Learning to Be Defeated

Photo by Mykl Roventine
02.13.2012By

Photo by Mykl Roventine

I had an interesting conversation with my family this weekend about “the secret to success.” How many blog reiterations of that topic do you read a day? Almost all of social media blog posts you read are how-tos on making things work, right?

But the reality is that we have to fail before we really know what success looks like. The social media best practices you read in this blog come from people who’ve tried and failed and tried again until we’ve found something that worked. The first step to that, though, is not being afraid of defeat.

Not Being Afraid of Defeat

The fear of losing, screwing up, or embarrassing ourselves is something we all have, and sometimes do everything to avoid it. But an important question to ask is: what’s really so bad about defeat?

If you lose, you can try to win again. If you screw up, you can think of a way to fix it. And embarrassments pass, people forget.

I know this doesn’t apply for every situation (yes, there are some defeats you just can’t fix or undo) but if you think the feasible outcome is worth it, the crazy strategy you have in place could work, and the possible consequences don’t outweigh the risk, then why not go for it?

Learn How to Be Defeated

Defeat can make or break us. In the case of social media fundraising, if we figure out what didn’t work, we can readjust our strategy and try again.

It’s hard to do that, though, when you put so much energy and all of your faith into something that just fails. The disappointment is heavy and drowning. But this is where we need to have the right mindset to break through what disappointment can do to us.

If we don’t throw in the towel, and we take a look at things objectively, I think we become stronger and wiser after defeat. Defeat is humbling, a harsh reality check. It’s the hammer and chisel that shape us. And we can use that every once in a while.

Defeat tells us what’s wrong with something. It sheds light onto mistakes we obviously didn’t see before, so it can be a good thing. But we need to learn how to deal with it first. We need to let defeat do its job.

I’d like to hear your thoughts.

  • Great point! There’s a quote I like about this, from Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide):nnThe Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”u00a0nu2014 Douglas Adams

    • YES! I love this quote, it’s so true. Thanks for sharing, Mary!