How to Bounce Back After You Have Experienced Defeat

5 Things That Will Help You Get back on Your Feet and Start Again

Neel Raman
5 min readFeb 17, 2021

When you know how to bounce back after you have experienced defeat, you will perform better and also increase your chances of achieving your goals.

Whenever you attempt something you have not done before, or strive for a big goal, you will experience setbacks and disappointments that can cause you to feel defeated.

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Your attitude and mental toughness will determine how quickly you get back on your feet and continue taking action.

The Costs if You Do Not Bounce Back

Everyone has experienced defeat and failures. Not everyone deals with them intelligently.

If you do not know how to bounce back after you have experienced defeat, the costs include:

  • You will lose self-confidence.
  • You will not achieve your goals, especially if you quit.
  • You are more likely to repeat the mistakes you made.
  • You will not improve or learn from the experience.
  • You will not want to take risks or set big goals.

Learning things that can help you bounce back after you have experienced defeat will strengthen you.

how to bounce back

A defeat I experienced recently was not reaching my weight goal. I had given myself six months to reach my desired weight, which I believed I would achieve based on what I had done.

The good habits I had developed to get me to my goal included exercising daily, getting enough sleep every night, and paying more attention to what I ate. A bad habit I had was snacking after lunch, which negated all the positive things I did.

When I did not reach my goal by my deadline, I was annoyed and disappointed with myself. I questioned whether I knew how to bounce back. It took me two weeks to admit I needed to change my approach.

The first and most obvious thing I did was eliminate snacking. It was challenging for the first two days, and then it got easier. I also did things that had worked previously, which included drinking more water, eliminating most carbs, not eating anything with processed sugar, and doing more cleansing and fasting.

The difference that made was I reached my desired weight within a month. It motivated me to continue doing the things I did to maintain my weight, which often is more difficult than reaching the goal.

What I learned from the experience was without making sacrifices, I will not reach the goals I want. I am using the same principle to help me achieve other goals.

5 Things That Will Improve How You Bounce Back After Experiencing Defeat

If you want to know how to bounce back after experiencing defeat, these five ideas can help you, so you turn things around a lot quicker and get the outcomes you want.

  1. Redefine what defeat means to you. Everyone has a different definition of defeat. How you view it will affect your next actions and decisions. It’s important to not let a defeat become your identity. Just because you experienced defeat or failed at something does not make you a failure.
  2. Allow yourself to feel disappointed and forgive yourself. It’s okay to feel sad if something did not go the way you wanted it to. However, you cannot allow yourself to stay sad longer than is needed. Learn to forgive yourself and take responsibility for the part you played in the result you achieved.
  3. Talk about your experience and ask for a fresh perspective. It’s helpful to express your emotions, so you do not bottle up your frustrations or disappointments. Speaking to someone who can offer a new point of view will help you take better actions to get the result you want.
  4. Harvest the lessons to develop wisdom. Every event or experience is a learning opportunity. Give yourself time to reflect on what happened and what you can take away from the experience. That will ensure you do not repeat things that did not work.
  5. Dream again and focus on the main thing. You can use a “bad” experience to review what you want to achieve and refocus on what’s most important to help you get it. It’s an opportunity to adjust your plan and remove what’s not needed to get you to your result.

Final Thoughts

Everyone can learn how to bounce back after experiencing defeat. How you do it will affect the results you achieve, and who you become.

If you accept failure or defeat is part of the process to achieve anything worthwhile, you will not let a temporary setback stop you from getting to your goals.

Action Step: Reflect on the last failure or defeat you experienced. Capture what you learned from it, and what you will do differently. Speak to a someone you trust to get an alternate perspective.

Question: What are other ways to bounce back after you have experienced defeat?

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Neel Raman

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