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Losing: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | January 24th, 2014 | Behavior, Teen Perspective, Teens

scoreboard 2Nobody enjoys losing.  Anyone who tells you that “they don’t mind losing” or “I like seeing other people win” is lying to you — and themselves a little bit.  Let’s be honest, losing is horrible.  Whether it is in sports, school, or other activities, losing competitions sucks.  The challenge is not trying to make yourself a “good loser,” it’s finding a way to capitalize on your loss.

To begin, let’s take a look at my psyche.  I am not a particularly good loser.  In fact, I absolutely hate it.  When I lose, I become extremely hard on myself.  This is at its worst after wrestling matches, because there is no one else to blame but yourself on the wrestling mat.  I am always able to remain composed on the mat, but once I get off the mat, I break down pretty quickly.  I hold myself together through my talk with my coaches, but that’s it.  After that, I just need to get away from everyone.  Whether I find an empty room or go outside, I just need to be alone and think.  I sit there and go through the match in my head finding every single place where I made a mistake or didn’t do something as well as I could.  I’m usually a complete wreck while I do this, tears streaming down my face, fists pounding into my legs.  Eventually, after several run-throughs of the match and finding composure, I am finally able to go and talk to people.  This can take quite a while, though, up to 30 minutes.

With all of that stated, I may seem quite self-destructive.  Well, that’s because I am, but I have also found ways to be equally as constructive after my losses.  When I play through my matches, I am able to single out my little mistakes and isolate them.  While it is painful, my memory of the match is usually crystal clear, so I see everything I did wrong like it is happening in front of me.

I also use this failure as a motivation for myself and my next match.  If I keep the way I felt in mind, I am more motivated and find ways to win next time.  I absolutely hate feeling that way, so I know winning is the best way to avoid that emotional state.  There is no better escape from failure than winning.

Finally, I keep the self-destruction in the short term.  If it is my last match of the day, I will be self-destructive for the remainder of the day and part of the next day, but that’s it.  After a while, my emotions will become a fading emotional state, that’s it.  After a while, I can revert to normal.

Losing is terrible, but what really matters is building from it.  Take a look at my psyche, for example.  I absolutely destroy myself after I lose, but eventually I am able to learn from my loss and move on.

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