Beliefs on Winning (and losing)… Do they motivate or discourage?

Friday night found us driving to Temple.  The town of Temple in Central Texas. It was the ultimate Friday Night Lights experience with the blue moon overhead; Braving the traffic, mosquitoes, heat and dust, cheering our boys to attack and knock each other around.   According to the score board, it was a dismal loss for our high school team.  Looking beyond the surface there were many positive bright moments, considering it was the first game playing 11-man football with only 24 players on the team.  We sat in front of the grandparents of the boy who scored the one and only touchdown and participated in rejoicing as only a grand parent can!   There definitely was a good showing of spectators on our side considering the long drive.  The feeling of community and common purpose was strong as we cheered for each small and large success.

The drive home provided a great opportunity to discuss beliefs concerning winning, success and losing.  We discovered quite a few conflicting messages in our heads.  Clay, growing up with a coach for a dad, had quite a few interesting ones.  You either win or win, the is no other option. Another coaching favorite was, ” If you loose you didn’t try hard enough.” I admit I am very competitive.  One of my earliest memories is of learning to play rummy on the bank of Lake Geneva and beating everyone!  I do think competition can be healthy, when it makes you stretch and grow and go beyond what you think is possible. I n my life the fear of failure is so strong, I tend to play it safe most of the time – Only setting goals where I know I can achieve success and therefore taking very few risks.  This leads to many successes  but not to challenging myself and growing.   Setting larger goals outside of my comfort zone and going for them, has led to more failure and not meeting my goals (which is painful for me), but it also has shown me I can do more and go beyond what I previously thought was possible.  This produces a strength of character within me that I can draw on in other areas of life.  Since sometimes life throws challenges at me and risks I would not choose to have, this added courage has been very wonderful.

It is such a freeing thing to look at beliefs we hold and analyze them.  Is this motivating me toward my life of purpose or demotivating me toward of life of mundane mediocrity?  If it is not serving me, I must adapt and change it.

My new belief is – ”  If you haven’t failed lately, you haven’t been trying”

How about you?  What are some beliefs you could tackle concerning winning or losing?

Update:  This weeks game found us way behind again.  There was one point I thought, “Just let it be over before it gets worse”.  However , our boys kept fighting and never gave up.  Coming from behind for a 64-62 victory in the final seconds of the game!   Hopefully this moment of pressing on and achieving their goal will stay with all of them as an example of perseverance!!  I promise not to blog about every football game this season, but this was a great learning experience!

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One thought on “Beliefs on Winning (and losing)… Do they motivate or discourage?

  1. Isn”t life wonderful stretching our minds in all our experiences to see very important lessons. Those lessons needed for just that moment in time. Yes if you haven’t failed you haven’t tried is an absolute truth.
    Nancy

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