The Art of Losing Like an Athlete

No matter who you are…

No matter how talented you may be…

You are going to lose!

This is one of the most important rules to learn in any aspect of your life, but especially at work. Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Lionel Messi. Even the masters of their field will know what it feels like to be second best.

In recruitment, you’ll face rejection and disappointment on a regular basis. It can be easy to fall into a rut of negativity. Nothing goes your way and you become even more down about your job as a result. Your attitude to work will change, you become despondent and eventually this will have a knock on effect with your performance.

The best recruiters know how to escape the rut and get back to winning ways. If you’re struggling, we’ve got a little advice for you. It’s time to think like an athlete!

Accept the Result

No ifs, no buts, no maybes. You lost this time around, and that’s okay!

Defeat isn’t something to feel ashamed or embarrassed about, it’s a natural side effect of taking part. You can’t win them all. The best sportsmen and women won’t look towards a refereeing mistake or unfair odds to blame for their defeat. They’ll simply acknowledge that this time around, they just weren’t good enough.

The sooner you embrace failure, the better you will become.

Rugby Scrum - Athlete Mentality

Focus on the Next Opportunity

Coming second best this time doesn’t mean it’s game over for you. There’s always another opportunity. This is where it’s so important to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and look towards the next prospect.

Looking forwards is key to breaking your goal drought. By focusing on the future, you’ll keep yourself from being knocked off course or becoming overwhelmed by the challenges you’re facing.

Sometimes, your mental stamina and mindset are the key to breaking the trend of poor results. When Roger Federer goes two sets down in a must-win game, he doesn’t become engulfed in self-doubt or fear. He focuses on winning the next serve, and then the next one, and then the one after that. Bit by bit, he’ll claw his way back into a position where he’s on level terms with his opposition – only this time, he’s got the momentum and mental strength required to win the match.

Analyse the Defeat

In the weeks following England’s heartbreaking Semi-Final exit from the World Cup, it could be easy for the players to look upon their historic run in the tournament as ‘enough’. The truth is, they just weren’t good enough to win the World Cup. Southgate will gather his troops ahead of the next round of international games and together they will pick apart where they went wrong. They will look for the weaknesses in their game and use this as a learning exercise.

Recruitment isn’t as clear cut as a football match, we all know that. There are plenty of reasons why things may not have worked out even if you haven’t put a foot wrong. But, almost every recruiter will admit that they don’t work by the book. You probably weren’t perfect, so start actively looking for flaws.

So, it’s down to you to analyse where you weren’t up to scratch. What could you have done better to achieve the result you deserve?

Don’t Become Disheartened

Actively looking for the flaws in your game can be a little painful at times. The list will not make for pretty reading. It’s vitally important not to let this get the better of you.

Never take it personally!

This isn’t an exercise in detailing how bad you are at your job. This kind of mindset is what gets you into a rut in the first place. See this list of flaws in your performance as a guide to help you move forward. Some of the best athletes will win at their sport but still feel underwhelmed by their effort. Knowing where you go wrong is a hugely powerful tool to help you become successful.

Go Through a Phase of Self-Improvement

When most people end a long term relationship, there’s a period of moping about, and then almost immediately they go through a phase of self-improvement. Going to the gym, buying new clothes, a new haircut or even reinvigorating old friendships. This feeling is something you need to tap into right now.

For an athlete, this is the moment they get back to training. They’ve got to focus on the areas they went wrong without letting anything else slip.

You’ve lost and it sucked, but now you’ve got to come back stronger. Work on the issues which let you down and do what’s required to come back bigger and better than before.

Find Your Fire Again

Now, it’s time to get fired up once more.

Spot your goal. Is there a vacancy which you’re drawn to? Have you found a CV which shows signs of promise? Is Euro 2020 just around the corner?

Once you’ve set your sights on the next challenge, it’s time to put your practice into motion. Find your focus, motivate yourself and do whatever you can to win.

Boxing Training - Athlete Mentality

Win or Lose, Repeat the Process

There’s a secret to the habits of those who consistently win in their sector. They do this process all over again, regardless of the result.

If you win, you face an even tougher battle ahead of you. Instead of becoming disheartened, you must prevent yourself from becoming cocky or arrogant. Instead of picking apart your defeat, you’ll have to look for improvements in your win.

Every battle, every phone call, every placement… You can always be better!

If you have what it takes to never think of your performance as ‘good enough’, you might just become one of the best!

If you’ve got a winning mentality, we can find you the job you deserve. We only work with the very best candidates and clients. Have a browse of our job board to get a feel for the type of vacancies we currently have on offer, or alternatively submit your CV below.

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