Failure & Loss – 5 Questions You Have to Ask Yourself

Failure & Loss – 5 Questions You Have to Ask Yourself

For insight Read. To change your thought pattern, to become more resilient, or to overcome loss, ask yourself these questions, taking a minute to write down the answers.

1. Did You Fail? Or Did You Lose?

Failure and loss are separate entities. The answer to this question will entirely shape how you deal with challenges and the remaining four questions.

To fail means not to function properly. It means to collapse, to be a loser. If you view the situation from this angle, you are not only defining the event, but yourself with the word loss, with becoming a failure.

A loss is a mark on your record, it is the opinion of three people in world of combat sports (or a mistake made that led to a knockout), and it is a speed bump in the real world. The faster we go, the harder we hit this bump – but with experience we learn that each bump is a temporary deceleration – in the end we open it up and ride to our destination.

2. Who is My Biggest Enemy & How Do I Defeat Him or Her?

Paul Banasiak Mirror“He(or She) was just too strong.”
YOU were not prepared physically.

“It was a hometown crowd, booing me,
cheering any bit of his (her) momentum on.”
YOU were not prepared mentally to handle this situation.

“He(she) technically picked me apart.”
You didn’t adapt, prepare, or have enough experience.

Looking at yourself first helps to take ownership of the situation and places you in the driver seat (in control). Of course there are variables which we cannot control, lucky shots, freak injuries etc. But our mindset dictates the highest probability of success. Placing the MAIN focus on anything outside of yourself is deemed inefficient – the crowd will boo regardless, they will cheer for him, his(her) technique will stay the same, his(her) strength cannot be wished away.

Placing the main focus on yourself is difficult, perhaps even painful, but if you look at it in an objective view, you take control – you prepare physically, you learn not to lose focus despite the cheers and boos of the crowd, you teach yourself to adapt and to change your intensity, style, and whatever else it takes.

3. How Did I Succeed, and What Did I Miss?

With every fight and experience there’s always something we did well, and something we missed. Even if you got taken out in the first exchange, there were things that you did right and things that you missed in preparation.

Paul Banasiak by Bauzen
Paul Banasiak by Bauzen of Bauzen.com

By writing down your successes you put an emphasis on sharpening them – by writing down what you missed you create a game plan that leaves no holes.

It all goes back to preparation and the journey.

4. How Does This Impact the Journey?

5. Who Will I Become Because of This Loss? (What Have I Learned?)

Once again this goes back to perception. Question four shifts the focus from the result to the positive impact this event will have on your journey. Question five helps you move on from the past and into the future – with the focus on the goals that you will accomplish.

How did my recent loss impact my journey? It woke me up – it taught me that the judges won’t always have the same opinion as I, that winning rounds isn’t always going to cut it, that comfort impedes growth and continued success. Look for the positive results this loss fosters and feed from them.

Leizel Beliso by @NurseRay
Leizel Beliso by @NurseRay

Who will I become because of this loss? I often refer to the Steve Jobs quote, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – It’s made famous because of the fact that it is relatable. We all can think of a loss, challenge, or negative event that shaped us into who we are today. We remember how badly it hurt – but we also remember that it was that same feeling that led us down the path of success, that stimulated change that was needed.
In a recent podcast with Muay Thai Guy Sean Fagan, I spoke about how out of all of the advice I received after my loss, my opponent was the one who taught me the most important lesson – one I can actually relate to.
To listen to the full episode click here ==> Inside The Fighter’s Mind – A Post Fight Therapy Session


Perception and mindset become your biggest tools to initially fight loss – they dictate the action plan. People will want to help with kindness, but this is an internal battle as much as it seems like the enemy is attacking from afar.

Time and vengeance in combination will lead to full recovery, so trust that this is part of the process – a process which concludes with you becoming sharper than ever – now the next time you are tested, the obstacle in front of you will become an example of what hardship can forge.

This article was written after my first loss in two years. A split decision which didn’t go my way, a Friday Night Fights title that didn’t make it into my hands, and a disappointing finish to an electrifying night. After an 11 fight win streak, in front of all of my supporters, all with the expectation of a win. I had to seek the answers to these questions which aided me with the process, I hope they do the same for you. 


11221999_10154213857213496_335673171183139079_n-300x300Paul Banasiak is a Muay Thai fighter/addict, 6x champion, trainer, and fitness professional. After leaving medical school without looking back, he decided to fully follow his passion of helping others become the best version of themselves, creating MuayThaiAthlete.com. A website for those who are already passionate individuals that want to take their life&training to the next level

Today we begin forging our bodies and
strengthening our minds.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Paul,

    Sorry about your loss, but gotta say you got a great article out of the it While obviously written about the fight, key points can be applied to almost any type of loss; how much was my responsibility, what did I do right and/or wrong, and what have I learned from the experience. Thanks for those insights.

    1. Thank you Art for the feedback and for your insight. Like you said, great things come from this, no need to be sorry! We are limitless, the future is very bright

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