Not knowing how to accept defeat

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Joe Dispenza
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Not knowing how to accept defeat

Knowing how to accept a defeat is as important as knowing how to manage the adrenaline generated by the victory. Mistakes and failures have consequences, but they also offer us many opportunities.

Last update: May 22, 2021

It is good to learn to deal with triumph and defeat. Don't have self-control when you are successful, as well as not knowing how to accept defeat can have very negative consequences.


Today, being successful has almost become an obligation. Winning is therefore felt more like a duty to be used as a test for recognition and affirmation on a social level. Conversely, losing is synonymous with failure, if not shame. Neither one nor the other are dealt with correctly.


In this context, it is difficult to learn to accept defeat. Sometimes it becomes a factor that weakens personal enthusiasm and strength. Other, it triggers obsessive behaviors that result in capricious stubbornness, which ends up leading to a vicious cycle of frustration.

"You learn little from victory, but a lot from defeat."

-Japanese proverb-

Why is it so common not to be able to accept defeat?

The main reason is represented by some false beliefs, among which the most widespread argues that not getting something is equivalent to failure. The truth is that there is a big difference between defeat and failure.

The first is a completely natural circumstance; the second is an attitude. In general terms, a person who cannot accept defeat has difficulties in three aspects of his life:

  • Tolerance to frustration. It is very difficult to assimilate that things are not working out or unfolding as desired.
  • False self-esteem. It has to do with an evaluation of oneself in which the possibility of error or defeat is excluded. It is false to the extent that we fail to accept our vulnerabilities.
  • Value system. Success is emphasized to the point of paroxysm, undermining other aspects that are precious for development and for life. Likewise, achieving results is seen as much more important than the process and everything that inspires it.

Not knowing how to accept defeat often causes a feeling of false superiority. In other words, failure to achieve what was planned collapses the fiction they have built.



Neurotic stubbornness

Not knowing how to accept defeat usually generates a series of frustrations that add to the discomfort. The person who cannot accept that he has lost the love of his partner, therefore, will probably try endlessly an impossible reconciliation, despite the frustration.

Or those who refuse to accept that they have missed an important opportunity may be looking for the wrong paths to give a new illusion to that option that has already gone away.

Very often you end up being very hard on yourself, asking for more than you can offer, or blaming yourself for not doing anything or for having stopped doing it.

This stubbornness does not allow the mind to correctly process what has happened and to acquire the learning that follows. It does nothing but exacerbate negative emotions, such as anger and sadness that result from frustration.

In this way, it is possible for the person to get stuck, depending on their resistance to accepting reality.


Learning to lose offers several benefits

From a psychological point of view, defeat has a huge value in life. First, it sets a limit to the infantile narcissism with which we all begin life. Knowing that not everything can be realized, that not all desires will be satisfied, is the basis on which the reality principle is built.


In the same way, defeats are a great source of knowledge. From these we discover our own limits, the errors of appreciation and the coordinates of reality.


It therefore generates valuable knowledge that can be used later for the benefit of a new goal. Science works like this: it advances on the basis of error.

Knowing how to accept a defeat implies facing it with curiosity and interest. Nobody likes to lose, but those who know how to do it overcome the feeling of frustration relatively quickly and focuses on the resulting teaching. It is paradoxical, but knowing how to lose is also a way to win.

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