Facing a loss is one of the toughest things to do in life. The thought of losing and the worry of what others may think prevent people from experiencing some of the greatest joys. No substance in the world comes close to replacing the high you experience when overcoming the fear of losing and achieving something great. If you win, your critics will say, “I knew you were going to do it”, but if you lose, you may have to put up with their negative non-sense temporarily. Either way, you have a choice. On one hand, you have glory; on the other, you’re hiding somewhere safe away from outside criticism. However, there’s one critic you cannot escape: yourself. Until you’re free from the worry of losing, self-criticism will haunt you and prevent you from experiencing glory.
9 signs of someone who is afraid of losing:
1. Ego and Pride
- I have yet to meet someone who enjoys being wrong. No one does. Not even the humblest pastor, or priest. The good news is that when someone with pride makes the decision to do something great, their ego won’t let them stop until they do.
2. You resent your insecurities
- Sometimes people feel like they’re the only ones with insecurities but you’re not alone. There are roughly 7 billion people that are part of this group. When someone chooses to do something great, they come to realize there are areas that need improvement and others that they have a natural talent for. Do any of these insecurities remind you of someone’s fears: Too short, too tall, too skinny, overweight, bad accent, no degree, not as smart as your sibling, too old, too young, bad skin, big nose, small hands, and some other creative ones that probably don’t belong on a business blog but you get the idea.
3. You would rather play it safe and hide
4. No one can tell you what to do
- This one is funny because unless you’re single with no wife or kids, someone is going to tell you what to do. Maybe start off by taking out the trash.
5. You don’t like any kind of criticism
- Can you please start reading faster? My goodness you’re a slow reader. Hurry up. Have you always been this bad of a reader? If those four sentences irritated you, I hate to say it but you’re not a big fan of criticism.
6. You feel very important because of a degree or your past accomplishments
- Sometimes degrees and prior accolades have a tendency to hinder you from getting to the next level.
7. You hate being compared to others
- From the day we’re born we’re compared to others but that’s none of our business. Our business isn’t what kind of a hand our opponent was dealt but how you play the hand you’ve been dealt..
8. You’re stubborn
- I refuse to write anything about stubbornness.
9. You already know it all
- If you didn’t make it to number nine and you skipped half of the blog, you’re a know it all.
This can be a tough exercise but none of us are above it. This should become a regular reminder for all of us to recognize what’s holding us back and move on from bad habits. We are all a lot stronger than the little credit we sometimes give ourselves.
Let me tell you some stories that are sure to shock you when you realize who they are. What if I told you there was a man who went to war as a captain in the Army but returned as a private? What would you think of this person? The same man became a lawyer with a reputation for a terrible temper that could snap at any moment. He then lost eight elections, some humiliatingly. Today, we know him as Abraham Lincoln.
What about a boy who failed 6th grade and ran for public office but was defeated in every election he ran for? At the age of 62 he finally became the Prime Minister of Great Britain. That person was Winston Churchill who is remembered by many as the leader who stopped the Nazis lead by Hitler.
What would you think if your son didn’t speak until he was 4 years old and couldn’t read until he was 7? He then gets expelled from school and his teachers describe him as mentally slow, unsociable, and always living in his foolish dreams. Let’s just say he eventually learns to read, speak, and do some basic math. This is the story of Einstein.
What do you call a girl who dreamed to be a model and actress but in 1944 the director of Blue Book Modeling Agency, Emmeline Snively told her “You’d better learn secretarial work or else get married”? You call her Marilyn Monroe.
What about coaches whom in their first season as a head coach experienced the worst record ever by not winning a single game? These coaches include Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, and Jimmy Johnson who ended up winning 11 out of the 19 Super Bowls from ‘74 to ‘93.
What do you call someone who failed 5 different times in business? You call him Henry Ford.
What would you call a painter who during his entire life only sold a single painting to his friend’s sister for 400 francs (roughly $50)? You call him Van Gogh. One of his paintings eventually sold in 1990 for $146million dollars.
I think you get the idea. These short biographies should prove to you that your insecurities, criticisms and failures from the past should not persuade you to believe that you don’t have the goodies to do something special with your life. We should not be afraid of losing as long as we’re striving to do something great. Learn to lose your way to glory.
“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune;
but great minds rise above them.”
~ Washington Irving