When you lose you have two choices. You can dwell or you can learn.
It’s easy to dwell on a bad performance. Dwelling is the path of least resistance. Dwelling is a function of the ego and the ego loves to spend time rehashing and complaining about an outcome. To dwell on an outcome means to spend time in the past for the sake of feeding the ego, which has an insatiable appetite for self loathing and self pity. It’s easy to end up in a dwell hole because your ego loves it there. Dwelling is heavy.
Learning is the path of greater resistance because it requires you to overcome your egos’ desire for the dwell hole. Learning requires that you create mental space from the negative emotion that comes with a loss and this requires more conscious energy. Learning requires that you look at the outcome constructively and for the purpose of growth. Learning is impossible if you are stuck in the dwell hole.
It’s easy to recognize dwelling because it’s all consuming. The dwell hole is full of emotional gravity and the more time you spend there the harder it is to get out. It’s easy to recognize a learning state because it’s non-consuming. Meaning you have control over the time you spend in a learning state. You can turn it on and off consciously.
In order to spark a learning state instead of a dwelling state several things need to happen. The first is that you need to be fully conscious and fully aware of your emotional state. Even if that emotional state is negative and highly charged, awareness of it creates space around it. This space prevents dwells gravitational pull from acting on you.
The second is that you have to develop a disconnected appreciation for the opponent who just beat you. You have to be able to separate your emotional reaction to a loss with your appreciation for the skill and strategy it took for the other person to win. When you don’t have negative emotion pulling you into the dwell hole, you can reflect clearly and learn from your opponent or learn from the experience.
Finally, you simply need to get over yourself. Dwelling is a state of self absorption that serves no purpose other than to feed the part of you that thinks things should have gone a certain way. A state of learning on the other hand is rooted in consciousness which ultimately leads to growth.