Yes, you read that right, losing is winning! The commentary during the London Olympics about various gold medal winners is they did not make the cut for the Beijing Olympics. The Olympics is definitely elite international competition and there are winners and losers. If you think about it, there can only be one gold medal winner per event. Naturally, that means there are many more losers than winners.
Many of those losers come back four (4) years later and win. Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympics! He was expected to do well at the 1968 Olympics and instead he failed! He predicted he would win six (6) gold medals, but only won two (2) gold medals. The winners make it look easy, but we all know that there is a lot of work, talent and skills that go into winning a gold medal.
Making mistakes or losing teaches you much more than winning. If you are not doing anything, you cannot make any mistakes! The more you do, it is likely you will lose! Athletic competition is a metaphor for life. We play sports as kids and what do we learn? We learn to do our best, set goals, practice and win or lose. When we lose, we say it was only a game and when we win it was great competition.
When you lose, you have to evaluate your efforts! You make changes or adjustments and you win. Isn’t that what you do when you try to accomplish a goal and you miss? You evaluate your performance and make changes. If you are really on top of your game, you were monitoring your performance along the way and making small adjustments. See, you learn much more from losing!
How do you handle losing or mistakes? Do you dwell on them or fix them to succeed? When you had difficulty in school, did you just accept it or blame the teacher? How you react to problems or mistakes will mean success or failure. If you use the mistake to reevaluate your approach or efforts to achieve your goals, you will succeed. If you look at your failure or mistakes as a signal you should give up, you will fail!. What do you do?
Part of failure is giving up! Successful people never give up on their goals. Each one will rationalize their predicament. The person who gives up says they really didn’t want it anyway. The successful person generally will just explain it as a mistake and push forward. It is as though he/she has been there before and will push until success. I think most people do not realize that successful people fail often, but you don’t hear about it.
Which one are you? Everyone can be successful, but you need the right attitude to keep going when you make mistakes or fail. Michael Phelps was expected to set a Olympic record and yet he lost his first race. In an interview after he won twenty-two (22) medals, it was part of his plan. He realized he could not be his best at every event so he picked the events he thought he had the best chance of winning. It is not unlike most of us, where we evaluate our chances of success.
Win or lose, you should monitor your performance. When you make mistakes, you should evaluate your performance and make adjustments. Isn’t that what coaches do? Coaches look at your performance and make changes to help you achieve your goals. You are your coach, so go make your adjustments to meet expectations. If you are always winning, you probably are not testing yourself. Competition brings out our best and it improves performance. Remember losing is winning!
Photo by: ssoosay
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