How many times have we heard the old adage “fall seven times, get up eight”? I agree part of the way to handle defeat like a champion is to get back up but did we learn anything? I believe we must find the lesson, apply it, and then look back on defeat and smile in order to turn setbacks into victories. Defeat is only a state of mind and nothing more.
How we respond to defeat will determine where we land in our station in life. I agree with Dr. Schwartz’s assessment, “It is possible to match every Mr. Skid Row, with a Mr. Mediocre, and a Mr. Success on every score–age, intelligence, background, nationality, you name it–with the one exception. The one thing you can’t match them on is their response to defeat.
When the fellow we call Mr. Skid Row got knocked down, he failed to get back up again. He just laid there, splattered out. Mr. Mediocre got up to his knees, but he crawled away and when out of sight, ran in the opposite direction so he’d be sure never to take a beating again.
But Mr. Success reacted differently when he got knocked down. He bounced up, learned a lesson, forgot the beating, and moved upward.”
Nothing is more inspiring than watching a person with the right mental attitude as they respond to defeat. Instead of blaming others like many of us do for our setbacks, they look for what they can salvage from every setback. It’s natural for salesman to blame customers when sale are lost. It’s natural for managers to blame employees or other executives when things get off track. It’s natural for husband to blame wives and for wives to blame husbands for quarrels and family problems.
It is true in this complex world of ours that others may trip us. But more oftentimes than not we trip ourselves. We lose because of some personal inadequacy and/or some personal mistake. We must condition ourselves for success by resisting the temptation to blame others because it’s destructive. We gain absolutely nothing from “proving” that someone else is wrong.
We cheat ourselves each time we choose to blame others and run away from our inadequacies. For instance a number of people have at some point in time been heartbroken or grief stricken as a result of being in a relationship. Rather than analyze their mistakes and join in on a good thing, they reach the completely false conclusion that being involved in a relationship is a form of gambling and sooner or later everybody loses.
I wonder how different the divorce rate would be if by default we faced our faults and looked for the lessons to improve by adopting the mindset… “I’m learning. I’m learning how to have a successful relationship and this relationship is putting something into me”. Instead of having the knee jerk reaction of looking for faults in others and blaming them and adopting the mindset “This is all your fault and this relationship is taking a lot out of me.”
I’m not advocating looking for faults and weaknesses to justify “Here’s another reason I’m a loser.” However, I am promoting viewing setbacks as “Here’s another way to make me a bigger winner.” Like Elbert Hubbard once said, “A failure is a man who has blundered but is not able to cash in on the experience.” When we don’t cash in on our experience, we’re no better prepared to avoid a duplication of the mistake the next time we face a similar situation.
The real problem is when the going gets tough, most people start thinking defeat so they are defeated. It is imperative to our success during times like these to believe there is a way. When we believe there is a way, we automatically convert negative energy (let’s quit, let’s go back, there’s no use, let’s give up) into positive energy (let’s keep going, let’s move ahead, let’s leave no stone unturned, let’s try a different way).
A problem, a difficulty, a setback becomes unsolvable only when we think it is unsolvable. A surefire way to attract solutions is by believing solutions are possible. Refuse, simply refuse, to even allow yourself to say or think it’s impossible. Instead, say to yourself “Where there is a will, there is a way.” And, ask questions like “How can I use what I have to get what I want?” or “How can I adjust and proceed differently to achieve a different result?”
When we believe “There is a way to solve this problem”, positive thoughts rush into our minds to help us find a solution. It’s believing “there is a way” that is instrumental in transforming a setback into a setup for a comeback for victory. Another surefire way to transform setbacks into comebacks is to back off and start afresh.
We have often heard that persistence pays. However, persistence is not enough by itself. I believe the old adage “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” adequately explains why. Therefore, we can try and try and tray again and still fail unless we combine persistence with experimentation. In other words, we must get back up but with a new game plan, approach, and/or strategy.
When we hit a snag, instead of throwing up our hands and abandoning the whole project, we need to back off and get mentally refreshed. Then when we tackle it again, the solution often comes almost before we know it. Also, seeing the good side pays off in big situations, too. When we can train ourselves to look for the positive aspects of any situation, we whip discouragement. Remember, we see in any situation what we expect to see. Every time we are relentless in seeing the good side, we conquer defeat.
All things do work together for good –it just helps us to develop a clearer vision. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Then find the lesson, apply it, and look back on defeat, smile and proclaim “this setback was only a setup for a comeback of victory!”