Losing - Can it be Equally as Powerful as Winning? by Linda Contreras

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With the elections that just happened, the words "winning" and "losing" are being heard often. So and so won, so and so lost. Sometimes you may sit and wonder about the candidates who lose and think, "but they did so much!" That's how I felt too, on an even more personal level. At my school we had United Student Body elections, and I had run for President. Since I was a little kid, my dream was to be president of my school and to represent the people. I campaigned so much my name was plastered around the entire surface area of the school. The posters I had put up were cute and funny; I genuinely thought I had it in the bag. Then when I got the results, I saw that I had lost, and it felt like a huge blow to the chest. For a good half hour I cried my eyes out feeling like I was incapable of doing anything no matter how hard I tried. Pretty extreme, huh? But how did I move on from my loss?
Recovery

Have you ever heard anyone talk about self care days? That's basically what I did. After I found out the results, I kind of let myself be sad because sometimes you need to allow yourself to feel what you feel. If you don't recognize the feeling then, it just bottles up inside of you. That day I got home and instantly went to my room, shut the door, (like any angsty teen) and took a good 5 hour nap. Little did I know that in my sleep, I would subconsciously put myself together. Upon waking up from my nap, I treated myself to some Starbucks, drank it, then went back to sleep. Yes, I know, I sleep a lot, but that's my idea of self care. Sometimes your body really needs the rest, so I encourage you to find your self care routine.

Hyping-Up

You know how on Instagram or Twitter you see your friend's selfie and comment like, "Wow, you're so pretty!"? This hype-up process is needed in dusting yourself off and moving on. By this I don't mean you have to sit and compliment yourself, but by all means do it. I'm referring to highlighting your own qualities. The next morning when I woke up, I had a long talk to myself. I reminded myself that nothing defines who I am unless I let it, and I gave myself a good pat on the back and felt proud of everything I did. Sometimes when you feel proud, people interpret that as boasting but it's not- it's essential in building yourself up.

Grow with the Flow

The popular phrase is "go with the flow" but I prefer "grow with the flow" since it's implying that each day you grow with anything new that may come into your life. Don't let things you have no control over negatively impact you. One of the most important qualities to have is to be adaptable. Being adaptable lets you take in new things and grow from them and build yourself off of them rather than taking things and feeling stuck. Not all things in life are internally controlled; I didn't choose to lose the election and I'm sure the kid in my third period didn't choose to spill coffee on his desk. Some things in life we really have no control over, and although winning, whether it be a tournament, or in my case an election, sounds amazing, losing can, at times, benefit you more. Losing gives you an even stronger drive and desire to succeed, and it gives you that extra boost to work even harder than before. The way you get up from your loss defines you more than the loss itself.


Triveni Patel