How to Bounce Back from Defeat

I love watching a great performance or match. The most recent U.S. Open had me glued to the court. As I watched our Canadian tennis players lose in the U.S. Open, I also witnessed them accept their defeat with grace and respect for their opponent.

The sting of defeat is not easy, and some people will agonize over it and blame themselves for an unfavourable outcome. The negative emotions that arise such as anger, resentment, or sadness can consume you when defeat occurs. This is understandable.

Those with goals – some very BIG goals – put in a lot of work, effort, and time dedicated to achieving the results. Sacrifices are made to succeed. When it doesn’t play out the way you wanted, it can be devastating. When a loss occurs, it can be hard to accept.

How does one deal with defeat and bounce back?

Everyone at some point in their life will be defeated and not achieve what they want – or at least feel that way. Do they give up? Do they move on or let go? It can be heartbreaking to lose and feel like you’ve made a mistake that cost you success. But those moments do not define you, and they can even help you. Those that do achieve and succeed work hard, have resilience and can bounce back to overcome mistakes and injuries.

They see challenges as opportunities and focus on improving their mind, body, knowledge, and skill.

Here are 5 points to remember when feeling defeat and getting back into your game.

Bounce Back from Defeat


Acknowledge the Feelings
Avoid ignoring the feelings. Surrender to them when they occur. Experiencing negative emotions brought on by defeat or a crisis is part of being human. The emotions may feel like a roller coaster ride where you are just spiralling downward and unsure if you will rise to the top. The emotions may be comprised of anger, sadness, resentment, and judgment of self. Realize this moment will pass with time.

Take Responsibility
Recognize your efforts in your performance and acknowledge any mistakes. Own your role in the outcome. Great leaders take the blame and give credit to others. They always take responsibility for their actions and outcomes. Avoid putting the blame elsewhere.

Give Yourself Credit
If you acknowledge the mistakes made it’s also important to recognize your strengths and successes and give yourself credit for the effort made.

Let Go and Move On
Avoid a long “pity party” and know when it’s time to let go and move on. Leave the moment behind and the negative baggage that may weigh you down and stop you from moving forward. When you let go, you’ll feel lighter, be free of burden, and your mind can be clear to welcome new ideas and inspiration. Sometimes to do this you may need a change of scenery, exercise, or an outing to just relax, enjoy, and have fun.

Trust that this too shall pass. Life will throw you challenges and with the right focus and support, you will get through it.

Reflect and Learn
Take time after the event to reflect, identify lessons learned, and develop a plan to improve. Each experience can enhance and help you grow your potential and results in the future. If you are struggling with what the lessons are or the plan, ask for input or help from others like a colleague, coach, or mentor.

Overcoming defeat and bouncing back takes skill and steps to bring you back to a place where you can move forward. Many of the greatest athletes and leaders have had the biggest defeats and that is what made them rise to the top!

Here’s a quote to leave you with…

“In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage. In every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the victory next time.” – Robert Collier

Need some help?
I’m available for consultations, talks, and support for women in business or athletes be it golfers or hockey players on how to remove the obstacles in the way and how mental performance can improve the game of business and sports. If you are interested please contact me or call me at 416-508-0018 to discuss how I can help.
Master the Mind, Master the Game

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