Defeat

Below is an excerpt from my journal, written in 2017:

I want to be done. I feel so trapped in this business and I want to quit, close up and move on. My daughter often says to her brother, ‘I feel like that’s a lie,’ and today that is what I feel of the glamorous portrayal of a small business owner. Yesterday, I was up on a ladder fixing the Internet between putting out a new shipment, talking to attorneys, finalizing contracts, and meeting with the team. Nothing was glamorous. And, I forgot to eat.

Sometimes, we just want to quit – quit a project, a relationship, or a task. When life keeps knocking us down, we can become defeated, ready to jump ship, and move on.

The definition of “defeated” is “demoralized and overcome by adversity.” We experience these feelings when circumstances beyond our control get in the way of living the life we planned to live. Feelings of defeat are usually preceded by the feelings we have been discussing here over the past few weeks: pain and disappointment. Mix those feelings together and let them stew unchecked in the battleground of our minds, and defeat will set up camp with no intention of leaving.

Our kids are both competitive swimmers. My husband and I have been to more swim meets than you would care to imagine, and while I enjoy watching my children complete, these meets are loud, hot and long. Similar to attending any racing event, you sit for three hours to watch a 56-second event, and then you do it all again for the next two days.

Like any sporting event, I find it interesting to sit and observe the athletes in a race. The swimmers line up on the starting blocks, the buzzer rings, loud splashing ensues as they dive into the water and take off down the pool. As the swimmers stay within a half-a-body length of one another, the race moves quickly, each athlete pushing himself or herself to the limit. However, as the distance between swimmers increases, you can occasionally see and feel the defeat in those that trail behind. “Why try? I cannot make it. I cannot do it,” and slowly that distance becomes longer and longer, the gap widening as the athlete lets defeat sink in.

The same principles apply to business and life. When we look around and compare our circumstances to others, when we let disappointment reign over our thoughts, when fear grips our souls and discourages us from trying again – it is then that defeat takes hold.

It is in those moments that we need strong relationships more than ever before. Engaging with our cheerleaders, looking up into the stands (sorry, swimmers – we try to yell REALLY loudly for you!!) to find that familiar face, taking a hand when it is offered, and letting our friends pull us up out of the muck and the mire. With the help of these valued and trusting relationships, we find the strength to rise above defeat and put one foot in front of the other, to face another day.,

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