Mark Salinas – Insight and Action

Re: Insights and Action

Winning and Losing

Posted by Mark Salinas on May 22, 2008

“Win some you lose some.” We have all heard this. Obviously winning should be applied with grace and tact, congratulate anybody involved and keep a level head. How about when you lose? Do you handle this well?

Win Some Lose Some

Some great information in an article published in BusinessWeek Bruce Weinstein, PhD

How to Lose with Grace and Dignity

With the above considerations in mind, I propose the following rules for rising to the challenge when you don’t reach a goal:

1. Be Angry, But Not for Too Long. It’s understandable to be upset when you lose, but dwelling on the loss, obsessing over it, or making it the focus of your life is more hurtful than helpful. In an earlier column, I offered five steps for dealing effectively with anger (BusinessWeek.com, 4/8/08), and as difficult as it may be to do so in every upsetting situation, it is in your own interest not to let anger get the best of you.

2. Accept Reality. We often tell ourselves, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Unfortunately, we have less control over our lives than we’d like to believe, and there is nothing we can do to alter this. All the determination in the world cannot make other people do, say, or vote for something if they don’t want to. It should lessen the blow to realize that there is only so much we can do to affect the change we seek.

3. Look for the Lesson. Yes, we learn by winning. (Think about how you surprised yourself the last time you accomplished something you thought would be too difficult to achieve.) But we also learn by losing, if we have the courage to pay attention. In looking honestly at a failed attempt to get a job (BusinessWeek.com, 5/8/08), for example, or develop a romantic relationship, the lesson could be that we need to rethink our approach, or we need to change something about ourselves. The best way to succeed next time, or to learn how to handle defeat better, is to find the lesson from our loss and take it to heart.

4. Cut Yourself Some Slack. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: The ethical responsibilities to be fair and compassionate apply to how we treat ourselves, not just others. Berating yourself for losing isn’t a kind or decent way to treat yourself, and doing so prevents you from getting back into action, which can lead to further losses.

5. Keep on the Sunny Side of Life. How many successful people do you know who are burdened by the weight of their past failures? If you let losing get the best of you, it will be all but impossible to go forward. Allow yourself to feel angry, but accept reality, learn from the experience, don’t be too hard on yourself, and move on. ”

We wan’t to keep ourselves level headed in a winning situation and in a losing situation, grow from your losses.

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