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The Disguised Benefits of Losing

Posted by Laura Perillo on May 15, 2020 2:11:11 PM

Whether it be in the classroom, on the field or at home, everyone is most likely familiar with the “winning isn’t everything” phrase. If winning isn’t everything, however, how do most people generally feel about losing? 

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Reversing the famous phrase might cause unenviable moans and groans, but if you stop to think about it for a minute, “losing” really can be the new “winning” depending upon your view of the world. 

For example, ultimate gratification and excitement is felt the minute you score a winning soccer goal or at the very moment you learn that you aced a difficult test. As a society and as a country we’re trained to want to win in most aspects of our life. 

But what happens if we lose? One thing is for sure - the world most certainly will not end. 

In fact, many experts argue that by missing that soccer goal, not landing a coveted job or by failing a test, that you’re ultimately helping yourself much more in the long run than if you had won.

Furthermore and contrary to popular belief, there are many disguised benefits to losing.

Losing Builds Character and Purpose

Losing, while building character may also help you focus and gain confidence to go after what you want all while ultimately helping you discover your purpose. Perhaps this might be working towards getting a better grade on a test, stepping outside your comfort zone and trying out for your school play, applying to a job or even by going after a promotion. 

Losing Teaches Empathy and How to Deal with Loss

Life, unfortunately will have many down times in addition to the good ones. Many experts agree that it’s better for children to learn from an early age on how to deal with losses – whether it be in a competitive sport or even by getting a disappointing grade. Learning how to deal with losing, especially while teachers and parents are readily available to coach a young person through this loss, makes them more capable as adults to deal with whatever life may throw them. Children also tend to gain empathy towards others who are in their same positions. So, if they see a friend struggling as they are, it can soften the blow as they identify with others who struggle too. 

Losing Builds Resiliency

When you lose and fail, rather than win or succeed, you are ultimately building resiliency – or grit – each time you continue to put yourself out there. If you think about it as the immune system, when you are exposed to germs at a young age, it helps build your immune system to combat illnesses. While you may not like the outcome, earning a few unsatisfactory grades may be the catalyst you need to land a good grade next time. Similarly, a baseball player might strike out more times than not before they smash one of those curve balls out of the park. 

So, the next time you’re disappointed by any lose in your life, remember that everyone needs to experience a loss in order to win. Try to face your defeat with grace knowing that a ‘win” is bound to happen soon. Remember that losing ultimately builds your confidence and failing will also make success all that much sweeter in the long run.

Topics: parenting, student advice, wellness, mental health

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