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Four Ways to Be Strategic About Losing

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

You don't have to be a follower of the Royal family to have been forced to watch it undergo signs of unravel in the media. I certainly wasn't.

What is intriguing about the whole drama though, is that normal everyday families go through the very same thing all around the world, including America.

Samir Hussein | Getty Images

In watching some of the highlights of Meghan and Harry's interview with Oprah that recently aired on March 7, 2021, I got to thinking about how often in life, we are forced to lose in order to win, or to be set free.

In Meghan and Harry's case, they needed to lose their original lifestyles. For her it was career and Constitutional freedom. For him it was family, tradition, and financial security.

For some of us, it is giving up a job that holds us back in some way or giving up a marriage that turns out to be damaging. Maybe we have had to give up a relationship with a parent or mentor that we were always close to. Sometimes it is being forced to pivot a dream.

The truth is that the way we are taught to lose or to adapt as we are growing children has a huge impact upon how we are able to process loss as adults. Even as children we develop our own personalities and some of us are more compassionate or competitive or relaxed than others.

People who grow up feeling pressure to win, either due to their parents enforcing those beliefs or by watching parents struggle and the children believe it is their job to fix it, sometimes cannot handle misfortune.

Much like Meghan and Harry described, it is natural for most of us to want to shield others from the truth of falling apart.

Sometimes we do it because we don't want to answer questions or explain ourselves. Sometimes we aren't sure who we can trust with the information. Maybe we feel ashamed or embarrassed because of our own background. Maybe we are too concerned with trying to fix it before emotionally confronting it.

Madam Uplift is always circling back to the idea of failure and why it should be destigmatized. Everyone is going to experience it. Everyone will experience disappointment or embarrassment. There are healthy ways that we can keep on keeping on and reversing those patterns.

Losing is almost a requirement in becoming a winner. Michael Jordan was a loser long before he was a 6 time champion. Floyd Mayweather Jr. who never lost a professional fight as a boxer did rack up a few losses as an amateur.

So how you develop an undefeatable attitude even when you've actually experienced a few defeats? It isn't simple but it is critical:

Here. We. Go!

Always remember the world is set upon balance.

Nothing will ever be all good or all bad. Although at times you will feel victimized, or may in fact be victimized, remember that life is never fair or fully kind to everyone else either.

Think of the millions of other people who couldn't pay their rent, got sick, lost loved ones, aren't where they want to be, or are somehow in the same fight you are.

The good news is that over time, if you stick around, at some point that circumstance, pain, or feeling of solitude will be lifted. I guarantee that you can think of at least five things that felt un-survivable that you have survived.

You cannot fully grasp good without understanding bad. Some people do great with money but are horrible at relationships. Some people are mentally or creatively gifted but do not physically perform well with their bodies. Some people are great at producing things but struggle with marketing them.

There is an upside to struggling when we decide to see past it for what else it could become. In the beginning of crisis, the last thing any of us think about is what is the upside of this issue. We need our time to grieve and process negative feelings.

However, once we have taken that time, we need to be able to seek clarity and remember that we have to deal with both the positive and negative sides of events.

Always anticipate change is coming.

I admit it: there are some situations that drag on for so long that it seems like it will never end. This is especially problematic when it comes to those who are enduring some gorm of isolation or abuse from another, long term financial misfortune, or a long term or chronic illness.

In the Meghan and Harry interview, for them it had taken four years of feeling that the media had attacked them with no support from their family before they could bear no more. Meghan shared that she saw it repeatedly happening for the rest of her life if action were not taken. It is possible that things would have gotten better but at the time there was no evidence.