Thought Catalog
May 15, 2017

What If I Asked You To Lose?

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What is the issue?
iStockPhoto.com / Epicurean

What if it’s good to lose?

You want me to fail, you want me to lose, what kind of monster are you?

The whirlwind of emotions and thoughts that are triggered as an immediate response to even the contemplation of not winning or succeeding.

In our everyday lives, whether it is family, work or social we all have a competitive under current waiting for that spark, that opportunity to earn that sense of achievement and satisfaction.

Many of these we do subconsciously, the spark goes off and before we realise we are in a competitive environment whether on a micro scale or at a high performance level.

There you are strolling along a beautiful beach, with a friend or loved one, you are relaxed and calm. The water is mirror flat with just the gentle noise of water lapping on the sand.

Your friend or loved one bends down, picks up a small stone, steps forward and skims it across the water. You both watch as the stone bounces effortlessly once, twice…. Until finally disappearing out of sight.

Suddenly you find yourself stepping forward and skimming a stone you have found. 1,2,3,4,5….YES! it skimmed more times. The environment has changed – the spark went off whether subconsciously or consciously and now its about how many times it skims, who’s went further, how high you get it to bounce etc.

From an environment of complete calm to that spark going off shows that competitive under current within us all and is applied in every aspect of life.

But…..now lets flip the scenario.

You step forward go to skim the stone and splosh……nothing!

Now we are faced with 2 options:

1) Try again, learning and developing? Or

2) Quit, walk away saying it’s a silly game or I can’t do it.

Either way that first stone you tried to skim has failed, nothing is going to change that. You have lost…or have you?

Option 1

Do we hunt for another stone, a better stone and try again? Do we hold the stone differently; do we throw it harder or faster? Do we explore the opportunities to enable us to develop, become better, and gain that sense of achievement when you do skim it. A feeling of hunger for more that floods through your body with the emotion of success. The eagerness to do more skimming when your next on the beach, or teach someone else how to do it continues the cycle of positivity and highlights how we were only hungry to improve or develop due to our own response action to failing.

Or

Option 2

Walk away feeling disheartened, frustrated and angling any kind of blame on the stone, the conditions everything accept yourself. Creating a cycle of negative energy that will have a knock effect to other elements around you setting yourself into a downward spiral.

Taking responsibility and ownership of the failure is one way to breakout of that cycle. Once out there has to be a desire to want to improve, to learn and to develop.

Looking into this simplistic example and environment of the above scenario we can identify that failure ignites a drive of self-development and a hunger to succeed.

Taking this scenario to the highest level within elite sport and the options remain the same. This is what separates the very best athletes to their competitors. A desire to always develop and a curiosity to know more. Now these are the elements to why failure is so important to each and everyone of us.

Now the crux point is, the competitive nature that is instilled into elite performance athletes is that they must win; they must be the best at everything they do. The only way for someone to do exactly that is by having an environment where mistakes can be made, loosing is a good thing as long the areas that caused you to loose are identified and a development plan is created to improve on those areas.

Every successful athlete will have a story of failure, match losses, being rejected from a team, injuries that they have had to conquer and learn from to achieve success.

Within elite sport athletes with their coach and support staff will identify a programme, an event calendar, and highlight when that athlete needs their peak performance.

During that programme of events and training schedule there has to be down time, as well as identified events that focus on improving a key element or area (without the goal to win being at the forefront).

Having the correct procedures, programme, goal setting, teamwork, communication process etc is fundamental to the development cycle. Being able to measure every aspect of performance leading to identifying improvement areas will create positive steps forward to the long-term goal.

Learning from our mistakes requires us to make mistakes for which we are to learn. If the environment does not enable mistakes how are we to learn?

No one just becomes successful, everyone has a story, and everyone has lost or failed at something.

The choice is only down to one person….you, believe. TC mark

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