30 Days of Gratitude: Bonus Prompt 9: Losing

How we react to success and failures in our life often speaks a lot to our character.

As I spoke about in the last post society in many ways has created environments to shelter people from losing. This goes all the way AYSO to the professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. Those leagues have done everything they can to eliminate ties.

Prime examples are the overtime rule in college football that greatly favors the offenses to the shootout in the NFL. Fans in American and Canadian sports leagues seem to always want a winner.

I had been struggling with how to approach this post. I then read a post from another blog about defeat. The post had multiple points that touched and made sense when discussing losing or in the case of his post defeat.

“Once you accept defeat, it is easier to be defeated. Once you accept losing, it is easier to lose.”

Many times in a battle, the ability to wear down an opponent can lead to victory. I experienced this in a custody battle. My ex simply had more money. She was able to do far more to tip custody in her favor. It was an emotionally taxing experience.

“When you focus on the pain that is often associated with defeat, it begins to control your life and define every facet of your existence.”

This is even more difficult for those with anxiety and depression. Not being able to reach a goal in life or losing something that is important to you is devastating. Significant loss in life will likely exacerbate anxiety and depression.

For someone predisposed to mental health issues a loss in life can be much more difficult to deal with.

“It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference between experiencing defeat and seeing yourself as defeated. Because you suffered a loss does not mean that you are a failure”

There is a fine line here. Some people say think positive. For those that already have issues with depression and anxiety that can be difficult. Being able to learn and how to implement coping mechanisms to make them feel like they are not “losing”is important.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy can help steer someone’s thoughts to become more positive. The phrase losing and someone is a loser is thrown around far too often.

Everyone goes through adversity in their life. The varying level of adversity that people go through in their lives should have us show compassion towards others. Referring to someone as a loser or losing is often unfair and always subjective. 

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