18 responses to “If You Don’t Win, Do You Think You’re A Loser?”

  1. marianne

    Good for you! I love when we can create our own definitions to live by. I love how simply you say you like who you are and you will define who that is. Now how do we make this believed by all women and girls? You’ve empowered me today too…thank you!

    1. cherry


      So glad I could empower you.
      I so, so, so agree – wish that all girls and women believed in themselves. Cherry

  2. Billy Kirsch

    Great post, I was just talking about cup half empty/half full attitudes this morning. My son’s lacrosse team hasn’t won a game all year but for some remarkable reason he’s having a great time just by taking part. He feels like a winner because he’s participating and that involved risk on his part. Let us know when you figure out just what your award means!

    1. cherry

      Thanks Billy. Related to your discussion & your son playing Lacrosse, you might want to read this post http://borderlessthinking.com/2011/02/effort-is-more-important-than-achievement-combat-perfectionism/
      and also check out the book it references.
      Hope to see you here again, Cherry

  3. Carla

    I’m Carla, and I won the international award for France. It was more than I hoped for when writing my story, so I’m more than ecstatic. But funny enough, I feel like I won’t “believe it” until I get an official piece of paper in the mail. This is why I haven’t told any of members of my family or friends. Weird, huh? This has got me thinking about the meaning we give to “official” papers…

    In any case, I’m still happy. Just to have poured out my guts, and have contributed something. For this something to be deemed “worthy” at some level, is an extra source of happiness.

    1. cherry

      I understand your sentiment and I look forward to reading your case study.

      I, too, want the official letter but the blog post made it real for me. The first short, times-new-roman-font email telling me I won didn’t feel real, so I’m with you on that one.
      Congratulations! it is wonderful to receive the award. I’m simply adding that you were/are an amazing person with or without the award. Cherry

  4. Pam Burznski

    Cherry, I loved your “winning” story “From Fearful Child to Fierce Warrior”. You have the best titles!

    I like the blog title too. Just because you lose at something, doesn’t make you loser unless you tag yourself that way. It’s good to have contests and it’s good to have winners and 1st’s and 2nd’s–it gives us motivation to “do”. A kid may cry because s/he “lost” but that doesn’t make them a loser in my book.

    It’s too late now for “engaging in dialogue and debate”, but I will tomorrow even if there is a conflict :-) , I promise.

    Congrats on a winning story and your always thought provoking blogs! ~Pam

    1. cherry

      You are consistently kind and generous with your praise, Pam. Thank you.

      I agree that contests can motivate us “to do”. The Hot mommas case study competition caused me “to do”. And, as you pointed out, even if we’re disappointed at a loss it never tags us as LOSER!

  5. Kathy Morelli

    Hey Cherry! Congratulations! Raise Your Glass! And I love your perspective! It is great to come to the place in your life where you know who you are and feel good about yourself because it comes from within. I noticed that for me, as I age, I feel better about myself as well. I love the place of contentment and generativity. I think this is another well kept secret of life….that one becomes more content as one ages. It is not so much in the popular culture. When I watch movies & TV many of the protagonists are young and wise & confident beyond their years….its definetly cognitive dissonance as I think this is not the case so much, as in my practice, people seem to be just becoming in their 30s & 40s, getting to know who they really are and beginning to truly differentiate. It’s not a topic I have read up alot on….it’s worth exploring I think, though!

    1. cherry

      Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My experience of myself and friends is that age, typically provides a balanced perspective of ourselves. I wish I had this when I was a teen ager, some kids seem too, but I wasn’t one of them. Cherry

  6. Linda

    We’re overly concerned with ‘blue ribbon thinking,’ and not focused and appreciative about what it takes to put yourself out there, and risk rejection, humiliation, and public scorn.

    This is a wonderful perspective, Cherry. I agree that it comes with age, as well. Try telling a group of little league baseball players that second, third, and fourth is just fine, when you’ve got a ballistic group of parents on the sidelines communicating otherwise.

    I had a conversation last night with a youth who strives to get recognition for an endeavor that is very risky (from a social acceptance standpoint), and though he continues to fall short, he is determined to find meaning in his experience.

    Belief and self-confidence are the sweet rewards of life. And you deserve an extra helping of that Cherry cake :).

  7. cherry

    Oh Linda, I remember those Little league days. Your point: “Try telling a group of little league baseball players that second, third, and fourth is just fine, when you’ve got a ballistic group of parents on the sidelines communicating otherwise.” is well taken.

  8. Kelly Vandever

    Yesterday I found out I lost. I was in competition for a particular recognition in a professional association I’m a member of. It was between me and another guy and they chose him. I lost. No second place. No “winning.” No title I could claim on my website. Nothing. I just lost.

    I spent the day feeling sad. The person who won is a friend and a wonderful person. I’m happy for him. Sad for me. I felt like a loser… again…

    When something is important to you and you lose, the old self-doubts come traipsing back in. I’m never good enough. There’s always someone better. I just can’t win.

    In the bigger picture, this recognition is not as important as my family and our health. In the long run, this probably wouldn’t make the difference between success and failure in my business. But right now, it doesn’t feel like a lesson. It doesn’t feel like something I’ll learn a valuable lesson from. It just hurts once again not to be good enough.

  9. Dawn Lennon

    Oh, I just love your line: “The awards are just the extra sweet icing on this delicious Cherry cake.” How true.

    The old win-lose thing is like a phantom…always haunting us. Some years ago, when pondering the issue, I suddenly realized that awards come from judges. Wow, a big aha! Judges have criteria and standards and their own inclinations. I’ve been a judge many times and seen things in my fellow judges that I questioned. Eventually, I realized that when I win or lose in the eyes of people I respect, the insight is uniquely more useful than when someone I think is an idiot decided I wasn’t good enough! How’s that! Another great post, my friend.~Dawn

  10. Irene Savarese

    Wonderful post Cherry and I like the comments.
    Kelly I know what you are talking about. I can tell myself a thousand times that it is the effort and intentions that counts, but it still hurts.
    Good point Dawn! I hate to be judged (so why am I putting myself out there?), but I love the idea of helping couples and I love constructive feedback, especially when people are being nice. In elementary school they give awards for everything. Why stop?
    The problem with the win/lose kind of thinking is that we might not try our best if we are afraid of loosing / not being good enough.

  11. Daria @ Mom in Management'

    First of all – Congratulations!

    Secondly, I whole-heartedly agree with you that age helps to understand that the one person you will have to live with your entire life is…you. It makes it more clear as time goes on, that my perception of me and feelings about me are really what drives what the world sees and feels too. And if they don’t agree? Who cares! :)

  12. Melanie Greenberg

    Thanks for a heartfelt and empowering post. Your description of your own process and genuine self-acceptance is so lovely to read. Congrats on being nominated for the award. All the research says we need to praise kids for effort not outcome because effort is controllable by self whereas outcomes mostly depend on others as well. Winners and losers are also relative and dependent on frame of reference. Do you compare yourself to the one winner or the thousands who weren’t even nominated? It’s better for self-esteem to choose the second, or, even better, just be the best you can be.

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