So, your team lost. Time to wallow in your sorrows, feel sorry for yourself, for the fans, for the team. Then what? What do you do after you take the time to feel bad?
Get back to work.
This is not the first time we’ve discussed the pain of losing and the process of bouncing back. There was the article about the Kansas City Royals and how the way you respond to your losses is more important than the loss itself—the Royals came back stronger than ever and won the World Series. Then there was the one about how the occasional big loss can actually be to your advantage. And we had to admit that, no matter how you respond or what advantages you gain, disappointment still hurts.
But now I want to talk about how bouncing back works. I mean, ok, a big deal fell through, you feel terrible, and you know you should get up and get back at it (you have a job to do, after all, and your family and your colleagues are counting on you), but how? When you’re questioning all your skills, all your claims to competence (and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t do that after a big loss?), how do you pull it together and move on?
You pull it together by moving on.
Take the Cleveland Indians of 2016, for example. The Indians lost Game 7 of the World Series in extra innings after tying up the game in the bottom of the 8th inning when the game seemed over.
Though they had been heavy underdogs going into the series, they fought hard and earned a big series lead against the Chicago Cubs. Up 3-1, needing only one win in three games to win the series, it really looked like the Indians were going to make it. But they didn’t. And getting so close, especially after so many years without a World Series win, must have hurt.
But this spring training, the Cleveland Indians will get back on the field and they’ll spend some time getting back to the basics of throwing, catching, and hitting, just like they do every year. Slowly, they’ll build back up. They’ll remember this is a game they love to play. The new season will start and they’ll focus on the games they’re actually playing now, and the ones in the future they have to prepare for, and the past will seem less and less important. They might not win the World Series this year either, but eventually, maybe they will win it. There is hope.
You can do the same thing. If a big loss is on your mind and you’re doubting yourself, go back to the basics. Reach for small successes to gain your confidence back. Allow your successes to snowball into something great again.
And now, with that said, it’s time for me to get back to the daily grind, too.
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Image of the Indian’s shortstop Francisco Lindor was taken by Arturo Pardavila III under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license