Shape of an L on her Forehead

by Lacey Cencula

I’m a huuuuuuuge winning girl. I love to win. I love to make non-competitive things competitive just so I can win. My family won’t play Friends trivia with me anymore because I dominate (which isn’t technically my issue, I mean watch more Friends.) Moral of the story: I take it very hard when an L is handed to me.

The thing is, we all know losing is inevitable. You’re taught from the time you’re a kid to be not be a sore loser. But do you ever wonder why it’s necessary? Why you have to lose something that was so important to you? Why you have to lose to someone who “deserved” it less than you?

A few weeks ago, I travelled with my MBA Case Competition team and we were handed a fat $0 check and participation certificate for coming in 4th place. Not to knock our efforts: we came in 4th place out of 16 schools, were the youngest team at the competition, and were easily the most inexperienced team there. However, these were not things that could soothe me at the time. Shoutout to my friends who watched me throw my phone at a wall in our hotel room (and shoutout to Apple for giving me a phone screen that doesn’t crack easily.) Feel free to text me some “How to Not be a Sore Loser” articles, because clearly I could use the help.

I write this in confidence knowing that you’ve all suffered a loss that sucked, for lack of a more eloquent term. Whether you lost an election for a position you cared so much about, or didn’t win the “Best _____ Award” you so desperately longed for, being handed that L never gets easier. It takes a certain level of maturity to seriously say “Well, I lost this time, but I’ll get ‘em next time!” That level of maturity is something I am currently striving for, but I’m pretty sure rage-throwing iPhones took me back a few steps back on that path.

All this to say: if Beyoncé’s hip-hop squad Girls Tyme can lose on Star Search to some randos, you can take that L too. Beyonce’s group lost to Skeleton Crew; have you ever even heard of them? No, they’re a footnote in Beyoncé’s illustrious career. As the Queen explained it herself, "In my mind we would perform on Star Search, we would win, we would get a record deal, and that was my dream at the time. There's no way in the world I would have ever imagined losing as a possibility. I was only nine years old. At that time you don't realize that you could work super hard and give everything you have and lose. It was the best message for me."

There’s the key: you can work super hard and give everything you have and lose. Here’s the part where you think I come in with some sort of grand advice; but alas, I’ve got nothing. I still hate to lose. But I’m still going to try super hard and give all of my effort to the things I care about. All I know is that if I give my best effort, then I can’t blame myself for losing; there’s nothing more I could have done.

The truth is that you’re going to end up with some losses in your life. Here’s the dare: get over it. Now this article may as well @me because I struggle with that as well. But you’ve got to keep going after each L in order to rack up more Ws. Whenever I’m faced with a wrenching loss, I literally say to myself “Well if Beyoncé’s hip-hop rapping Girls Tyme can lose, so can you.” Find a sentiment that works for you-- that reminds you to be humble, and that you’re never too good for a loss.

Now I’m going to go brush up on my Friends trivia in hopes that my family wants to lose to me again sometime.

Lacey CenculaComment