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  • Colin Jonov

Finding the Strength to Keep Going: Rise From The Ashes

The Super Bowl is the biggest stage in the NFL and the most watched television program in America every year. The Eagles just suffered a heartbreaking defeat after an incredible season. This was the last time that this group of guys will ever play together. They’ll pack up their lockers and head home for the long offseason. But, what happens when you don’t come out on top? What do you do when you face the bitter reality of defeat?

Losing can be one of the most difficult experiences in life. When you lose, it’s like a piece of you dies. Whether it’s a big game like the Super Bowl or a personal disappointment, it can be hard to pick yourself back up and move forward. But it’s not just the act of losing that can be tough, it’s the aftermath. The self-doubt, the feelings of failure, and the disappointment can linger long after the game is over. In 2014, I gave up the winning touchdown in overtime in the Patriot League Championship game. It would have been the school’s first and only championship. I let it slip through my fingers. The nightmare of picking my head off the turf only to see the team celebrating in the endzone still haunts me to this day. I’m not sure I’ll ever fully get over it and that’s okay. However, it taught me one of the most important things in life: Keep going.

It’s important to remember that losing is a part of the journey. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of winning and the glory of success, but the reality is that everyone experiences setbacks and failures along the way. Success is wonderful but it fades fast. It lasts a day or a week and then its forgotten. Failure hurts. It’s the knife that cuts deepest. However, it’s what you do after your lowest moments that defines your character and shapes your future.

The key to bouncing back from a loss is to fall in love with the process, not just the outcome. When you fall in love with the daily grind, the ups and downs of success become less important. You start to find joy in the journey and the small moments along the way. You understand that losing is not the end of the road, but a steppingstone on the path to growth and improvement. Fall in love with the game, your work, your craft, whatever it may be. When you have a deep passion for something, the ups and downs of success and failure become secondary. Instead, it’s the love for what you do that drives you to keep showing up each day, ready to put in the work and improve.

One of the biggest challenges in bouncing back is maintaining a positive mental attitude. It can be hard to stay optimistic when everything seems to be going wrong, but it’s essential to develop a growth mindset and a resilience that allows you to persevere through the tough times. Your failures do not define you. You reaction to your failures is what defines you.

One way to do this is to focus on what you can control. When you lose, it’s easy to get caught up in the things that went wrong and the things you wish you could have done differently. But dwelling on these negative thoughts only makes the situation worse. Instead, focus on what you can control and what you can do to improve in the future. This is something I wish I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self. It would have saved me years of pain and struggle. Learn from it and move on from it.

I can’t emphasize enough how powerful it is to surround yourself with supportive people. Having a strong support system can make all the difference when you’re struggling with a loss. I would be lost without the people who were there to pick me up. Whether it’s friends, family, or a coach, having someone to lean on can help you put yourself back together.

Finally, it’s important to take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and mentally after a loss. Take time to mourn. Allow yourself time to process your emotions and heal, but don’t get stuck in a rut of self-doubt and negativity. The quicker you pick yourself back up, the better you’ll be. You are not a victim. You are in control of what happens next. Train smarter, eat healthier, and look yourself in the mirror and ask, “how do I get better today and every day after today?” Don’t forget to give yourself a break when you need it. Recovery should be built into your plan of action. We are not machines. We are humans who need sleep and recovery.

Losing will always be one of the most difficult experiences in life, but it’s also one of the most valuable. It’s a chance to learn, grow, and become a better version of who you wish to be. The key is to recognize your fate is in your own hands. When you own the outcome and take it upon yourself, you’ll be able to bounce back from any loss and come out stronger on the other side. Start building your fortitude today.

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