Admitting Defeat and Why It’s Okay

A sunset shot from my time living in Tokyo Japan as a volunteer missionary.

Defeat. It’s something that we all experience on so many different levels, at so many different times in our life, and often times… It sucks. Be it a lost job, failed relationship, or just the struggle with the monotony of our daily routines, often times the feeling of defeat can be strong and painful.

But defeat is good! Let me explain more fully. Defeat leads us to re-evaluate, to take things into persepctive, and often times look into different endeavors. If history has taught us anything it is that success is something earned through defeats, and thousands about thousands of attempts. Sometimes that fear of failure is like the pain of a doctor’s shot. We feel the timidness of the pain, but in our hearts, or thanks to the calming words of our parents, we knew it had to be done. Pursuing any endeavor is the same. We cannot allow a fear to grip our wrists and hold us from moving forward. We must break away, and reaffirm in our minds that a defeat is not a failure. The failure only occurs when you the attempter no longer make that next attempt.

Steve Jobs was forced to leave Apple before his epic return to produce the greatest technological devices our generation has seen, Thomas Edison took 1,000 tries to produce the lightbulb on that 1,001st attempt, and Abraham Lincoln struggled through many campaign losses before becoming one of the greatest Presidents in United States history.

All defeat is is a prick of the doctor’s needle. Sometimes that prick may feel like a tetanus shot, or like the one I received in my butt before traveling abroad,

but it is not the end to you or your ambitions. It is a shot in the arm that you need to move onto the next step.

So as I sat down to compile these thoughts on the need we all have for defeat, I thought of some key actions to take when defeat raises it’s ugly head.

1 — Remember that this is an opportunity to step forward, not a forceful push back.

Defeat is an obstacle, and you will always be in control of how you encounter it. Realize that you can turn this into a chance into a success with one switch of your mindset.

2 — Realize that we all face moments of defeat.

No one is immune to it, and we all must go through it. How we choose to interact with it however is entirely up to us. There was once a church leader I remember who loved the phrase, “We are the architects of our own happiness.” And I have always really loved that quote. In moments of defeat, always remember that you are still in control, and have the power to make things better.

3 — Dust yourself off, and try again.

In those moments of defeat, remember that you are capable of anything. Defeat is merely the jerk back to reality that sometimes we need to try a different approach. Trust in your heart, gut, or God that you will be able to try again, and that you will succeed. Life is not meant to be a smooth ride, and what would be the fun in that if it was? How could we enjoy the sunny days without the rain? How could enjoy the taste of Mom’s delicious home cooked meals if it was all we ever had instead of college Top Ramen? Life is collection of opposites and similarities, and that is what makes it so wonderful.

So don’t give up! Don’t quit on your ambitions! Trust in what is divine within you, and know that after each “defeat” success is one step closer to you.

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