Some people cannot tolerate minor relapses or challenges. When things do not live up to their expectations, they become concerned. When their projects are not successful, they cannot accept defeat. The same thing happens when they experience painful or unpleasant feelings.
No one likes to be frustrated or feel like a failure. But life is not perfect. We would all like things to go as planned, but that’s not how reality works. It is said that “Life is not the way you want it to be, life is just life”. But no matter how true this quote is, many people will not believe it.
We want it all right now without waiting. We want everything right away. In addition, what we expect must be done in a comfortable and satisfying way that suits our interests. This is how we think it should be. This is how many people feel, and in doing so, they are building their own version of the world.
Life is not the way you want it to be, life is just life
We have all heard someone say “You must be happy” or “You must not be sad”. When using the word “must”, be careful. Why? Because there is no such thing as “must” be in a certain way. Things are as they are, no matter how much we want them to change. However, this can provide motivation for change, or the exact opposite.
If you lean towards the opposite, you will spend your time going from one dissatisfaction or frustration to another. Let us, for example, think about how our lives should be.
Should our life be perfect, comfortable, satisfying, or successful? No, for the simple reason that it is not. We can want it as much as we want, and still be intolerant of the things we do not achieve. Accept it as part of the game.
Life is in the middle between good and bad. We are rarely in completely white or black situations. And if that’s the way it is, why do we keep thinking the opposite?
“Shall”: A dangerous enemy
What does “must” mean? According to the dictionary , “must” means that something or someone is committed to something. For example, we have to eat every day.
When we decide that something should be in a certain way, we commit ourselves to something. We say that the things around us (humans, animals, objects), in a way, must meet a premise. Our premise, as if it were us who wrote the laws of the universe.
But the truth is that even if we try to hide our desires with this form (opportunity -> commitment), things will still go their own way (unless we actually change them).
Why? Because if the environment does not recognize the obligation we impose, it does not matter what we say. It only gives frustration and a derogatory feeling.
So be careful of those who say “you must be a good person” or “you must not be sad”. They only talk about their own expectations. You can be a good person to them sometimes, and other times not. Sometimes you are sad and other times you are not.
Belief in “must” is the source of intolerance for defeat
Intolerance of defeat means that people do not enjoy their lives. Think of a child who gets angry that the parents have not bought the candy they would like. They cry, scream and get angry. They have not yet understood that not everything goes after their head. Therefore, parents need to teach them to control their emotions.
As adults, we should all have learned to tolerate the disobedience of reality. Things do not always go the way we want, even if we do not demand much. In fact, it does not increase the likelihood that a wish will come true, whether it is good or bad.
There are people who have been brought up in a way that “must” have taken over their lives. Others have learned not to accept defeat or frustration through experiences that have led them to believe that it is the path to success.
The famous psychologist, Albert Ellis, wrote: “While less worried people are determined on what they want and become angry if their desires are not fulfilled, more worried people insist on, or dogmatically command, that their desires be fulfilled, and become incredibly restless, depressed and aggressive when it does not happen. ”
There is nothing wrong with getting angry if something does not go the way you wanted. However, it is not healthy to be demanding, insistent and not accept it.
The beliefs of those who cannot accept defeat
People who cannot accept defeat have learned to think and behave in a certain way. They have some beliefs that determine their way of seeing the world and perceiving reality. These beliefs are:
- Life must be easy and comfortable.
- They confuse a desire with a need.
- They want everything they want and to get it they demand, order and insist on it.
- Any difficulty, delay or defeat is awful to accept.
5 tips to better accept defeat
Although we have been brought up to understand “must” and “should,” or if we have beliefs reminiscent of the above, there are some tools we can use to better accept defeat.
Identify your irrational beliefs
When you are frustrated, try analyzing what you are telling yourself. What thoughts have you had? Pay attention to them and write them down.
You may find in your inner dialogue that there are words like “shall”, “never”, “always”, “I can not stand it” etc. These words are the root of your torments.
Adjust your irrational beliefs
Once you have figured out what you are telling yourself and realized that it is not helping you, it is time to talk to yourself in a different way and change your mindset. It’s a process that requires a lot of work and a lot of mistakes, but it’s all worth it.
To get started you can use words like “I would like to…”, “I do not like it, but I can stand it”, “sometimes” etc. It is about replacing your irrational beliefs with some more adaptable.
Confront the defeat you can not accept
It can be a good strategy to put yourself in situations that frustrate you. Make a list of those situations. Write down how they affect you.
Once you have identified them, confront them. Make the situations arise and do not do anything to avoid the inconveniences that come. Over time, you become more tolerant and you get better.
If possible, take precautions so that it does not happen again
Look for solutions so that the difficult situations do not frustrate you again. For example, you can stop looking at the clock if the person you are meeting does not arrive on time. You could do something productive while you wait, instead. Finally , you can change focus to reduce the feeling of frustration and defeat.
Get to know the difference between wishes and needs
One thing is to need a larger house, but something else is to want it or have certain preferences. When you need something and do not get it, you start to get restless.
If you know it’s just something you want, it may be annoying at first, but frustration will not be so hard to get over.
There are actually quite a few things we definitely need in this life. It is fundamental to be able to distinguish between what we need and what we just want, to avoid feeling like a failure.
It is difficult to avoid problems or defeats in life. We all fail at some point. It’s a part of life, and it’s perfectly normal. Therefore , we must learn to deal with our frustration and allow ourselves to fail. That way we get a more realistic and happy life.