Tea Talk: Bounce back from defeat

Defeat is not negative, only a realisation that we have a choice to surrender and accept a situation and plan the next step.

We are not promised a rose garden. Do you remember the song I Beg Your Pardon (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden) by Lynn Anderson? I am reminded of it as I think about how to view defeat and setbacks. 

I have a mental block writing the word defeat and I delayed this article because I kept reframing it. I always tend to look on the bright side of things. So how do we look at defeat in the eye?

Most times, we are in denial or blame or sweep situations under the carpet. I have been a great one for the latter. Now I am clearing out the emotional cupboard as and when the thoughts and events arise. 

Defeat is not negative, only a realisation that we have a choice to surrender and accept a situation and plan the next step. Acknowledging that there is nothing more that we can do but retreat is so important. Far too many women carry on regardless and keep trying to win over situations or just ignore them. They become angry and depressed and feel that life is unfair.

Men tend to lose themselves in outside pursuits and become silent and disillusioned. All because we can’t look at our situation and make sense of it. We tend to want a reason or closure. Youngsters start filling the hole inside with addictions.

What I have learnt is that we can bounce back quicker than we think. I am not referring to grief over the death of a loved one, but the challenges in everyday life.

Forcing myself to look at how I feel about defeat in various situations in my life over 30 years and what I have held on to and for what purpose has been a recent pursuit.  Don’t be a hoarder of old stories that just wear you out.

Living lighter emotionally, mentally and spiritually is my quest. I am amused that I say that I am handing over a situation to God, but there I am hanging on to it. Hoping that things just resolve themselves is difficult for my character.

The idea of growing older and only reminiscing doesn’t inspire me. I believe that every chapter of our lives can be the best and I am exploring and venturing forth. Being older means that I don’t have the capacity to hold on to things that haven’t worked out in the way I wanted them to. Challenging myself to take life exactly as it is where I am. Making friends with the stored memories and hopes and dreams and situations that didn’t work out. As new things come up, we see that we have a repetitive pattern to the way we respond. Comfortable yet not progressive. The patterns show me where change is necessary.

My work life is not chaotic anymore and so here I am with this box of memories and old dreams, and I am about to kiss them goodbye. The good and the sad and bad, of course, linger at times, but I think that they should now float and find their own space outside of my head and heart. Acknowledging all the milestones and lessons on this journey of life is important. It balances out.

Creating an acronym from DEFEAT is my new guide for the next six months:

  • Determined
  • Escape to
  • Freedom without
  • Expectations
  • Aligns with
  • Transformation

Now how will I achieve this? The personal development Enneagram course that I have been attending commences the final six-week block. The key themes are self-sabotage and lifting the blocks to living the life set out. Life’s purpose, how we make a living and what a meaningful life looks like will be consolidated. I shall use these stepping stones. The coach has a Christian base to the course and that has been revealing and nurturing.

What a soul-searching time it has been, and I am not done with fun and living life to the fullest

  • White is a born and bred Zimbabwean. A career spanning banking, hospitality and courier/logistics. She wrote a column in The Post newspaper in Zambia for five years and published a book, Conversations with Carol as well as hosting a TV programme featuring entrepreneurs and small businesses. Passionate about team transformation, customer experience mapping, sales and marketing, leadership which combines increases in profitability and performance, she connects the dots. — [email protected].


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