Last week I wrote Lessons in Humility about my recent losses at the Houston Open. The losses were tough to deal with. I haven’t been dealt losses like that in some time and in many respects, I needed to take those losses in order to take the next big step in my journey.
Part of overcoming any loss is acknowledging that winning and losing are all part of the process. Initially, it was tough to deal with but I found that as the days went on, the amount of support and admiration that I received from all of my friends, family, students and training partners was mind-boggling. It led me to fully understand that at the end of the day, it does not matter that you win or lose. What matters is the people that care about you regardless of the outcome simply because you put yourself out there, gave it your all and continue to put yourself out there despite how you feel about the situation.
The Worst Thing
A long time ago, I read in a book that Randy Couture once calmed his nerves by reminding himself that “if the worst thing that happens in my life is losing a fight, I’ve got a pretty good life”. In many respects, I remind myself of this before every competition and it helps calm my nerves. This time, however, it was more relevant because I fell shorter from my goal than I ever have before. It took a few days, but I started to accept that I’ve got a pretty good life.
At the moment, I am preparing for another superfight on March 3rd. I’ve had to reframe my mind quickly in order to get on the mental track. Currently, I am also writing an article for JiuJitsu magazine on overcoming fear of failure. Since my loss, I’ve done some important things in order to get into a new mindset.
A Change in Mindset
For starters, I have done my best to evaluate the fights in terms of what I did well. There were many good points to take away from my matches including a few areas that I happened to “stumble into”. Who knows where these techniques will take me, but for now, I have paid closer attention to these areas in an effort to polish them and adapt them to my game.
Second, these losses have motivated me to do the work. I hate losing. I may sound like a hypocrite for saying that but I cannot stand losing. I don’t think anyone does. Every time I take a loss, it motivates me to work harder. Unfortunately, I have not been able to train like I wish because of a nagging shoulder issue but for the most part, I am able to work in other areas. More importantly, I am happy to do them. This is a first.
In the end, A loss doesn’t matter
Lastly, I am reminding myself that at the end of the day, it does not really matter. The outpouring of support from my loved ones was so incredible that I cannot even be mad about my loss. I feel so fortunate to have so many great people in my corner that continuing to be mad about losing is an act of ingratitude. All I can do is continue to love and appreciate my support system, continue to put myself out there and take each experience, win or lose, as a part of something much greater than myself: my journey in jiu-jitsu.