Life Lesson: On Losing And Being Grateful

Life Lesson will be a series of posts about the things that have happened in my life, and what I’ve learned from it. Whenever a life lesson happens to me, I will do my best to write about it straight away so that the lesson is still fresh in my mind! These posts will have an unusual schedule but I am aiming to have at least one post per month.

I decided to write them down on WordPress so that I wouldn’t forget what I’ve learned, and so that I can share my experiences with other people. Hopefully, while you’re reading this you can take something helpful that you can use from this post πŸ™‚

Last Tuesday, I entered a Public Speaking Competition held by Soroptimist’s International Joondalup, at my university. This was Round One: whoever wins gets to progress to the finals at a different university, and whoever win’s that, will be attending a conference for Soroptimist International in Melbourne.

There were five women who entered, including me. These women were fellow students who strongly believed in the causes they spoke about and it was admirable the way everyone spoke. The topics were on issues relating to women, such as empowerment and equality.

Long story short, I lost. I’m writing this post today to reflect on losing last night.

All in all, I entered the competition with no expectation of winning (this is only my second time competing in a public speaking competition) but it still feels a little bit deflating. I would like to think that feeling sad is normal. Sadness is a feeling that will pass, and by being open about it on WordPress,Β  I think the feeling will pass sooner.

When we lose, whether it be in a competition, in a test, or in a game, or anything else in life, it is so easy to let the loss define ourselves and consume us. It is important to take a step back to remind ourselves that our loses do not define us but the actions that we do to next. From reflecting throughout the past week, here’s what I’ve learned.

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All the Contestants!Β 

First of all, losing reminded me of gratitude. Despite losing, there are wonderful people around me who have, and continue to, support me on my journey. Whether we win or lose, it is always important to remember the people who’ve helped us and to express our gratitude.

I would like to thank my family. My dad who took me to my Toastmaster mentors’ place, to be able to practice the speech with them. My mom who not only came to support me and watch me on the night but who also encouraged me to enter the contest. My brother, who came to watch me and told me he was proud of me, even though I lost, and made me laugh on the way home.

I am so grateful for my family for supporting me and believing in me. I feel so lucky, and words are not enough to express the gratitude and love that I have for my family. Thank you so much!

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My wonderful family! (Me at the far left)

Next up, I would like to thank my mentors, Peter and Marianne, for inviting me to your lovely home to help me with prepare the speech. I’m so glad I met both of you through Toastmasters! Words are not enough to describe how lucky I feel that I have met both of you. Not only do you inspire me to continue my Toastmasters journey but also to become a better person through your kindness.

I would like to thank Toastmasters for helping me gain the public speaking skills that I have today, and for being a place where I can grow, not only as a speaker but as a person.Β  I have met so many amazing people who inspire me with all of their amazing stories! I am still at the beginning of my Toastmasters journey and would like to see how far I go and all the great people I’ll meet!

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

-Oprah WinfreyΒ 

Secondly, losing the competition has strengthened me and helped me cope better with losing.

Although I may not feel it right now, I (will) feel stronger. From this, I will improve and become a better speaker. I am glad I participated the competition because it allowed me to test my strengths and practice the skills that I’ve learned from Toastmasters. Most of all, the competition helped me realise the areas that I’m weak in and that I’ve still got a long way to go before I can be a great speaker.

There is more to life than winning. For me, that is personal growth. Had I won, knowing myself I would have let the win go to my head. Losing made me realise I was in the competition for the wrong things and now I’ve let go of my ego to be able to learn the things I’m learning right now.

Now that I’ve lost, I’m going to put in more effort in improving myself and learning more about public speaking and communication!

Most of all, I feel humbled by the loss and that there are more things that we can work on with ourselves and not just settle for what we’ve already accomplished.

Coming to the end of this post and after thinking about it for the rest of last week, I’ve realised that I’ve moved on. The day after the competition I was beating myself up so much for losing, that I could not bear myself to write this post.

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The winner of Round One, Law Student Rikki Archibald. I wish you good luck in your future endeavours!

It’s alright to be down when something sorrowful happens to us but not to the point that we let our sorrows consume us. Last week I felt so much pressure to finish this post the day after the competition and that did more harm that good because it made me think about the competition more.

I had to take a step back, take a break from WordPress and do other things. This helped me a lot and now I feel at peace, as it reminded me that no matter what happens to us, no matter how bad things get (and they can get really bad) life still goes on. We must do our best to keep going and push forward, otherwise we can get consumed by negativity and eventually destroy ourselves.

Even though I didn’t win today, I have gained so much, which I believe can help me in so many ways in the future!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Life is a huge learning curve and lessons come in unexpected ways. Some are obvious and some aren’t! I hope to write all of these lessons down to share it with you!

The Question Of the Post: What is one thing you’re grateful for, and why?

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Claire S.

A person trying to make it in life as I go through my 20's. Currently trying to get rid of bad habits and writing about getting rid of them. I invest my time way too much in art, books and my dog. Figuring out how to use WordPress one blog post at a time. I write about proactivity, self improvement and appreciating life based on my own life experiences and lessons.

13 thoughts on “Life Lesson: On Losing And Being Grateful”

  1. Losing (gracefully) is a very important lesson. It also makes winning sweeter when it does happen to you.
    It is okay to feel bad when you lose, but it isn’t right to let that define you. You are not a loser, you’re a winner in training. It sounds like a platitude, but it isn’t. Life has lots of lessons for us, and they’re not all easy.
    Hang in there. Set your mind on your next challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment Anthony! I completely agree with not letting our loses define us! I tend to say to myself that whenever I lose, it’s not the right time for me to win and I’ve still got a lot to learn 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Handling loss with gracefulness and having gratefulness for what we have can be tough.
    I’m sorry you lost the competition, but I am glad it shone a new perspective for you.
    #choosegratitude!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m grateful that there were some much smarter and harder working people than me who invented personal computers that could connect to, and help form, the Internet.

    Through these two inventions i have learned so much and can source information on any topic i wish anytime i choose and can also connect with so many people i would never have had the chance to meet in real life from so many different situations and cultures to my own. WordPress is just one example. πŸ™‚

    Losing teaches us much more than winning ever could – so basically winners are losers! πŸ˜‰

    Putting ourselves up against people who are better than us challenges us to become ever greater than we are while beating someone who was not as good at something as you are will only give us a feeling of false pride in our abilities and is unlikely to help us grow or learn.

    So congratulations on being a loser this time and consequently winning in the Game of Life! πŸ™‚

    P.S. I’m sorry – i just can’t help myself – it’s the perfectionist proofreader in me, but did you really check your last paragraph before you posted or were you in a rush to finish? πŸ˜‰

    Paying attention to small details can mean the difference between winning and losing. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the wonderful comment Lwbut! Could please specify by what you meant as my last paragraph? (How the sentence starts) I’d like to check it and make changes but I can’t seem to find what you mean πŸ˜… thank you for reading and for the help!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re quite welcome – Always a pleasure. πŸ™‚

        it was this bit i was referring to:
        I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you enjoyed reading it too!

        Liked by 1 person

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