My daughter Mattie is a tough little girl. She was kicking her legs and swinging by herself at age two. At age three, she was swimming without those arm floaty things. Just after turning four she decided that she wanted to touch the drain in the deep end of the pool. “Daddy, I don’t need those training wheels!”, she demanded as the other kids in the neighborhood didn’t use them. Though strong, she has a tender side when she loses. This tenderness came out a couple of weeks ago when she got on the joust game during a church picnic. In today’s post, I’ll share why you’re never really down if you’re willing to get back up again.
Nobody Likes Losing
Obviously, nobody wants to lose. Nobody wakes up and says, “I’m going to ruin my life today.” Nobody starts a business with the intention to fail. We all want to win, and yes, we want to win all the time. When Mattie started jousting the other day, she was determined to win. Notice she is the ONLY girl in the game. These kids were older and bigger, but she wanted to compete. To my pleasant surprise, she was holding her own for a couple of minutes. It looked to be a draw as the kid in the striped shirt couldn’t knock Mattie off. That’s my girl! Then it happened. Wham! Time stood still as I saw my five year old falling through the air. After landing softly on a cushion of air, I noticed the deafening silence. Every parent knows this means one thing! A very, very loud cry was about to commence. While she was physically uninjured, her fighting spirit was hurt badly.
Nope! It wasn’t the boy in the striped shirt who knocked her down either. It was the kid caddie corner to her. Apparently, no one explained to her that it was a free for all with this game and she had to focus on more than the little boy in front of her.
Getting Mad or Getting Over It
Mattie had lost. Worse yet, after losing at something, Mattie’s tears usually turn to anger. She was roaring mad! The rules didn’t seem fair to her. In her mind, she was working very hard and she felt cheated because she wasn’t ready for this other kid. As her dad, it is easy for me to take her side. I picked her up and told her how proud I was of her. I told her how I loved how tough she was. I encouraged her that she was a brave girl to get in the ring with these rough boys. She slowly started to smile and I could see the fire come back in her eyes. “Daddy, I want to do that again!”
You see, in your life and business, there will always be bumps and hurdles along the way. If you’re willing to compete, you’re going to get your butt kicked along the way! There will be blind spots that clean your clock and send you tumbling. You will let people down. You will taste defeat. It will be bloody.
Then why compete if you know sometimes you’re going to lose? Through these hurts, pains, trials and errors, you’ll find that there is something beautiful happening inside of you. You start to realize that the game isn’t about knocking everyone else off their pedestal. It isn’t even about the fact you’ll get knocked down sometimes. No, this game is all about doing your best. It is about your personal entrepreneurial journey to being the best version of you. Sure, when you put yourself out there and take any form of risk, you’re going to find that people will criticize you. They’ll judge your jousting technique and give you seven tips to improve your joust game. Entrepreneurs and risk takers have thousands of critics! Take note that those who criticize are typically the ones sitting on the sidelines, never willing to get in the ring.