Looking at current times how we are slowly and carefully trying to start life up again hoping that this trend is going to continue. I thought it was only fitting to talk a bit about the ups and downs of my career and what they taught me and continue to teach me how to look at and handle adversity.
I heard a great quote this week watching a series about people that lost… -Btw the series is called “Losers” and YES it is to be found on our very best friend these days namely “Netflix”. 😜 – The quote went like this “ They say we learn more from our losses rather than from our wins”. So, how come we never listen to the people that have lost in their lives rather than we do to the winners”. I get it… You’re probably thinking “ I want to know what it takes to win” and I was thinking the same thing. Then it got me thinking about my losses and how they shaped me. I realized my wins or successes always came after I had suffered a loss in my eyes.
These losses usually came in the form of missing cuts by one, not being able to finish the job down the stretch, not being selected for the national team and so on. I have too many losses to mention in one paragraph or one blog post to be honest 😀
Nonetheless what I want to say is I believe in order to win, one must learn how to lose. I feel sometimes in today’s society this is something that isn’t talked about enough. Expectations from our society are often that you have to be lucky enough to have been born with enough talent and have to walk this perfect trajectory towards your end goal without having some ups and downs.
I am very fortunate to have had my parents to talk to during times of where I felt I was losing all the time. They have tried to teach me that “losing” is okay and can be looked at in 2 ways. One being “Well, I tried and failed so I’m not going to try again and I have to accept that I am just not good enough.” “It is just too hard for me to conquer” Or second being “ I tried and failed… Okay fine, this only brings me closer to my next win, because of this loss I will learn from my mistakes and become a better golfer next time I set foot on a golf course.”
A lot of people nowadays think I have walked this perfect trajectory through junior and amateur golf and I was this unbelievably talented kid at golf. Nothing could be further away from the truth. To give an example of this is, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today without having missed out on a selection to go with the Belgian National Squad to an under 18 European Team Amateur Championship in 2007.
I thought I had met all the criteria to be selected for this tournament. Just because I had an off-week during the last tournament that was used in the selection process the Belgian golf federation didn’t pick me to go play that tournament a couple of weeks later. I was devastated. I remember being so mad at them at the time and telling my parents that “It wasn’t fair” “I deserved being on that team” and a bunch of other excuses to lick my wounds.
My dad being my dad looked at me and said “Well If what you’re saying is true, show them that you’re better than they think you are.” And I said “I’m trying to do that”. Smiling at my remark he asked “How can you make sure this won’t happen again?” He then explained to me I could either choose to keep feeling sorry for myself or figure out how to use this experience to grow as a golfer.
A couple days later, I had given myself the goal of becoming the number one junior golfer in Belgium this time next year. I worked out a plan to start practicing harder and differently to what I did before. Funny enough by the end of the 2007 season I already reached that goal 6 months ahead of my initial date set of my goal. 😀
That particular conversation with my dad put me on the path that has led me to where I am now. Btw I am not saying I am all that… Far from it, but I am proud of the way I handled adversity that time around. Coming back to our current period of crisis due to Covid-19, I think it’s safe to say we all feel like we’re losing at the moment. But we all can make that choice to either lick our wounds and say life isn’t fair or stay patient and rise up to surprise ourselves by becoming a better person or society than we ever thought could be.
Happy Corona blogging!