Are you having one of those days when nothing is going your way? Has the day turned into a week or a month? Or maybe you’re devastated by a single huge loss and utterly unable to pick yourself up and keep fighting? You might have lost your job, or your significant other has left you. We feel you. It’s hard to stay positive when the whole world — the whole universe — seems to be conspiring against you.
Don’t despair. Our failures and losses are an essential part of our lives. Losing is not the end — in fact, it may create an opening for a new beginning, an opportunity to start fresh.
However, most of the time, we are not prepared to lose. Our success-driven culture is telling us that we need to be perfect and thrive in every respect, no matter what. You look at all the people who seem to be winning at life, and you envy them believing yourself to be a loser. What no one tells you, though, is that those people had failed more times than you’ve tried before they got to where they are now. So chin up — there are ways to make your losses part of your personal success story.
Define Losing and Winning in You Goals
First of all, you need to think about what winning and losing means to you. There’s no manual for success, where you have to tick all the boxes if you want to become an accomplished person. Rather, the definition of success is a highly subjective thing. You might believe that it means having a lot of money and a brilliant career, but someone else will feel successful if they are kind and helpful to their community.
However, if you want to not feel miserable every time something doesn’t work as planned, you need to set clear goals and define what it means to fail in them. That means you need to understand that a minor detour is not a failure. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do everything perfectly. When you’re working toward a larger goal, not everything can go smoothly all the time. Therefore, you need to differentiate between a loss and a drawback.
It’s human to make mistakes. However, it’s also human to not let those mistakes deter you from your final goal. So don’t take them to heart as they’ll dishearten you. Instead, learn from them and move on.
What Makes Someone a Winner?
So what makes a winner? It’s difficult to say, really. Not everyone has the same outlook on life, and thus, we all have different hopes and aspirations. Someone will feel like a winner if they close an important deal at work, while another person, who was unemployed for months, will feel the same way if they merely find a job. A high school student will feel like a rockstar if they get straight A’s while beating an illness will make a patient feel like an absolute champ.
So being a winner is entirely subjective. You can say that a winner is essentially anyone who feels like one. Therefore, whether you’re successful in life or not has a lot to do with your attitude and point of view. If you’re rolling your eyes reading this, thinking it’s some new-age BS, pause and consider it for a second. If you allow yourself to feel better about yourself and not be miserable after every small loss, you’ll be much more ready to face future challenges and overcome them with ease.
What Can You Do to Change Your Losses to Wins?
As we’ve said, you can make your failures work to your advantage — you just need to be smart about them. Here are four ways to turn a loss on its head.
Learn From Your Loss
No experience is a bad experience if you come out of it smarter. The best thing you can do with your losses is to learn from them. People who are extremely successful businessmen, for example, have turned their mistakes into important lessons instead of crying over them.
Think How the Loss Changes Your Trajectory
If you stay open-minded, a loss can be a blessing in disguise. Say a part of your project has failed. How does that change things? Maybe it opens a new, better way to finish the project. Maybe it makes you take the path you wouldn’t have taken before, and it turns out to be so much better than what you previously planned.
Welcome the Opportunity to Start Afresh
A great example of this is losing a job and finding a much better one or starting a completely different career. As the saying goes — when one door closes, another one opens. It’s so important to be able to welcome a change and embrace it.
If you’ve hit rock bottom or are constantly losing, it’s time to reevaluate whether you should keep doing what you’re doing. Is all the stress worth it? Maybe it’s time to let go. Sometimes, knowing when to quit is what makes you a winner.
How Will That Affect Your Outlook on Life?
Being smarter about your failures can change your life. Instead of being overly dramatic about them, you should face them head-on, look at them closely, and see what they really bring you. With such an attitude, you’re sure to become much happier in life and feel better about yourself.
What’s more, pining over our losses impairs our thinking and makes us more likely to make more mistakes sooner. It messes with our confidence and self-esteem and prevents us from moving forward. On the other hand, if we think of our failures as part of the learning process, we’ll be able to use them to our advantage and turn them upside-down in no time.