How to Handle Yourself When You Lose: Four Unusual Tips


Week 403 (brendan@brendanbarca.com)

Here's your weekly dose of Fuel Your Mind Friday where I share business building ideas, lifestyle design hacks, and inspirational content to help you thrive in your work and find purpose in your life.

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PSA: My wife, Pema Sherpa, and I have another blog called The Mindful Minute! Check it out.

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How to Handle Yourself When You Lose: Four Unusual Tips

During the last seven years of building a business, I've had lots of experiences winning and losing sales. When you win a sale, it's easy. You thank the new client for the chance to work together. Then hang up and start jumping around the living room with your wife.

But losing a sale isn't quite as straight forward. Depending on the size of the opportunity or the quality of prospect, getting told "no" or "not now" can be gut-wrenching. If you're not careful, you can find yourself in a downward spiral quickly.

Even if you're not in sales, you've likely experienced your fair share of devastating "No's" at this point in your life. "No, you didn't get the job." "No, your kid didn't get into our private school." "No, we don't have any more bottles of that wine left."

One thing is for sure. We will continue to get told "no" despite the quality of our product, the intelligence of our kid, or how badly we want to drink wine from Tuscany.

So, the question becomes, what do we do when we lose? How do we handle it? Here's four tips on how to handle yourself when you "lose":

1- Accept

When we lose a sale or get told "no," our mind goes into a frenzy. It had already pictured how life would be better if we got the "yes" we had been expecting. Discontent, anger, and anxiety arise from the disconnect between our present situation (getting told "No") and our predicted situation (whatever positive results we had imagined for ourselves).

What we need to do is accept our situation exactly as it is in the moment. One way I've tried to bring acceptance into my life is through non-judgment. Rather than judging a lost sale as bad or a closed sale as good, I simply try to accept everything without judgment. Here's a mantra, borrowed from Deepak Chopra, that I use each morning: "Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events exactly as they occur."

2- Play the Long Game

As someone who now hires contractors, coaches & vendors, I have also been able to witness how other people react when I occasionally have to tell them "No." The biggest mistake I have seen is from those who have a short term mentality. As soon as you tell the person "no," they do what I call, "burning the boats." They end the relationship abruptly and sometimes heatedly.

Instead, the best partners I have are always playing the long game. They know that the goal is not to keep this short term project or job, but to keep the longterm relationship. It's these people who continue to be partners for life, while the "boat burners" lose the relationship for now and forever.

3- Remember the Vacuum

When I first started out and was getting way more "No's" than "Yes's", my coach helped me reframe these seemingly negative events. She would (and still does) encourage me to "remember the vacuum." What this means is that each lost opportunity creates a vacuum for a better opportunity to come along.

When you lose a sale or job opportunity, think of it as a void that still needs to be filled. That sale or job wasn't the right one for you. Something better is bound to come along. The next time you lose, "remember the vacuum."

4- Celebrate

You're probably thinking this is a typo. Celebrate? Why would I celebrate when I lose? But, you read it right. Every time we lose a big sales opportunity, my wife and I go out and get a drink to celebrate. We celebrate how much we learned in the process. We celebrate the relationships we built. And we celebrate the fact that we were in the final round.

When the Jamaican bobsled team in Kool Runnings lost in the olympics due to their rickety bobsled, did they go home with their heads hanging low? No, they celebrated how far they made it. The next time you lose, celebrate.

Losing is only a heavy event if we give the event weight. But if we reframe it through acceptance, we will see the event with much more appreciation. The next time you get told "No," use these four tips as an opportunity to shift your mindset and celebrate how this "No" will open up the doors for a better "Yes" in the future.

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Thanks for subscribing,

- Brendan

Let's connect on LinkedIn!

brendanbarca.com

p.s. If you're a longtime subscriber you may have noticed this is a repost from a few years back. As a new father juggling a lot sometimes I need to repurpose old content. Thanks for your support!

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