The famous martial arts master Bruce Lee said: “Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never accept the way to lose”

This is true of us all. Our pride and ego stand in the way of a remarkable release and life lesson. We all want to win, but losses come when we are expecting a win. This creates huge disappointment and pain in our lives and we do not know how to accept defeat.

What are disappointments and where do they come from?

Because of these expectations we have of ourselves and others, disappointment is a sure result. Disappointment is a manifestation of expectations. We all do it…… We expect our wife to have food cooked when we get home, or we expect our husbands to pay the bills. 

We expect everything in life to be a certain way, our own selfish way! 

Whatever the level of expectation, will equal the same level of disappointment. We create these daily. We make assumptions about stuff and then on top of that we expect it to be the way we expect it to be. This is how you set yourself up for disappointment. 

What does this have to do with defeat?

To experience defeat, one does not have to be in a sport event or a game. You could be in a business where you lost everything or where you could not pay the car payment and the bank came to take your car. These are all defeats because the game of life is getting to you. Or so you feel. 

You feel defeated because the choices YOU made did not get YOU to win. To win is to advance and to prosper, not to remain and go backwards. 

How do we deal with defeat?

Failure itself is not the issue, it is how we feel that gives us that soul crushing experience.

It has a tremendous impact on our lives, our values and self-worth. We feel like failures when we are defeated. 

In order to deal with this neurological programming of expecting to win, we must ask ourselves, why do we do this and more so, how do we accept defeat? Surely, if we have no expectations, then how do we grow. The crux here is not to confuse the expectation with a dream or a goal. These are two different concepts. 

To experience life to the fullest we must first learn to be in the now. ACCEPT what is! Everything that happens to you in your life was created by you fully. Therefore, just accept what is. This is the start of being able to move forward. When we have disappointment, we operate from the past. Also read:

Life only happens in the now, never in the past. Therefore, all past experiences must not be used to compare events in the now. 

Remember, people go through 5 steps of denial first when they are defeated. –

  • Denial
  • Giving up
  • Blame others or something
  • Hoping for a better outcome
  • Acceptance

A conscious choice to accept defeat is the answer in dealing with this society created phenomenon.  We get bored as human beings and therefore we create games to make life more interesting. We must see how we can be the best. 

The only competition in life should be that of the one you have with yourself. 

Let’s look at some of the benefits of accepting failure and moving on.

Letting Go: We stop beating the same dead horse and expecting it to get up and start running. We respectfully bury the horse and appreciate the gift of the experience we had. The moment we say goodbye, we let go and create space for something new to emerge.

Learn from it: By taking responsibility for the outcome of the choices we made, we move the focus from blame to what we can do differently. If no other lesson is learnt, at least we know that this path is not for us, and that’s a very valuable lesson.

Release: Once you admit that you’ve failed, you’ll feel relieved that you don’t have to keep defending the same choice and its outcomes. You’re no longer attached to the situation. You’re free to let go and move on.

Defeat comes with a cost, but more so, with a lesson and new opportunities. Embrace the moment and ask yourself, “What am I supposed to learn from this” 

Every time you are defeated, remember this – 

Accept it, learn from it and move forward. Let go of that moment. 

You are not your story!


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