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Wins and Losses

Failure can be emotionally, mentally, and physically grueling. It can feel torturous. You can feel lonely. Overwhelmed. Lost. Sad. Depressed.


Dealing with failure is not easy. For any of us. For women, it is especially difficult because we feel such pressure professionally and personally to succeed and be “perfect”. We know perfection is not attainable. However, I also know that pressure to be wonderful, amazing, and special --- it’s always there.


I think about my experience at Merrill Lynch. It was terrible. I share with people that I stayed at this company longer than I stayed at companies that I really liked.


Although based on a class-action lawsuit and speaking extensively to attorneys, racism was at the heart of my experience, I felt like a failure for a very long time. I couldn’t win. The losses were only adding up - personally and professionally.


This is what I now know - your life, like mine, is defined by a series of wins and losses. You don’t get one without the other.


Sometimes your losses can add up extensively and you feel you will never get a win.


However, I can tell you that you can’t win unless you lose. You can’t recover. You can’t get better. You can’t improve. You can’t Create Success.


What should you do when you feel defeated? You’re probably depressed. You literally feel lost. Here are my thoughts...based on what I learned...the hard way.


  • Do an assessment. What have you learned from this experience?

  • What did you have control over? Your thoughts? Actions? Relationships?

  • What was out of your control? Did you recognize this? Did you understand clearly the situation? Hindsight can be insightful

  • Understand this is a moment in time. This is not a permanent situation.

  • Just as you are not your wins. More importantly, you are not your losses.

  • This is now. You have an opportunity to create a new tomorrow.

  • Don’t do this alone. Talk to someone. Friends. Family. Therapist. Coach.

  • Talking is key. It is so important to get perspective.

  • Chances are you can’t clearly see the situation.

  • Basically, don’t do this alone.


Losses can feel devastating. Frequently because you know you’ve given your all. You think you’ve adequately assessed the situation. You believe you’ve set yourself up for success. You think you’ve done everything you can do. And, then the situation, relationship, whatever doesn’t work out the way you would have hoped.


We see it all the time. In sports. In stories from actors. While watching American Idol or The Voice or America Gots Talent.


However, it’s one thing to watch it. It’s another to experience it.


The heartache and devastation can be staggering and paralyzing. I know.


It took me a while to recover from working at Merrill Lynch. This is why I’m sharing these thoughts and strategies with you. I want you to be better and to do better. I know I felt lost. I know you might feel the same way too. I get it.


It’s okay to feel bad. Nonetheless, you absolutely have to determine how to get out of this mess. It’s on you. Only you are responsible for your well-being.


I know it may be hard to believe in yourself after a loss. A failure.


However, I know you can turn it around. I also know that you may not believe in yourself right now. That’s okay. Borrow my belief.


You can change it around. You can Create Success.

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