The final of the three terminations knocked me on my proverbial ass. I was drinking myself to bed. I had stopped exercising. I was coping with my Father living with a terminal diagnosis of ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. I thought those experiences would kill me. I learned a lot about myself during those years. I learned even more when Father eventually died.
It was brutal, and I felt like a loser.
Those experiences gave me scar tissue and helped me build resilience. In my life and my businesses, I found a certain peace with my losses. You can too.
Here is how to make being a loser your biggest asset.
1. Get familiar with your worst case scenario.
I had never fathomed getting fired. I thought that as long as I did my job well, I would be ok. I was wrong. You should also be prepared to get fired. Always.
Even if you're in your dream job, or running your dream business. By imagining your worst case scenario, you will insulate yourself from a letdown. I didn't. So when I was fired the first time, it hurt. The second time it stung. The third time, well, I still have nightmares.
Make these scenarios your normal state of being, and everything that occurs to the contrary will be a miracle.
2. Destroy your ego.
Winning doesn't build character. Getting your ass kicked on numerous occasions in bombastic fashion does. When I started my third job, I was so thrilled that I told everyone that this was my dream job.
I blogged about it, posted on social media and generally made a spectacle of my love of the company. A year later, they fired me. My identity as a Buddy Media "Buddy" was destroyed. It was painful. It also crushed me. My ego was smashed to bits.
This blessing cannot be measured. I hope you don't have an experience like this, but I do hope that you can see the value if extricating your ego.
You are not your car, or your house, or your business. Nor are you your books, or your keynotes. Your ego is the enemy. Understand this, and you will win at every endeavor.
3. Change your view
It took me years, but I was able to finally see the value in getting fired each of those three times. By shifting the way I spoke about each separate event, I could remove myself from the emotion I attached to them.
None of these situations where either good or bad. It was just the way I thought about those situations that made them bad. So I decided to view them as good things.
These experiences, coupled with the death of my Father are my secret weapon. I turn to them to dispel the irrational fears I used to harbor.
Nobody can push me to a state of fear in business because nobody is dying. Nobody can push me to a state of fear in life because I've already imagined the death of my family.
Nobody can move you into any state of emotion that you don't choose.
So choose to take your losses as blessings. They're your scar tissue. They have built your resilience. They are your secret power.
Embrace them, learn from them, and use them.