Sometimes, despite careful preparations and leaving it all on the field, a team cannot win. When all is said and done, their opponent has more points on the board and the team is left with a tally mark in the L column. Handling this loss, especially an unexpected one, can be a tricky process.
It is, however, a vital component of the game of football.
Dealing with defeat does not just apply to football, of course, and is something we all encounter. Whether it applies to a business deal or a personal relationship, sometimes despite our best efforts, the end result is a loss. And handling this loss, especially an unexpected one, can be a tricky process.
It is, however, a vital component of life.
One advantage the game of football has is the game clock. When time runs out, the game is over. Like it or not, it’s time to face the scoreboard and leave the field.
When it comes to the game of life, unfortunately, some refuse to leave. Even when the game is over, they stay for hours, days, months and even years after everyone else has gone home and moved on with their lives.
I have been known to stumble around a dark field looking for the ball, refusing to admit I’ll never find it. I’ve done this to the point of utter exhaustion and I have no choice but to be still. And only then can I hear the game-ending whistle blow.
In life, game clocks come in the form of wisdom; wisdom that only comes when we are still enough to hear it; wisdom that makes signals clearer; and wisdom that reminds us we can’t learn the lessons of defeat until we admit we have lost.
And it is this wisdom that leads us to learn a coveted skill every great football player has mastered: resiliency.
Resiliency is defined as the power and ability to recover from adversity. It comes after looking at the scoreboard and admitting defeat; after accepting the lessons learned in the loss; after forgiving yourself and others for perceived missteps and then getting back out there.
Resiliency is a trait only people who have encountered defeat can honestly say they have. It is earned by trying, failing and trying again; by being knocked over and getting back up; and by battling and overcoming resistance time and time again.
So the next time the game doesn’t go your way, remember it’s the losses that will teach you resiliency.
And resiliency could be your Super Bowl winning play.