You Can Lose and Still Be a Winner

· December 2, 2018

You were born to be a winner! You were born to succeed! That’s what we were all taught growing up. Since we were kids, we learned that losing is something negative. Therefore, we feel bad whenever we lose.

It’s easy to associate failure with being less important. When we lose, we feel like we’re lacking something. We even associate failure with emotions such as sadness, shame, or anger. It always has a bad connotation in our mind. So what’s good about losing?

If we only see the bad side of losing, it’s obviously going to be hard to get something good out of it. However, even if it sounds odd, the word ‘losing’ always comes with its exact opposite: ‘winning’. Every time we lose, we actually become a winner at something else. Let’s elaborate a little bit on this.

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”

-Rabindranath Tagore-

A woman feeling sad.

Yin and yang: To be a winner, you have to lose

You’ve probably seen the yin and yang symbol a lot. It has a very interesting connotation. The yin and yang theory is a paramount Taoism element. It refers to the duality that characterizes everything that exists in the universe.


This philosophy states that nothing is entirely pure and permanent because everything exists as part of a duality. For example, we may say that summer is the opposite of winter, but one can’t exist without the other. Sometimes there’s a cold day during the summer and a warm day during the winter. Both seasons coexist.

With this, we realize nothing is entirely good or bad. This means that, when we lose, we learn something about ourselves: what we must change to be successful the next time. Therefore, there’s duality even in failure.

What do we get when we lose?

If you stop to reflect on why you can’t always be a winner, you’ll learn something very precious. Losing leads to change and transformationSo, from this point of view, losing turns into winning. And what do we get out of it? Knowledge.

Consequently, we won’t face similar situations in the same way as before. And we’ll also be more skillful when it comes to having more flexible thoughts and introducing new strategies that bring us closer to our goal.

But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care about winning or losing. Instead, even if we lose, we should strive to get up and move on. Try to turn the situation around and take it as an opportunity to evaluate what happened so that you can come up with other strategies

Man choosing between two paths.

Enjoy the journey

We’ve probably all heard that having fun is more important than winning. And, in spite of that, we haven’t internalized this. Thus, when we lose, we feel awful.

We’re all influenced by what we learned about losing. We always think of it as something we don’t want to experience. However, the best thing we can do is actively decide to change our perception on losing. It’s not impossible. It’s all about discovering what every experience, good or bad, taught us.

Why do we have to lose to become winners?

If we accept that losing is a part of life and that it’s necessary to a certain degree in order to win in the future, we’ll perceive losing in a very different way.

When you do this, you’ll start to get something productive out of your losses.

A happy and relaxed woman.

Sometimes you need to lose in order to win. Once you overcome that feeling of anger that comes with losing, your mind opens up a space to question your actions. This will allow you to see things differently and have a broader perspective.

Breaking free from the impulse of having to defend yourself out of embarrassment and anger after a loss will open the doors of personal growth. 

“You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.”

-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-