Just Lost Your Fight? Here are 3 Things I Want to Tell You by Angela Chang

Just Lost Your Fight? Here are 3 Things I Want to Tell You by Angela Chang

There is no doubt that winning feels absolutely amazing. All that work over the last several weeks - training for hours at the gym every evening, waking up feeling exhausted beyond belief, dreading your existence during weight cut week - just for a few minutes in the ring. Getting your hand raised is almost a testament to that rollercoaster ride. And everything that comes with it, especially the exhilaration and the hit of dopamine you get, are very hard to replace.

Experiencing your first loss feels like the complete opposite of that. You may tell yourself a lot of things. “I suck”. “I let my team down.” “I shouldn’t fight again.” We’ve all been there. I know I did. 50 fights later, I’ve learned some valuable insight on how to handle losses… Allow me to share some with you.

Allow Yourself to Feel Bad

You read that right. It may sound counterintuitive, but you need to acknowledge how you feel about your loss. Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself why you feel so bad about it. Drowning your negative feelings can lead to unfounded blame for yourself or for others. Once you’ve given it some reflection, the following are good ways to supplement what you’ve just learned about yourself.

Win or Lose, You Always Learn

When you win, it’s not because you did everything flawlessly. You’ll still have many things to work on when you’re back to training. Failure to recognize this will only inflate your ego. The same applies when you lose. The bright side is that losing makes this realization much more apparent. No matter what the decision, you still have to put in work to level up and learn from your mistakes. (FYI, when Saenchai got knocked out for the first time, he didn’t quit. It gave him the motivation to train so hard that it will never happen again. And it hasn’t.)

Focus on the long game

How many times do you wanna fight? Chances are that your answer will be “more than once.” If so, ask yourself what this loss is in the grand scheme of things. Take, for example, how Thai fighters shrug off their losses. They compete hundreds of times during their career. They know they’re going to fight again, so when they lose, they move from it very quickly. Take a lesson from this: keep in mind your long-term goals as a fighter, remember there are more opportunities and don’t dwell on what you cannot change.

While you train to win a fight, never forget that there are always other things you will get out of both fight camp and the fight. These apply even if you lose. No, losing isn’t one of the greatest feelings, but it’s important to never lose sight that it is not everything, nor does it define you as a fighter… or a person.