You Can’t Win Them All

Yes, that is me in the picture to the left. And as the title of this post says, “you can’t win them all.”

You are probably wondering about the story behind this picture. As the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air used to say “Let me tell you a story about…”

Our youth group had issued a challenge to the boys and the girls. The challenge was to see whether the boys or the girls could give the most in the offering.

If the guys won, the female leaders would get a pie in the face. If the girls won, the male leaders would get a pie in the face.

As you can probably tell, the guys lost. And you know what? That is okay.

Whether in our business life or personal life, there will be times that we will lose. It is in these losses that our true colors are shown.

Will you face the loss with grace or will you fall apart.

Winners have to absorb losses.

When you lose, how do you react? Do you:

  • Get frustrated?
  • Blame others?
  • Have a bad attitude?

When you react this way, people notice. And not in a good way. They see someone who cannot control their emotions. When you blame others, people will feel that you could blame them if you fail. People will not want to be around you if you have a bad attitude.

If you have any of those reactions to a loss, you need to examine yourself. Sure, losing is not fun. In fact, it can be down right humiliating. But if you are going to win as a leader or in life, you need to learn to lose with grace.

If you learn from a loss you have not lost.
— Austin O’Malley

How to lose with grace:

  • Acknowledge the winner
  • Learn from your loss
  • Set new goals and expectations
  • Accept the loss
  • Move past the loss

I know it can be hard to acknowledge the winner. But when you acknowledge the winner, you show grace and dignity. The respect you gain is far more valuable than throwing a tantrum.

Learning from your loss shows a sense of maturity. It allows you to examine what went wrong and what you can correct. This allows you to grow and improve yourself.

When you set new goals and expectations, you can prepare for the next time you may win or lose. You now have a goal to reach for. Go for it and get the win next time!

At the end of the day, you need to be able to accept your loss. Regardless of how good you are, there will be times that things do not go right and there is failure. Accept it, it is there and nothing will change it.

And finally, you must move past the loss. Holding onto to it will make you bitter and angry. It is much better to let it go and move onto the next big adventure.

The way you handle defeat will shape the way you lead. You can either be fearful of losing or be confident in the knowledge that losses will come. Be a leader who learns from their loss and becomes a better leader because of it.

That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.
— Richard Bach

Question: Have you handled a loss poorly? How could you have better handled the loss? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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