Good sportsmanship is always something we should strive for.
Right now we are in the middle of a heated, tense election. The election happened Tuesday, but we are still waiting on the results. Anyone who has ever participated in a sport, and waited for the referee to make a tough call, can relate.
This got me thinking a lot about the similarities between politics and sports, specifically in terms of winning and losing.
We don’t have a clear winner in this election, but whoever does win will be the next President of the United States. That job comes with certain expectations of decorum, as evidenced by all the previous presidents. Our current administration has changed the game a lot in terms of what is considered presidential behavior, but one tenet always remains: we should always strive to exhibit sportsmanlike conduct, no matter what race we happen to run.
To that end, here are a few ways that whoever wins this election can exhibit that behavior, and avoid being called a sore loser.
Congratulate the winner. Any time you enter a race, you know that there will be a winner, and a loser. Being gracious about your loss is the right way to handle it, and congratulating the winner is an acknowledgement of a fight fairly fought.
Focus on your own success. In any sport or race, there are things we do well, and areas where we could use improvement. Being optimistic about the things we did correctly is much better for our mental health, as opposed to harping on the things we did wrong.
Don’t compare yourself to others. It may sound contradictory in the world of sports, but comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to downplay our own achievements. Regardless of the race, we should only compare ourselves to our own standards and be happy with the benchmarks we personally reach.
Be charitable. Losing doesn’t feel good to anyone. One of the best ways we can make ourselves feel better is by contributing to someone else’s life, especially in the field or industry where we just experienced a loss.
Be realistic. When you lose, it’s human nature to be negative and focus on all the things that went wrong. Realistically however, you win some and you lose some. Going into any race with that mindset will help you be more realistic at the end, regardless of the outcome.