By: Brian Maher, Vice President, Career Services
Last weekend my son’s travel baseball team suffered their first loss of the season. It came as quite a shock to them having won their first four games of the season rather easily and now for the first time they were on the other side, losing a game they probably shouldn’t have by a score of 9 to 6.
As young children (10-year-old team) they didn’t take it particularly well. Some cried, some were angry, some were depressed. A few smiled and laughed and had already put the loss in their rear view mirror and were looking forward to the second game of this doubleheader.
I went to each one of them and I told them, “You learn from losing.” We had seen their focus deteriorate in their last doubleheader and they were not improving like they had during the off season practices and the first few games. They had come to EXPECT success. What they didn’t know is that you learn more from your losses than you do your wins and the more you learn the less often you lose (ironic, no?).
You improve by experiencing problems, failures, etc., and addressing them so that they don’t happen again. The manager talked to them between games about how baseball is a game of failure. That the very best players in the world bat only .300, which means that only 3 out of 10 times do they manage to get on base with a hit. Yet they are considered successful!
More often than not I have found perfectionists to be more of a hindrance to success than a help. Perfectionists only see the bad in things that don’t go exactly how they planned or wanted them to. They don’t understand the value in learning from those mistakes, from making adjustments. The last thing you want is success while doing something wrong because you will equate what you did with that success and will repeat it over and over again and not change when that success, which oftentimes is fleeting at best, disappears and you can’t explain it.
So, next time you lose remember that you learn from losing. If you aren’t learning and/or refuse to learn, then you will repeat it over and over again.