I can remember as a kid watching ABC's Wide World of Sports. The introduction of the show was fascinating. As the opening credits started, Jim McKay's signature voice welcomed all viewers. "Spanning the globe to bring you a constant variety of sports." On screen, the action was incredible and in vivid color; moments of amazing drama quickly unfolded. McKay's narration continued, "The thrill of victory." Action shots of athletes at the top of their game, on the field, hands raised, victorious. "And the agony of defeat." A ski jumper falling just a few yards from his take off point, body tumbling over the edge of the ramp, limp like a rag doll.
"If passion drives you, you will stay in the game as long as it takes to be successful."
I have always loved a good victory dance. And who doesn't love a win, regardless of the victory coming from the workplace, on the field, or in life. Although I have never been a big fan of professional sports, I still appreciate glorious moments like a world series win or a dance in the end zone after a touchdown.
The images remain in my mind from the show's opening, but for many years, I never truly understood why anyone would possibly put themselves in the direct line of fire with the agony of defeat, until I started my own business and put all of my effort, energy and passion into this part of my life. Now I understand much more clearly. Without risk, there is no reward. The potential thrill from being victorious comes with the possibility of meeting victory's nemesis, defeat.
"The potential thrill from being victorious comes with the possibility of meeting victory's nemesis, defeat."
Driven by the goal of developing a winning business plan or a gold medal idea, I have pushed myself through defeat when it has occurred. And it has reared its ugly head more often than I care to mention or have time to write about in this blog. As I think back to the many business defeats I endured, restarts in my career and flops that I have experienced, I share with you 10 ways I deal with defeat:
- Learn a lesson. Use this opportunity (yes, there is opportunity in defeat) to reflect on what just happened. Did you lose the deal because you were unresponsive to your customer or was your pricing too high? Did you and your team deliver poor service or were you in over your head when you started? Take away from your defeat a lesson and try to keep it from happening in the future.
If you approach anything in life with an attitude of positivity, defeat might still find you, but its visit will be brief. I encourage you to feed your brain with positivity, avoid the naysayers and stay in action. You will never be able to control all of the external forces hitting you from all directions, but you can control how you respond to what is happening. Challenges, defeat and failure will present great opportunity while you are on the road to victory. I am looking forward to seeing you in the winner's circle.
Doug Sandler's best selling book, Nice Guys Finish First, is available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and Audible. He has an online training program and is also available for keynote and workshop presentations for your your organization. For more information you can reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.DougSandler.com