The Effects of Not Knowing How to Accept a Defeat

The Effects of Not Knowing How to Accept a Defeat - Knowing how to accept a defeat is as important as knowing how to manage the dregs of victory. Mistakes and failures have consequences, but they also offer us many opportunities. In principle, it seem…

Knowing how to accept a defeat is as important as knowing how to manage the dregs of victory. Mistakes and failures have consequences, but they also offer us many opportunities.

In principle, it seems that there is nothing to learn about the facts of winning and losing . However, tools are required to incorporate one or the other into life intelligently. In fact, the effects of not knowing how to accept a defeat or of not putting some self-control in managing success can have very negative consequences.

The success measured based on very specific parameters, has become almost an obligation . Therefore, it is frequent that the fact of winning is assimilated almost as a duty that is later used as social evidence. Meanwhile, losing is seen as a failure, if not an embarrassment. Thus, neither one nor the other is adequately addressed.

In this context, it is difficult to learn to accept defeat . Sometimes this becomes a factor that weakens enthusiasm and personal strength. Other times, it unleashes obsessive behaviors that translate into capricious stubbornness, which ends up leading to a vicious cycle of frustration.

"You learn little with victory, on the other hand, a lot with defeat."

Why is it difficult to accept a defeat?


As we already mentioned, one of the factors that most influences that it is so difficult to accept a defeat are false beliefs . The first one says that not achieving something is directly equivalent to failure. The truth is that there is a great distance between being defeated and failing. The first is a completely natural backhand; the second, an attitude.

In general terms, a person who does not know how to accept a defeat has difficulties in three aspects of his life:

  • Tolerance for frustration . It is very difficult to assimilate that things do not go or unfold as desired.
  • False self-esteem . It has to do with an assessment of oneself in which the possibility of error or defeat is ruled out. It is false to the extent that you do not feel appreciation for your own vulnerabilities.
  • Value system . Success is given an exaggerated importance, undermining other valuable aspects of development and life. Likewise, the result is valued much more than the process or everything that inspires it.


People who have a hard time accepting defeat often experience a feeling of false superiority . Therefore, not achieving what was planned causes the fiction they have built to fall apart.

Neurotic stubbornness


Not knowing how to accept a defeat usually has the effect of a string of frustrations that increase the discomfort . Thus, the person who does not accept that he has lost the love of his partner is likely to try again and again an impossible reconciliation, at the same time that he is likely to see his desire frustrated again and again.

Or those who refuse to accept that they lost an important opportunity could look for failed paths to give a new air to that option that has already left. It is also possible that you end up being very hard on yourself , demanding more than you can give at the moment, or berating yourself for not having done something or having stopped doing it.

This stubbornness does not allow space to process what happened and acquire the learning that follows from it . It also exacerbates negative emotions, such as anger and sadness that result from frustration. In this way, it is possible for a person to become blocked or stagnant, depending on their resistance to accept reality.

Learn to lose


Defeat has enormous value in life, from a psychological point of view . First, it puts a limit on the childhood narcissism with which we all start life. Knowing that not everything can be achieved, that not all wishes will be fulfilled, is the basis on which the reality principle is built.

Likewise, defeats are a great source of knowledge . From these the proper limits, the errors of appreciation and the coordinates of the real are discovered. Therefore, it generates valid knowledge that can be used later to benefit a new objective. Science works like this: it advances on the basis of error.

Knowing how to accept a defeat implies approaching it with curiosity and interest . Nobody likes to lose, but those who know how to do it overcomes the feeling of frustration relatively quickly and focuses on the learning that emerges from it. It is paradoxical, but knowing how to lose is also a way to win.

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