By Isabelle Laureta
In high school, my batch mates and I joined an inter-school cheer dance competition and lost miserably. Boy, was it devastating. It felt like all the late night rehearsals and effort were put to waste. On the school bus ride back home, everyone was quiet—a stark difference from that morning when everybody were hopeful and competitive.
Nobody wants to be a loser. It’s probably one of the worst feelings in life next to unrequited love and banging your pinky toe on the foot of a table. And in a world where everyone wants to be a winner, it’s really hard to figure out how to act when you lose. Saying “At least I did my best,” or “At least I gained some experience” can only do so much. But I got you, fam. From someone who lost (and will still lose at some point because such is life) to another, here are a few things to do when the odds aren’t in your favor.
- Check if you can still win things back
I mean, mistakes can happen, right? For a minute there, Pia Wurtzbach thought she lost the crown, thanks to Steve Harvey. And you know what they say, “don’t lose without putting up a good fight.” Last year, the UP Pep Squad experienced a controversial loss at the UAAP Cheer Dance Competition, and although it was disheartening and exhausting in all aspects, they put an effort in finding out what really went down. It’s a risky thing to do, and you may be called a sore loser, but if you truly and genuinely believe you should have won, then it’s worth a shot. If not, then…
- Gracefully accept your loss
It’s hard to pretend that you aren’t sad and disappointed, that it’s okay you didn’t make it, that that’s just what it is, but it’s the kindest and most harmless thing you can do to your competitors and to yourself. Because when you start gossiping and talking sh*t about other people, it says more about you than it does about them. The presidential elections this year was a roller coaster ride, to say the least, but at the end of the day, no matter how competitive and badly all the five candidates wanted to win, it was admirable how everyone faced their defeat with grace. Acceptance can and will take a lot of work, but once you get it right, everything else would come easy and you’d eventually learn why it had to happen.
- Stop looking for things to blame
Whether it’s lack of support from the people around you, a controversial sabotage about a certain dress or something, or a dirty quackery—all of these are just excuses you tell others and yourself as reasons why you lost. If only you’d stop complaining and pointing fingers, then maybe you’d have enough time to fix your attitude. The routine we presented during that cheer dance competition years ago wasn’t perfect. Some stunts were wobbly and some of us missed a step or two. But nobody in that bus ride home blamed anyone for making any mistake. No one blamed our choreographer for not coming up with a better routine; no one blamed that guy under that wobbly human pyramid. As far as we knew, we lost because we lost, not because of anyone or anything. And somehow, that made everything a little easier.
- Work on your weaknesses
One thing people say to us when we lose is, “Well, at least you learned something.” And although that sounds like an annoying half-as*ed consolation, we can’t ignore the fact that it’s true. Losing not only means we have a license to be sad for a while, but it also means we get to learn something about ourselves—our weaknesses, specifically. And once we recognize what these are, it becomes easy to work on them so that it won’t keep us from getting that sweet victory next time.
- Don’t let your loss stop you
So you lost this time, boo hoo. You can lock yourself in your room and weep, but don’t let that be the end of it. If you still don’t know by now that winning doesn’t happen overnight, then you probably need to snap out of your Disney princess illusion and read more self-help books. Being a winner is great, we all know that, but what some don’t know is that winners were once losers, too. And the difference between losers and winners is that winners are losers who didn’t quit. Winners are the losers who did everything listed here and more.