How to Cope with Disappointment After Giving Your Best
It sucks when you give everything you have to something only to come up short.
This could be in marriage, with your finances, adult sports, work, the kids, your weight loss journey, or when dealing with addiction. To read the books, find the motivation, commit to the act, and “really mean it this time” but somehow you find yourself right where you started, it can be discouraging.
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In that moment of dangling over the ledge, wanting to give up after losing the battle, you might find the exact thing needed to win the war.
Defeat Can Set the Stage for Victory
We all strive for success and aim to give our best in everything we do. However, life can be unpredictable, and things may not always go as planned. Even after putting our heart and soul into something, we may still face defeat or failure.
Coping with disappointment after giving everything you have can be challenging, but it's essential to learn how you can quickly accept defeat and move forward. I’ve lost more times than I could ever count, and thinking of it now would get me nauseous; yet here I stand, a man who, objectively, is winning in life.
Again, I have lost many times, but I’ve never quit, and the result has been the cultivation of a strong marriage, raising healthy kids, enjoying a kick-ass network, living a fun lifestyle wanting for nothing, and having a mind & body that is positive focused and forward moving.
Accepting defeat is not a sign of weakness; it's a mark of maturity and resilience.
Accepting defeat is acknowledging that things don't always go our way and that falling short of our goals is a sign that we pushed ourselves as hard as we could, to the point of going past our capabilities which means, we can say we honestly gave our all. The only way to know how far you can go is to pass the line and fall straight on your face.
I’ll go against the messages of anon receipt-less names on social media; the path to success is not linear, but rather, it is filled with twists and turns. Sometimes, we may stumble, and other times we may fall; how we get up and move forward is what will define us.
Y’all don’t know that I had two blogs and a podcast before TheFamilyAlpha.com, the site where my writings put me on the map. My failures don’t matter, me being here now, writing this piece, is all that you care about, which is fine as right now, in this present moment, is all that matters.
I’m only here now to deliver this piece because when I failed, I refused to quit.
Do. Not. Stay. Down.
One way to cope with disappointment is by reframing our mindset. It's easy to get caught up in negative self-talk and dwell on past mistakes. However, focusing on what we can learn from the experience and how we can grow and improve can help shift our perspective. It's about changing our perception from "I failed" to "I learned" and "I can do better next time."
Another way to cope is by resetting the board in the “Game of Life” and practicing self-compassion. We often hold ourselves to high standards and criticize ourselves harshly when things don't go according to plan. However, treating ourselves with kindness and understanding can help us come to terms with the situation and move forward. We need to remind ourselves that we are human and that making mistakes is part of the learning process. I had a conversation with a man inside FoE where we spoke of how the two of us never gave ourselves the grace to fail, or not perform to perfection. In the discussion, we each saw how that was a flawed outlook, in that we are human and thus, we are going to make mistakes, and we aren’t bad people for not always being “on”.
In this story, it’s clear that another element to learning how to recover from setback is to seek support and counsel from others. Talking to friends, family, or even a therapist can provide emotional support and help one gain a new perspective. It’s funny, but others can offer insights that we may not have considered or remind us of our strengths and achievements because we’re stuck looking at the world the only way we can, from our view. When we let other people take a look at our issue, they have a different angle which may provide insights and perspectives we’d otherwise have never have seen or known.
Learning to accept defeat without ever getting comfortable with it is not an easy task, but with practice, it's possible to cope with disappointment after giving your all. I hate losing more than I like winning, but I don’t ever view myself as a loser when I fail, I view myself as someone who now has more tools and a better understanding of what it takes to win.
It's about reframing our mindset, practicing self-compassion, and seeking support from others. Remember, setbacks and failures are opportunities for growth and learning.
You’re going to lose; get over it quickly.
- Zachary Small
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