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The Real Difference Between Winning & Losing

advice tips Apr 12, 2024

Sure, it feels so much better to win than to lose. To get your hand raised after a hard-fought match and a skillful opponent.
To be declared the victor not just by the referee, but by the audience as well. There's no better feeling.

And, conversely, there is scarcely any worse feeling than losing.
Be it a hard-fought match that you lost via decision, or a match that you were losing 40-0 and then were submitted in the last seconds...

The difference, after all is said and done, is minuscule.
You lost. And there is that bitter taste in your mouth, following you for days, weeks, sometimes even months.

So, the difference between winning and losing appears to be quite clear, right? Well, I'd argue that there is another difference between the two; a much bigger one, with that.
And, well, it depends on what you define by "losing".

Over the years of both competing and coaching, I've come to realize that the only way to truly lose is to stop competing altogether.
It's to admit defeat, to lay down your sword and decide that it's better not to "go for it" anymore.

And truth be told, it's easy to do that.
Countless people have already done it before you, so why shouldn't you, too?

I'm not here to tell you whether you should keep competing or not.
Sometimes the reasons are valid enough (injuries, age, family, career, lack of time...) and if that's why you're stopping, then more power to you.

But if you're honest with yourself and the answer you come up with doesn't really sound valid enough...
If you decide to quit because you lost a match or two (or 102)...

Then you have come to admit defeat. Then you have lost for sure.
Because the real difference between winning and losing isn't in one particular match or a string of them. It's not in the months and years you spend competing, either.

It's all about whether or not you go for it just one more time...
Until the truly valid reasons kick in.

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