It's extremely difficult to accept defeat; it's all too easy to believe that losing means we're a failure or that we're not worth anything. But, in order to overcome defeat, we must first face it. That has been pointed out by smarter people than you and me in some excellent quotes and excerpts. Here is some great advice from great people throughout history on how to accept and even grow from defeat.
1. Adversity is the best teacher
“There is no better than adversity,” said legendary human rights activist Malcom X. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to perform better the next time.” He was someone who knew a lot about heartbreak and loss, perhaps too much, so that quote is especially valuable coming from him.
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Don't let defeat define and control you, no matter how painful it may be at the time. Instead, use it as fuel to improve and strengthen yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
2. Learn to die in order to be free of death
As the master, Bruce Lee, put it, “Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never the way to lose — to accept defeat.” To learn to die is to be free of it. So, when tomorrow arrives, you must set aside your ambitious thoughts and learn the art of dying!” You can move forward with your life once you have finally accepted defeat, also known as the death of a dream. Furthermore, your fearlessness will allow you to give your all, which will result in more victories and fewer defeats.
3. We should be grateful to those who allowed us to fly this flight
“Father, we thank you, especially for letting me fly this flight – for the privilege of being able to be in this position, to be in this wondrous place, seeing all these many startling, wonderful things that you have created,” aerospace engineer Gordan Cooper is quoted as saying.
We must express gratitude to those who provided us with the opportunity to “compete” in the first place, whether they are gods, mentors, friends, or some other presence in our lives. Being defeated is preferable to not attempting at all, so we should be grateful to those who provided us with the opportunity to try.
4. Humble yourself
Harvey Mackay, a motivational author, is famous for his quote, “Talent is God-given; be humble.” Fame is a gift from God; be grateful. Conceit is self-inflicted; exercise caution.” Failure isn't always the result of a lack of will or effort. In fact, it is rarely the case. It is common for others to have a genetic or situational advantage over you, causing you to “fail.”
In fact, defeat is sometimes the only thing that can teach you how to humble yourself and see the bigger picture. Remember that every defeat allows you to humble yourself in the eyes of your gods, friends, family, or anything else you consider to be greater than yourself.
5. Success is meaningless unless it is accompanied by growth
If Benjamin Franklin didn't believe this, he would never have discovered electricity or played a role in the formation of the United States. He is quoted as saying, “Words like improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning unless there is continuous growth and progress.” He spent the majority of his time learning and improving himself in order to have a genuine, long-lasting, and positive impact on the world.
Only through defeat can you grow, and only through growth can you truly feel successful. This, along with the other messages, is critical to remember if you're struggling to accept defeat.
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