On Winners and Losers


Failure (Photo credit: StormKatt)

Every time I hear someone call another human being a “loser,” I feel it like the lick of a lash across my soul.


There are no Winners or Losers, only people – people who sometimes win and sometimes lose, who sometimes succeed and sometimes fail, at different things, and at different times, and under different circumstances. This is the only realistic and rational position on the subject. It’s also the one that is most kind and most humane.


When you label someone else a loser, you are doing him a cruelty and an injustice.


When you label yourself a loser –  because of some specific failure or perceived pattern of failures, or because someone told you that you were – you’re doing yourself an injustice. You’re discounting every success you’ve ever had or will ever have, and sabotaging your very hope for success. This is pretty obvious.


What’s less obvious is that trying to fend off the “loser” label through so-called “positive thinking” by telling yourself you’re a “winner” is also a potentially self-destructive strategy. The odds are that sooner or later you’ll have a failure that will cause you to doubt the truth of that “winner” label.


The problem, you see, is with the labels – with the whole concept that “winners” and “losers” are things that really exist, and therefore things that people can actually be.


There are no Winners or Losers, only people.


Don’t label yourself.


And, please, don’t label anyone else, either.


Thank you.


The preceding has been a public service announcement (personal rant), courtesy of one who’s had her share of both successes and failures so far in this life and fully expects the pattern to continue.




Leave a comment


  1. A very perceptive post. Labels can be dangerous things. This reminds me of the Yoda quote that so many people love. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Of course there is try. Trying is the movement and action we take that allows success (do) or failure (do not). And sometimes not reaching success in one area helps us find it in another.

    I wish more people would spend more time thinking before speaking. Careless words can do so much damage.

    • Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say here. That line of Yoda’s has always bothered me too. All we can ever be certain of doing is trying.

  2. Sweet you,

    I’ve an award for you, for the person who you are and the things you share with the world

    Thank you for that..

    Namasté, Summer

  3. That’s a great insight, I think — that, when we are trying to pump ourselves up or cheerlead for ourselves, we are actually attempting to hide from ourselves our feelings of inferiority or vulnerability, which in fact we need to fully experience and become intimate with to find the peace we’re looking for.

  4. Kourtney Heintz

     /  July 2, 2013

    Well said. We are all tryers. We try something. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I just keep trying. 😉 If I get caught up in trying to create a permanent label over a temporary situation, I take away from my time spent trying.

  5. I’m pretty sure it was the late Leo Buscaglia who first introduced me to the idea that labeling was a distancing technique (not sure of his exact word), and that made a lot of sense to me as a then 30 something year old.


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