I can only imagine the mindset of a sportsperson like Dipa Karmakar, the Indian gymnast who missed a medal by just a small fraction in the recently-ended Rio Olympics despite having put her best effort into the performance. When we are competing in a competitive environment it only stands to reason that there will be moments (despite having given all that we have got) when we will not make the cut and get that medal or admission or whatever else we were training and aspiring for.
Expect and accept setbacks: There are so many factors that go to make up the mosaic of success that it is very difficult to pinpoint what exactly went right or propelled you to win on that one particular day. Being reflective or introspective during times of success is a great trait to keep yourself grounded and charged to propel yourself even further. If we let success go to our heads and begin to think that we will never fail then our ego crumbles completely when we do fail or don’t get that top spot. Just like success comes our way so will failure. If we expect and accept the fact that we will be thwarted sometimes and succeed on others then automatically we can take failure in our stride and deal with it more matter-of-factly.
Positive self-talk and self-compassion: The biggest challenge in the face of defeat is self-doubt. In many ways we are our own enemies and very often we will run our own selves down by negative self-talk like “I am not good enough,” etc. But if we can take the setback in our stride then there are two important ways that you can displace and reduce self-doubt which can threaten to overwhelm you in a time like this. This is a very positive way of ensuring that you will keep working hard and giving your best to the next opportunity that comes your way.
Shivani Manchanda, a post-graduate in Counselling from the USA, is a warm and vibrant counsellor. Her expertise lies in counselling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. She is an enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience.