I’ve been speaking to potential candidates for the National Coaching Awards and I hear lots of people say they don’t want to apply because they know they won’t win.
First up, that’s the imposter at play, which I am sure you well know.
Secondly, the feeling of not winning can be tough to swallow, as I know too well, yet we should still enter the arena as Brene Brown would say.
As I write this I am preparing to attend another awards dinner. This time it’s the Start Up Awards and Paseda360 is nominated in two categories.
I say ‘another’ because it’s a ‘Déjà vu’ moment.
Last Thursday I was at an awards dinner too.
It was the dynamic awards which recognised women in business across a range of categories.
Paseda360 was a finalist in the innovation category.
Sadly we didn’t win.
I did the hand clap and knowing nod and I felt a bit embarrassed if truth be told.
I got talking to other finalists who didn’t win and realised how easy it is to take this to heart.
I felt a flat for sure, and I encouraged myself to feel it, and then get on with processing why.
Of course I know from my training that feeling disappointed or down when we don’t win is a common and very human response, and it can be attributed to a combination of psychological, social, and biological factors.
There’s many reasons why we may feel rubbish or experience negative emotions when we don’t win:
1. Attachment to outcome: When we invest time, effort, and emotional energy into achieving a goal or winning a competition, we develop a sense of attachment to the desired outcome. If we don’t achieve what we set out to accomplish, it can lead to feelings of frustration, disappointment, or sadness.
2. Social comparison: Winning often comes with social recognition and validation. When we don’t win, we may compare ourselves to others who did succeed, which can trigger feelings of inadequacy or a sense of failure in relation to our peers or competitors. I certainly did this for a few moments last week.
3. Personal expectations: We set expectations for ourselves based on our abilities, previous successes, or perceived standards. Though I said many times I didn’t expect to win, there was part of me that wanted to. Failing to meet our own expectations can lead to self-criticism, a blow to our self-esteem, and negative emotions.
4. Sense of control and competence: Winning can provide a sense of control over our lives and boost our self-perceived competence. Losing can challenge this sense of control and competence, leading to feelings of powerlessness or self-doubt.
5. Social pressure and external validation: Societal and cultural influences often emphasise the importance of winning or being the best. We may internalise these expectations, seeking external validation through winning. When we don’t win, we may feel like we’ve fallen short of societal or personal standards.
6. Evolutionary factors: Evolutionary psychology suggests that the desire to win and be successful is rooted in our survival instincts. Throughout human history, success often meant access to resources, mating opportunities, and social status. Failing to win could trigger primal instincts linked to survival and reproduction, leading to negative emotions.
So if all of that is true, what do we do? It’s important to recognise that experiencing negative emotions when we don’t win is a normal part of being human. However, it’s essential to develop resilience and coping strategies to navigate these emotions constructively. Focusing on personal growth, learning from setbacks, and finding intrinsic motivation can help mitigate the negative impact of not winning while fostering a healthier perspective on success and failure.
And so for me, it was gaining the perspective that Paseda360 only launched Mid January so to be a finalist is awesome.
I reminded myself that what we are building is there to change the lives of many and that hasn’t changed.
And I reflected on the fact I got to dress up, meet some fab people, drink some nice fizz, and spend time with a friend.
And for you it means putting your hat into the ring of the National Coaching Awards, regardless of the outcome. It’s worth it.
So here’s to winning and losing. It’s all part of the rich tapestry of life.
Wish us luck this evening.