Facing defeat

June 12, 2017

facing-defeat“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
That in fact it may be necessary to encounter defeat so we can know who the hell we are.”
~Maya Angelou

That piece of wisdom goes on to say:  “…so you know what you can rise from. how you can still come out of it.”

It is a quote I was reminded of recently in an excellent PBS American Masters documentary on Dr. Angelou. The idea of encountering defeat as a learning opportunity resonates with me.

When we come to a defeat that is life-changing–maybe even with the potential to be life-ending– we are forced to really look at ourselves. Facing defeat is a real test.

Do we face it head on?

Do we remain in denial?

How do we deal with it?

And, as Angelou points out, what does that tell us about who the hell we are?

These questions seem to be coming fast and furiously in these senior years. One would think we’d know who we are by then. And maybe we do. Nevertheless, we’re tested more than ever in these older years.

Have you been tested? Faced defeat? How did you handle it? I’d love your thoughts.



33 comments on “Facing defeat
  1. Robin rue says:

    I tend to giveup way too easily. I know I shouldn’t, but I get so discouraged and talk myself out of things.

  2. Shannon says:

    I love those quotes! They are very inspirational and motivational. It is important to face defeat and continue moving forward.

  3. Klaudia says:

    Isn’t it ironic that we have to a certain age to find out who we are? I am 56 now, been through a lot, but I have never been happier with ‘me’, well … could do with less achings and stiffness in the mornings, wouldn’t be upset about some less wrinkles … but hey, I have ‘arrived’???? I like the ‘me’ I am today. Does anything else matter??

  4. I use the power of positivity and my own inner self-voice to keep me afloat during difficult times. Sometimes the best advice is to get up, brush yourself off, and move ahead. Remember that you are powerful, and one little defeat is just that – one little moment in time that we can learn from. 🙂

  5. Barbara says:

    I was tested most of my life and suffered quite a few defeats. I kind of learned to live by this saying, ‘If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger.’ It’s worked pretty well for me.

  6. Sarah says:

    You just got to keep going. One of my all time favorite quotes is “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

  7. Jennifer says:

    It depends on each situation. But through it all, there eventually is laughter (even if it’s just hysterical laughter,) and that is when I know I’ll make it.

  8. Lovely quote and beautiful post! I don’t think defeat really is defeat. More like a lesson if you know what I mean? xx corinne

  9. This is so powerful. Everyone experiences defeat at some point – it’s what you do from there that makes the difference. Sometimes you just have to accept it and change course. Sometimes you just keep fighting like hell.

  10. Amber Myers says:

    Oh yeah, I’ve had my defeat moments. They’re tough, but I try to remind myself of what I HAVE accomplished, and it helps.

  11. I may not always win but I don’t accept defeat. I keep plugging away until I’ve achieved what I set out to do. Of course, sometimes it is out of our control but that doesn’t sit well with me. Thanks Carol for linking up with us at #overthemoon link party. I’m sharing on social media. Have a lovely week and see you next week.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

  12. Oh yes. But in looking back at the defeats, they are part of who I am. And I have learned from them. Learned to look for the positive. For the lesson to be learned. Forgiveness. Defeat is a powerful teacher.

  13. MEGAN says:

    Life doesn’t always make it easy to face defeat, the more you face the more of a struggle it becomes. I have been working on regaining the resilience I once had. Thank you for this beautifully written piece to serve as a reminder!

  14. I love posts like this. They seem to show up exactly when I need them in life.

  15. My Teen Guide says:

    Defeat? I just look at it as a bump in the road. A speed bump. Defeat is a reminder that we have been going way too fast, so we need to stop, re-assess and move forward once again.

  16. Claudia Krusch says:

    It is so important to get back up when life knocks you down. I feel a little stronger each time I do.

  17. Czjai says:

    As Bruce Lee would say, ‘Defeat is only a state of mind’
    Yes, I have experienced it before, got myself together, and learned from it. 🙂

  18. Neha Saini says:

    These are very inspirational and motivational quotes. I think it depends on each situation, may be the person who is facing that is unable to cope up or he needs time. The only thing I’ll advice is to keep yourself little occupied, it’ll help you to come out of bad phase.

  19. Matt J says:

    I went to school for performance and always played second fiddle to other students in the program. Through my own frustrations and unanswered questions, I was put on a track that may turn out to be my career! If I didn’t feel like a failure, I wouldn’t have adapted and I wouldn’t have learned. Thank you for this uplifting post! This idea is so important to be reminded of.

  20. I see defeat or failure as a chance to grow and learn from your mistakes. I think it is a great way of building up your character x

  21. Rosey says:

    One of my grown children is facing a challenge right now. It is hard to watch, but I know it will make them grow. It’s just hard to see him hurting in the meantime.

  22. Shirley says:

    I have seen many ups and downs in my life. I always believe that This shall too pass.

  23. Ophelia Tang says:

    Your post is very thoughtful. I think that defeats give us great chances to learn and to get stronger. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

  24. kelly reci says:

    You never fail to inspire me of your articles! I really love the way you write!

  25. Chemady says:

    I know how it feels to be defeated. As for me I see it as a way to learn from my mistakes and also trying new methods to prevent it.

  26. Amanda says:

    This is so valuable to know what you naturally do. I think there is always that initial period of self doubt and sadness. But, I in particular am a very determined person and silk stop at nothing to achieve my goals!

  27. Ciel says:

    This is such an inspiring post. Often times, people can feel so down and they don’t do anything about it. My advice is to just keep on trying and even if you fail, always get back up until you succeed.

  28. I love this quote, and it’s one I should heed more often. Unfortunately, I’ve been known to give up too easily, and it’s something I’ve been working on changing. This is a great reminder!

  29. I am stubborn with things, sometimes to a fault. I am working on knowing the difference between not giving up and beating a dead horse.

  30. Everything happens for a reason and defeat is just a way of life to strengthen us. Great post!

  31. I might be easy going but one thing I don’t accept lightly is defeat. I will fight until the end.

  32. JULie syl says:

    I am a strong person. When I defeated by someone, instead I become weak, I will more be strong. I just think that I have a goal and I can do it. Your post is really inspiring!

  33. Ashlea says:

    I teach my son if you get knocked down get back up. You may not have succeeded this time but at least you know what to do for the next.

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