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Episode 136: Why It's OK To Be A Loser

It sucks being a loser.
Everyone wants to win and it seems to have become built into our culture that failure is not an option.
But it is!
As a 9 month old child how many times would we have fallen over when learning to walk?
How many mistakes did we make when learning to speak?
How many answers did we get wrong in our tests at school?
And how many job applications do we have to send out before even getting an interview, let alone offered a job?
As the old Chinese proverb says “Fall down seven times and get up eight”.
I remember when my son was younger and learning how to play Draughts, we got into this pattern that meant we seemed to be taking it in turns to win. Every time he lost, the next game was a little slower as he concentrated more. Every time he won, the next game was over quickly as his confidence was high so he rushed through the moves without thinking and would then lose.

Making mistakes, experiencing setbacks, and enduring failure is a normal and frequent part of our life. Yet some people see making mistakes as so wrong that they miss out on the benefits of failing. Failing can give us as many benefits as succeeding does. It helps us to identify where we went wrong and what we would need to do differently next time. Mistakes enable us to develop a smarter approach to manage our daily challenges and so creates a resilient personality trait that ensures we get through life with a smile on our face even if we didn’t get the job that we’d wanted or the house that we’d set our hopes on.

Sometimes a setback can be so huge that it seems unsurmountable and I often take inspiration from other people when I come upon those sorts of situations.
Karoly Takacs was a Hungarian Army Sergeant and one of the world’s top pistol shooters, set to get a gold medal in every competition, until a faulty hand grenade destroyed his right hand and stopped him in his tracks, so what did he do? He spent a year learning how to shoot with his left hand until he got it perfect, and then won gold after gold.

Natalie du Toit was a promising 17 year old swimmer expected to compete at Olympic level until a motorbike accident meant a leg would need amputating. Yet despite not being able to swim even 100 yards she refused to give up. She worked at her technique and at the next Olympics competed in a 6 mile race with able-bodied athletes and beat 8 of them.
And Tony Iommi, the guitarist from Black Sabbath, he almost gave up on the guitar aged 17 when he lost the tips of his fingers in an accident at work, but learned to play again with the help of some fake finger tips that he’d made from melting down an old washing up bottle. It took him a lot of practise to relearn how to play and in doing so invented a whole new sound by loosening the strings so that he could play them properly which led to the deep and grungy Heavy Metal sound.

Sometimes failure IS an option so embrace the loser in you and see where it takes you!

Episode List

Episode 138: Keeping Up With The Joneses
Episode 137: The Likeable You
Episode 136: Why It's OK To Be A Loser
Episode 135: The Psychology Of Extremism
Episode 134: Are You A Lobster?
Episode 133: Critical Thinking
Episode 132: There Is Nothing Either Good Or Bad
Episode 131: The For And Against Of Imagination
Episode 130: Loneliness & Social Networks
Episode 129: Letting Go Of The Past
Episode 128: What Is Love?
Episode 127: Procrastination
Ep. 126: Who Were You Before The World Changed You?
Episode 125: Stop Saying "Sorry"
Episode 124: Emotional Contagion
Episode 123: Patience
Episode 122: Building On Your Foundations
Episode 121: Dealing With The Critics
Episode 120: Being Assertive. Just Say No!
Episode 119: Inactivity
Episode 118: Social Functioning & Evolution
Episode 117: Unleash Your Inner Superhero
Episode 116: Goals, Values and Priorities
Episode 115: 10 Tips To A Happier Life
Episode 114: Lies And Confabulation
Episode 113: Confirmation Bias
Episode 112: Are You An Imposter?
Episode 111: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
Episode 110: Are New Years Resolutions a good idea?
Episode 109: The African Violet Queen Of Milwaukee
Episode 108: Reframing
Episode 107: Spiders And Behaviourism
Episode 106: Practise Makes Perfect
Episode 105: Fear Of Flying
Episode 100 - 104: Happiness
Episode 99: Body Image And The Media
Episode 98: Evolution and Adaptation
Episode 97: Reflections And Regrets.
Episode 96: Dealing With Fear
Episode 95: Confidence
Episode 94: Enthusiasm
Episode 93: Tips To Relieve Christmas Stress
Episode 92: Dealing With Change
Episode 87 - 91: Self Esteem
Episode 86: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
Episode 85: The Importance Of Being Lazy
Episode 84: Elephant Chains
Episode 83: Eating Bananas And Setting Goals
Episode 82: Ignoring The Media And Listening To Music
Episode 81: Awakening The Instincts
Episode 80: The Fine Line Between Love And Hate
Episode 79: The Best Medicine
Episode 78: A New Start
Episode 77: Time Distortion
Episode 76: Making Decisions
Episode 75: What's In A Name?
Episode 74: Pushing Ourselves Further
Episode 73: Conformity
Episode 72: Purpose
Episode 71: Perspective
Episode 70: Expectation
Episode 69: The Mind / Body Link
Episode 68: Overcoming Shyness
Episode 67: Mood Boosting
Episode 66: Sabotaging your goals
Episode 65: Self Talk
Episode 64: Money Makes The World Go Round
Episode 63: First Impressions Count
Episode 62: False Belief
Episode 61: Absolutes
Episode 60: The Psychology of feeling calm
Episode 59: Belief
Episode 58: Anchoring Emotions
Episode 57: Negativity and Perspective
Episode 56: Health And Happiness
Episode 55: Imagination vs Reality
Episode 54: Change