in the time of darkest defeat

Last week's Victory Letter really hit a nerve with quite a few readers. And I have come to the conclusion that hitting a nerve is a good thing because it can help us to stop in our tracks and take our own pulse. ;)

Today's picture is one I really love and happy to say one that I took while in San Francisco in the heart of Silicon Valley weekend before last. While it looks more like something out of the Wizard of Oz - it was actually the view from my hotel window looking towards Oracle's offices in the background.

The reason for my trip was to visit with and see the workings of a spin cycling fund raising event geared towards finding the cure, reliable treatments and better diagnosis for ovarian cancer. The event was hosted by, The Be the Difference Foundation and is called Wheel to Survive.

What inspired me most about this event, and wanting to host one here in Boulder in 2015, are the amazing women involved that have indeed themselves been battling ovarian cancer. I am inspired how their cancer diagnosis and the loss of others they have known to the disease have not left these courageous women defeated. To the contrary, it has energized them to get out there and fight to save more lives from this disease, the disease that also took my mother's life.

Defeat, which of course comes in all shapes and sizes, and according to one definition in the dictionary is, "fact of losing to opponent." The reality is that too many of us can give in to an initial loss too quickly.   Bottom-line when you look a perceived defeat face on is that it is not over until you decide it's over.   And yes an opponent such as cancer may have the upper arm - but giving up without any fight whatsoever is the worse way to lose that battle.  


So today I want to share with you five key elements to get past a perceived defeat no matter where you may currently be with it in your life. It could in fact just be a major turning point in your life that you need to pay close attention to so you can get to the next phase.

1. Get the pity party done and over with...

Yes, we usually need to feel the loss in order to move past it. So feel sorry for yourself, cry, get mad, yell, and maybe have your best buds commiserate with you a bit.   Lick your wounds... then get on with it without sitting on the defeat too long and get fully back in the game.

2.  Learn to Forgive...

First forgive yourself, and then the person or life event that caused the defeat. Forgiveness allows you move from the past, get into the present and get excited again about the future.


3. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off...

Sometimes the fall from defeat can be a brutal one - as mentioned in #1 be sure after the pity party to fully dust off the negativity that may be a result of the event and really make sure you have learned from the loss.


4.  Get fully back in the Saddle...

Don't come back into the game limping or carrying your baggage. Fully climb in the saddle of your life with your head held high ready for the next round. Ready for a great ride to the best of your capacity.


5.  Remember better late than never

Because defeats come in all sizes and situation, similar to today's Victory Letter, which is late in coming to you because of the chain of events brought in my path this morning. I could have cried defeat and said no Victory Letter today.

However, I am committed and knew that would not have served me, or you. Sometimes timing is just off, life gets in the way - it doesn't mean defeat - unless you let it.

Think of those marathon runners who have limped across the finish line long after the crowds had dispersed. Be good in knowing that its okay even if the only glory is in knowing you have achieved what you wanted to achieve for you and no one else.

As you head into this next week of your life think of the muscles you have built along the way because of the defeats you have experienced. And if you are coming fresh out of a defeat of one kind or another go back through steps one through five and figure out what element might be missing for you to move on to your next win.

Wishing you the light that comes after the storms!  

To Your Successes and Victories!

- Cheri 


Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 

and Founder of the Victory Circles