10 Reasons Why Losing Does Not Make You a Loser

10 Reasons Why Losing Does Not Make You a Loser

My son came home from school last week feeling down. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he was selected as a judge for the school gymnastics competition that was held earlier in the day. I didn’t understand; it sounded like a fun way to spend the afternoon. What was the problem?

“I felt bad for the people who didn’t get an award or even a sticker. They tried really hard but they just weren’t as good as the people who won.”

Interestingly, the week before, he and his friends participated in our town’s Wearable Arts competition. Wearable arts are handmade art creations in a wearable form that push the boundaries of creativity. There were some truly spectacular creations in this year’s competition.

Now, for a moment, imagine the only all male team was a group of 5th-grade boys. They used cardboard, spray paint, most of my tin foil and all of my disposable cooking pans to create from their hearts and imagination. After they had worked tirelessly for the entire term with no help from parents or teachers, they were proud of their entry.

Then came the judging…

No award, no highly commended; they were crushed.

They put in their best effort and lost. Most adults know that’s a reality of life, but it’s still is a painful lesson no matter how many times the universe helps you learn it. When you do your best and put yourself out there, it does more than sting when you lose; it hurts no matter what your age.

After judging the gymnastics competition my son now had a new life lesson:

Even when you lose, it doesn’t make you invisible. There are people out there who see you and appreciate your effort even if they never tell you. They’ll also remember you.

I told him: 
You had the courage to do something; others didn’t. Just like the kids in the gymnastics competition.
You all enjoyed the process, and that matters.
Even when you don’t win, people respect that you’re IN IT. You’re trying, and that’s never worthless.

In that moment, I swear I could see the lightbulb above his head start to glow. There was no shame in not winning wearable arts or the gymnastics competition. He was proud of everyone who tried, but they simply weren’t the best. It didn’t change the way he saw them as human beings. There were no scarlet “A” letters handed out to the people who lost or crowns for the winners. Despite how he felt and what he told himself, he was not a loser and if you fail, you’re not a failure.

I think we all know what it’s like to lose when you wanted to win.

Maybe it was a promotion or a big sale that you were inches away from closing. Or perhaps you didn’t get an offer for a new job or your small business was a flop and fold. Every time you lose, no matter the circumstance, it hurts because when you go all in, no holding back, it feels personal. You’ll second guess and wonder where you went wrong or if you could have done more. Unfortunately, or maybe it’s fortunately, time only moves forward.

Ten Reasons Effort is Never Worthless – Even if You Lose


You set your bar.
You now have an opportunity to get better.
You know and don’t need to waste time wondering “what if.”
You can’t win if you don’t put yourself out there and try.
You inspired others who were too afraid today to give it a go in the future.
You raised your hand, and people noticed.
You challenged yourself.
You were courageous.
You can use what you learned to reach higher and go further next time.
You cared enough to go all-in.

A gold star doesn’t identify you as a person of value, and the road to success is paved with far more losses than wins. Be grateful you’ve got one more behind you and are one closer to where you want to go.

What’s your experience with trying and falling short?

Alli Polin
Personal Development
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Alli Polin, CPCC, ACC, is a former senior executive with deep experience in leadership, change management, and organization development. Now a writer, coach, and speaker, she ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 24-28

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 24-28

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 24-28, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Implementing a Robo Advisor Strategy


Robo advisors can complement—not threaten—any bank’s business model and improve customer engagement. Regardless of age, income, or gender, 75% of bank customers surveyed by KPMG said they would be likely or somewhat likely to consider a robo advice service from their bank. — Greg Vigrass

2. The Sweetspot of Sales


I’ve had some extremely interesting conversations the last few days. We’ve been discussing sales, sales management, leadership, motivation etc. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with these inspiring business leaders. One question keeps coming up: Why do you love sales so much? — Tove Zilliacus

3. New ETFs That Reinvent Fixed Income Investing—Without Reinventing the Wheel


We all know the drill: the Fed raises interest rates, and the bond market falls. That’s an important equation to consider now that the decade-long era of historically low interest rates is slowly but surely coming to an end. — Salvatore Bruno

4. Alternative Beta Strategies: Alpha/Beta Separation Comes to Hedge Funds


A quiet revolution is taking place in the alternatives world. The idea of alpha/beta separation has finally made its way from traditional to alternative investing. This development brings with it a more transparent, liquid and cost-effective approach to accessing the “alternative beta” component of hedge fund return and a new means for benchmarking hedge fund managers. — Yazann Romahi

5. Advisors Will Be Extinct in 5 Years Unless…


I’ve had financial advisors for more than 40 years. Not once in those years have I called my advisor to find out what stock/funds I should buy or sell. But I have called to find out where I should get my first mortgage, when to sell my house, or how much income I could get in retirement. — Paulette Filion and Judy Paradi

6. Outsourcing Investment Management: TPAM vs. TAMP


Many financial advisory firms want the silver bullet solution to outsourcing investment management so the focus can be on client interactions and business development. However the jargon in this outsourced space has become very confusing so here is a brief summary of our understanding. — Jennifer Goldman​​​​​​​

7. How Can Financial Planners Save You From America's #1 Killer?


You probably aren’t aware of this, but it’s true: financial planners are heroes. Yep, it's the truth. And when you think of the America's top killer, you might think about smoking, cancer or obesity. Or maybe even a serial killer. — Ronald Sier

8. How to Stay On Clients' Minds


How to effectively stay on your clients’ minds (for all the right reasons), even though they may not see you for months. — Paul Kingsman

9. 20 Reasons Why Your Company Should Do Less Better


Do Less Better practitioners are fanatical about focus and de-complexity; herein lies the secret of their success. Yet, do less better isn’t something most leaders embrace. The seemingly more attractive (and logical) option is to do more and more — John Bell

10. Advisors: Where Should You Start with Content Marketing?


Often advisors ask us, “How should I get started in marketing?” It’s a fair question. They just want to make sure they’re putting their time and resources in the right place. — Jud Mackrill​​​​​​​

11. The 11 Best Steakhouses in the World


Serious carnivores will go to the ends of the earth to seek out a perfectly marbled, expertly seared steak. And so, it seems, will we. We've visited the best butchers in France, reacquainted ourselves with the idea that everything (steaks included) is bigger in Texas, eaten at celebrated parrillas of Argentina, and enjoyed the elegant ambiance of metropolitan steakhouses. — Andrew Harper

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio