I don’t like to lose. I think it would be fair to say that most people don’t like losing. We are competitive by nature….we all want to be the best, be number 1, or be successful. No one wants to lose, feel like your hard work didn’t pay off. But losing is part of the whole game….if someone wins, someone has to lose.
I had a small winning streak recently. Little things….a travel coffee mug from a local restaurant, a gift cert for jewelry from an insurance company, and other things that just made me feel happy. Like I was on top of the world. Then. THEN!!!! I was notified I had this huge chance to do something I’ve been trying to do for 15 years! A company that makes mastectomy bras and breast prosthesis let me know that I was a finalist in their Faces of Inspiration contest….and if I won I would be flown to Georgia for a weekend of pampering, featured in their catalog, and most importantly….I would have a chance to tell my story on a bigger scale! This was it! I was one of 4 amazing ladies who have gone through breast cancer. There would be two weeks of voting online….you could vote as much as you wanted!
I was sharing it all over social media, and so were my friends and family. Strangers were getting in on this. Everyone told me…..you’ve got this!!!!!! It was exciting, thrilling, and I was on a high! What an amazing opportunity this would be….and a little pampering too? Sigh…..
And then……I didn’t win. I got the call, the heads up, before they announced the winner. The winner that wasn’t me. I was heartbroken. I didn’t want to talk to anyone….I was just so…..sad. I decided to take that day to allow myself to be sad….grieve the chance I lost….and then let it go.
And that is what I did. The next day was a new day, and full of new opportunities. It wasn’t immediate….I still had sadness….but I didn’t allow myself to be consumed by it.
This all came back to me when later that week I had the chance to teach my youngest daughter the same thing. We were playing board games and she HATES to lose. She could be the one who will throw the entire game board off the table in frustration. She hates it so much.
Today was one of those days…..losing at some math game she brought home from school. I told her…..don’t you remember that I was just in this contest? And did I win? I told her it’s ok to be upset if you lose, but going overboard and throwing a fit just takes away the excitement from the person who did win. And that is never ok. In any competition or game, if someone wins…..someone will lose. So we tell that person, good job and congratulations, and we try again. You never know if your words are getting through to your kids, but a week later, she repeated that all back to me during a conversation about losing. It made me so proud that not only did she listen, but I could teach her that hard lesson in life by my example.
Losing sucks. It really does, but losing gracefully shows so much more about your character. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I had….and to see the amazing support I had….and I’m sad that I didn’t win this one……but in the long run, I still feel like a winner. And I want my kids to be like that.