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Work on your Second Place Smile

“I am not pulling out of this competition! I suggest you work on your second place smile cos I’m taking this Grand Prize home!” Anyone who has watched Everybody Hates Chris will recognize Rochelle’s lines from the hat competition episode. With elaborate displays, she took the Grand Prize home leaving her rival, Hattie, with trembling lips. She should have worked on her second place smile. Poor Hattie.

“Second place? I don’t want to be second place, I want to be first place!” It’s okay. I understand. Everybody likes to win. Everybody likes to be the cynosure of all eyes. Nobody enjoys being among the numbers. However, take a deep breath and ask yourself this: “Do I always win?” Done that? Good. I bet your sincere answer is “No”. If not, let me congratulate you for always being a winner. This article is not for you.

Okay. You’re angry. Oya, don’t go. I was just joking. Somebody cannot play with you again? Lol. Seriously though, it’s highly improbable that anyone on God’s green earth has never lost in one endeavour or the other. In addition, it’s a reality we all have to face and prepare for even if “winning in every endeavour” is one of our new year resolutions.

Failure is a reality we all have to face and prepare for even if 'winning in every endeavour' is one of our new year resolutions. Click To Tweet

Now, before moving on, there’s a need to point out a few things. First, it is not my intention to prepare you for failure in life with this piece. My intention is to prepare you on how to deal with failure so that you can be successful next time. Second, telling you to work on your second place smile is not requiring you to not give your best shot at everything. It is to recognise that sometimes, your best might not be good enough.

Telling you to work on your second place smile is not requiring you to not give your best at everything but to recognise that sometimes, your best might not be good enough. So prepare yourself to deal with failure. Click To Tweet

A lot of factors determine success/failure in life and a number of them are beyond our control. However, there is something in your control though, it’s how you react! We can control how we react to success or failure. That being said, how do you work on your second place smile?

From someone who has failed (and succeeded too) before, here are some tips:

Accept that you are sad for not winning.

Don’t try to pretend not to care. If you cared enough to participate, you probably cared enough that you didn’t win. Accept the feeling of sadness and console yourself. Cry, if you have to. Just don’t bottle it inside.

Congratulate yourself for the efforts shown.

Trying in itself is something to be proud of. It shows that you had faith in your abilities and that’s a good thing. Moreover, don’t make the mistake of belittling your efforts, especially when you actually put in your best.

Find out why you did not win.

Turn your failure into an opportunity to gain more knowledge. If it’s possible, find out why you did not win. This helps you to know the areas you need to seek improvement. This is connected to the next tip.

Turn your failure into an opportunity to gain more knowledge. If it's possible, find out why you did not win. Click To Tweet

Recognise that you can do better next time.

Next, having recognised the areas of improvement, the possibility of doing better next time has been doubled so be encouraged. Now, you know what doesn’t work and what does, so your chance of success at the next time has increased.

Try again.

If possible, try again. Keep trying. Many successful people tried over and over again before getting a breakthrough. The number of times they failed would surprise you. For the sake of not spoon-feeding you, I will advise you to jump on Google and type in these keywords “people who failed before succeeding”, let’s see what you find.

Many successful people tried over and over again before getting a breakthrough. Click To Tweet

If you’re convinced that your efforts were good enough, use them for another venture.

Finally, if you’re convinced that your efforts were good enough, use them for another venture. Here’s a personal example. I entered a short story of mine for a competition, it made Top 15 out of over 500 entries. That was all it made. I was crushed because I had put in my best. After consoling myself, I said, “No worries Bolanle, instead, share your story with the world in the grandest way possible.” And I did. The short story debuted on my newly created I.G Account – @stories_that_touch_the_arts, a platform for sharing fictional and non-fictional stories. People enjoyed and commended it. I was encouraged to write and share more. Now, I have other short stories in tow. In other words, my short story might not have been good enough to win a competition but it was good enough to share with the world. It did not go to waste.

Your’s might not be a story, it could be a business idea you’ve pitched to some investors. So what if they didn’t like it, others might. Dust it, improve it and pitch it again. Don’t give up!

That’s all the advice I have for now. Not so bad eh? I knew you would like this piece! Thank you for making it this far. In conclusion, I will round off by leaving you with these two quotes (because I’m extra like that):

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

'Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.' – Winston Churchill Click To Tweet

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill.

'Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.' – Napoleon Hill Click To Tweet

Work on your second place smile!

About author

Articles

Omobolanle Abiola is a young Christian lady who's currently trying out new things while finding her authentic self (in Christ, of course). She loves to read, draw and engage in interesting conversations (amongst other things).
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