Before my election began, I wrote down three cardinal rules for myself. I knew this election would be challenging and would really test my limits. I had to find a way to keep myself grounded and focused.
- God is always in control. I’m a firm believer that my life is in God’s hands. Whether I won or lost the election was a decision to be made by my creator according to what’s in line with my purpose. My only role was to do my absolute best. That’s the most you can do in any situation. If it’s for you, there is nothing in the world that will stop you from having it. If it’s not for you, take the loss as a redirection to what is truly for you.
- Competition is important. There’s nothing glorious about running a race with nothing at stake. It’s quite ironic but competition helps you focus on yourself better. Competition is a reminder that you need to be at your best. It keeps you on your toes and pushes you to your limit.
- Politics is politics. It’s just a game so it’s never that serious. Don’t sacrifice friendships or relationships for the sake of winning the competition. Try hard not to take things so personally. Focus on the prize and be strategic about everything.
I put my blood, sweat and tears into my election campaign. And I didn’t win. It’s so easy to get upset and vow to never try again. I heard a fellow candidate who didn’t win say that they would never run in an election again and it got me thinking- if you face a challenge with the mindset that it is either a win or a loss, you are already setting yourself up to lose. It’s never about the outcome- it’s about what you gain from the process. Whether it’s an election or any other challenge, the process is what builds you- not the outcome. So you have to value the process and perceive it as a win in itself. You are already a superior version of yourself just by virtue of going through the challenge. So when the opportunity for another challenge comes again, please don’t turn away- grab it with both hands and run with it! You have to try again.
Theodore Roosevelt says it best;
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Not winning is okay. There’s something to win in every loss. Look for the lesson, appreciate it and carry it with you.
(p.s. If you want a sneak peak into what students’ union elections are like at the University of Manchester, check out this cool video! Brief cameo from me, other candidates and the 2015/2016 Exec team)
Full elections results can be found here, if you are interested! -> http://manchesterstudentsunion.com/top-navigation/student-voice/elections/elections-results
© Tessy Maritim