, and being able to share both the pain and the growth of our losses makes us more approachable to others who are also struggling to learn from their losses.
So, the next time you lose, congratulate yourself on having the courage to compete and remember that losing is far from failure—it’s merely a different path to success.
Looking for a way to practice expanding your leadership capabilities, including shifting your mindset on losing, in small yet bold ways? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. It’s free and with no strings attached.
Colleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!
Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.
Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.
If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.