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July 1, 2021

“You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated.”

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As we’ve come to know if our lives, the things we experience are dependent on our own perception of the events. Jack Canfield articulates it as that no matter the circumstance, it is our response to the event that generates an outcome. This quote takes that same theory and applies it specifically to failure. Spoken by Maya Angelou, the quote goes, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”

The quote separates the outcome of failure into two sections. The first is the objective reality of the performance, there is a measurement of whether you won or loss, if the idea worked or it didn’t, if you got what you wanted. But then the second side is the subjective representation of that experience - How did you receive the result? What is your mindset, mentality, and relationship with the event? How do you feel about your performance?

Let’s put this is an example. You’re applying for a new job, get an interview and find out you didn’t get selected for the position. You experienced defeat in that you didn’t achieve the objective outcome you wanted, which was to get the job. But next comes your subjective response and interpretation. You can choose to feel defeated, give up on making a move in your career, and settle for how things are... Or you can choose to persevere, take the lessons and feedback from your experience, and try again.

Understanding that there’s always a subjective interpretation to objective outcomes allows you to apply a more positive lens to the experience. It allows you to control the end result because you get to tell the story. This example brings more awareness to the ways that we choose how our life goes, and helps us paint a more positive picture for our lives overall.

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