Firstly, if you are reading this, then it is very likely that you have lost a fight (maybe more than once), either recently or at some point in time. There is no getting away from it. It sucks to lose a fight and a part of me is gutted for you.
However, a bigger part of me wants to help you celebrate the loss.
Sounds crazy right!
Everyone throws away participant trophies. No one remembers who came in second place.
Let’s spin it on it’s head a little here though.
Facing your FEARS
How many people do you know who would not have taken part in your fight in the first place? I am guessing that list is not short!! There are many individuals in life who say a lot about what they want to or would do but never act upon either.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.Theodore Roosevelt
Very often fear is what stops others from doing exactly what it is you did. You are different though. You did not let fear beat you. You stepped up, faced it and fought regardless.
It is one of the truths in life that we can only overcome fear if we face it head on. You now know that you are not afraid to stand up and fight when needed. There are literally millions of people around the world who wished they had that same strength.
If you fight, no matter which arena it is in, you have a warrior's spirit.
What have warrior's done for millenia?
They have looked to challenge themselves in order to become the best that they can be. The test therefore is never really against other people, it is always against yourself.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.Confucius
If you were not looking to face the biggest challenges you could find then you would not have been in this fight.
Life itself often contains a series of problems and obstacles that each individual needs to work out how to get past.
People who seek to avoid challenges outside of their comfort zone often find themselves without the necessary physical or mental skills to cope when one comes up they cannot avoid.
Your fight, irrelevant of the result, has equipped you with the mindset necessary to face difficulties head on.
Letting go of EGO
Think back to a time when you have been around someone who you consider to be a great fighter. I am guessing they have phenomenal physical skills for you to hold them in such high esteem.
However, I am sure what inspires you more is their mindset, character and approach to training or competing. I am also willing to bet that they have lost a fight or two in their time as well.
It is very clear that those at the top of the game are not egocentric.
They understand that in order to become the best that they can be, they are going to need to accept that they are not always going to be the best at everything.
They know that that the journey to the top involves training with people and coaches who are better than they are. They don’t seek to avoid this, they embrace it and actively look for great individuals they can learn from. Even to the extent of working with past opponents who may well have beaten them previously.
Too much ego will kill your talent.Anonymous
This lack of ego is what makes them coachable and allows them to develop far beyond the range of normal people. It is also something that extends to their fights.
They train as if they have never won and fight as if they have never lost. Their path to the fight has meant they have lost many times to superior training partners in the gym. I am sure your's did too. This loss then is only so if you allow your ego to come into play.
LEARNING and GROWING
One thing that I personally know from my own losses in fights is that you always learn more from them than you do those that you win.
Therefore losses can often be a gift in disguise. A bitter sweet gift for sure, but a gift all the same.
Ask yourself, what would you do different if you were to have the same fight again? I am sure you have quite a few things you could list.
Great, that means you have analysed your loss and have started to learn from it.
Winning is great but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is knowing how to lose.Wilma Rudolph
There are always things in fights you can’t control. Another fighter’s ability or game plan, the judge's score cards and personal injuries/illness all spring to mind.
However, we don’t want to shirk all personal responsibility for a loss. To do so robs of us the opportunity to grow from the experience. If you did not feel fit enough, work more on your fitness. If you felt some aspect of your skill set let you down, you know what you need to work on going forward. A blessing in disguise!
Gratitude is something you may not feel inclined to feel straight after you have lost a fight, but it is a fundamental skill to master if you truly wish to get past it.
Why? Again, it boils down to perspective.
Gratitude is what allows us to embrace each day and any challenges we face with both enthusiasm and continuous energy.
First, work out what you are grateful for in your life.
This could be your friends, your health, your partner, your children, your coach, the food you eat. You can be as general or specific as you want.
This is a wonderful day, I have never seen this one before.Maya Angelou
Now, if you take that list into account, the loss will start to seem not so significant. Learning how to be grateful after a loss or when going through a difficult period in life is a sign of immense personal growth. Those individuals in life who maintain a healthy daily appreciation of gratitude are often amongst the most happy.
Lost a fight - 5 Reasons
I know that your loss may well still sting, or even feel like a much deeper cut if it was recent (or if there had been a lot riding on the result), but I hope you can now see why you should never be sorry for having lost a fight.
- You stepped up and faced your FEARS
- You took up the CHALLENGE and TESTED yourself
- Your EGO took the hit, you GAINED
- You LEARN and GROW more from a loss than you do from a win
- Your GRATITUDE for the wonderful things in your LIFE will remind you about the importance of perspective
You fight you win, you fight you learn. Keep going, you are on one hell of a journey and there are lots more exciting things to come!!
If you enjoy this article then you may well love The Hardest Fight in Martial Arts – Accepting the Decline of Remarkable Ability or Can you Learn Martial Arts Online? The Modern World of Digital Training as already featured on this site.
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