This week, Andy Murray – Great Britain’s top tennis professional - lost another Grand Slam final, his fourth loss total in a “major” tournament final. Much was made in the media about his progression through the Wimbledon tournament and his chances to be the first British man since 1936 to win Great Britain’s home-turf tennis tournament. The pressure and ultimate defeat was a lot to bear for one man.
But, I believe his attitude after the loss is one we can all learn from. This was the first time he had even made it to the Wimbledon final, so he improved his position from previous years. He knew he played the best match he could under the circumstances and against his opponent that day, Roger Federer, who happened to be a six-time Wimbledon champion already. And, he noted that this is just one tournament in his career. He can come back and try his best next year! Andy, like other sports professionals, will learn from his performance and work to better himself so he can compete even more effectively in future matches.
In contrast, one of USA’s own tennis professionals, Andy Roddick, played an incredible Wimbledon final against Federer three years ago and lost, only to let that defeat crush his confidence despite putting forth his best effort on that day. It’s been said that he has never played with the same fire since.
While both losses were surely heartbreaking, they – and we – have a choice after suffering a setback. We can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get right back to work –making changes to things as needed – or we can let the disappointment crush our spirit, our drive, or our confidence that we can experience success in this area.
Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!
You may not be a professional athlete, but perhaps you’ve applied for a promotion and been turned down, started an exercise regime that didn’t stick, or brought an idea to your business partners that wasn’t well received. What will you do next? That’s what is important! Even though you didn’t attain that particular goal, you must “get back on the court” again and believe that you will one day celebrate success with a different promotion, a new exercise goal reached, or a revised and improved business plan.
Where have you experienced a disappointment or failure? How did you respond? Is there anything in work or life that you haven’t put yourself into fully out of fear of failing (perhaps again) or disbelief in your abilities? Please post your stories in the comment section – both successes and struggles – so that others may benefit from your experiences.
Let’s all do our best to learn from the greatest athletes, scientists, and others who didn’t let one, two, or even twenty failures stop them from trying and trying again!