Image for post
Image for post

Losing is bad.
Losing makes you look weak.
Losing means you’re not good, you’re not special, you’re not going anywhere.

Society often teaches us that winning is the most important while losing — well, losing just isn’t an option. Not if you want to succeed in anything, that is. But, what if I told you that wasn’t the case? What if society didn’t feel so obligated to push these traditional values of right or wrong, black or white, win or lose upon us? What if all of us weren’t always so terrified to lose?

There is great value in loss. Winning a million games will positively reassure your position and standing, satisfy your coach and team, and fill you with such pride. It will bring a shiny new addition to your polished glass trophy case, and, in turn, honor to your organization and yourself. Yes, winning a million games will make you feel like a million bucks. But, winning isn’t as good of a teacher as losing.

Losing will not bring you pride. It won’t bring you fame, or praise, or cheers from the crowd. It will not allow you to advance to the next round of competition. And, losing won’t earn you a gold medal around your neck. But, losing is not good for nothing — there is great value in loss. In losing we can find the weakest parts of ourselves. We can find the corners of our minds that could use refining, the muscles of our body that need soothing, or the feelings deep in our hearts that need some tending. Losing and finding these weaknesses, these inner afflictions, allow us to accept and understand our hindrances, so that we may work on them. If none of us were ever to lose, then we would never know where our weaknesses lay, and, thus, never know what areas needed improvement. Without loss, we would all become stagnant, stale, without motivation or need to improve upon what is working so well already.

But, losing doesn’t just pinpoint our areas of improvement, it can also highlight our strengths. When we lose at something we can study ourselves to find what worked and what didn’t work, what led to our loss and what could have led to our success had we kept on a different course. We can also observe our competition to examine which moves contributed to their defeat over us and attempt to appropriate that new knowledge to use to our advantage.

Losing is a strategy. Every time you are defeated you learn something. You learn your own weaknesses and strengths, and you are educated on the inner-workings of your competitor’s game. This knowledge can then be used to improve upon yourself and your own technique.

You really only lose when you don’t get anything out of losing.

Let me say that again for those of you that need to hear it:

You really only lose when you don’t get anything out of losing.

If you’re the type to walk away from a loss with your shoulders slumped, your ego bruised, and weakened morale, then you’re losing the wrong way. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself for not being the best, learn from your loss and work toward being better next time. Take your losses in stride, with pride, and never feel lesser for embracing a teaching moment. Lose the right way.

Chad Q. Brown’s Profile is a retained consulting firm incorporating distinct team building and talent strategies utilizing proprietary technology and behavioral assessment infrastructure. Our mission — help people get better at people.


Chad Q. Brown

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store