Transformative Thursdays: 10 Ways to Overcome Defeat

There are seasons when we feel our best isn’t good enough or we’re simply not seeing the fruit of our labor.  It’s in those times, we are tempted to give up and throw in the towel.  But if we learn to overcome defeat, we will see the results we are working towards.


In junior high school, I vividly remember running track.  I had practiced for weeks leading up to the track meet in which I would run against my competitors in the 100 meter and 200 meter races.  I remember running many drills after school particularly practicing for those races.  On race day, I was ready.  Somehow, my coach entered me in the race for the 100 meter hurdles in addition to the other races.  I thought I would give it a try thinking how hard could it be to run hurdles?  Little did I know, the hurdles are difficult, especially without practice.  There’s a stride and a rhythm to running and kicking.  When the start gun sounded, I took off and headed for the first hurdle and got over it, but it felt so awkward.  I quickly lost my confidence as I saw my competitors leaving me behind.  In those few seconds between hurdle 3 and hurdle 4, defeat took over.  I quit the race and walked off the track.  I remember my dad watching me and encouraging me afterwards.  I just couldn’t bring myself to finish.  But I still had another race to run so I somehow got the courage to run the race I trained for.  I finished that one, but I still remember the crushing feeling of defeat, and not measuring up, the day I quit the hurdles race.


Now, many years later, I’ve learned how to finish the race, even if obstacles are in my way.  I don’t allow “hurdles” to stop my rhythm.  I just keep going.


Here are few things I’ve learned about overcoming the demon of defeat:

  1. Keep taking consistent steps forward—even if they are small steps
  2. Rehearse your past victories and wins
  3. Realize we all have obstacles to overcome and we will get through them
  4. Know that you are your own biggest cheerleader and can be your own worst enemy
  5. Expect something good to happen everyday
  6. If you fall, learn from it and keep going
  7. Create an affirmation that encourages you and recite it everyday
  8. Turn off the negative self-talk recorder and replace it with scripture and affirmations
  9. Notice triggers that allow defeat to rise up and silence or avoid them if possible
  10. Meditate on the qualities that make you successful and see your value

~Coletta Jones Patterson

Coletta is an author, life coach, business executive and weekly blogger.  Connect with Coletta at

2 thoughts on “Transformative Thursdays: 10 Ways to Overcome Defeat

  1. Amen! Btw, I didn’t know you had a brief stint with hurdles in junior high. I ran hurdles as well BRIEFLY. I also had an unfortunate encounter with the high jump where I cleared the poll but missed the mat. You learn a lot about yourself when you push your limits with new activities. Even when we “fail” we learn something valuable to carry forward with us.


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