In all close contests, there’s a thin line between winning and losing.

 In sports, it’s often a few points that go to one team or another – a couple of plays that were close, a close call between ‘safe’ or ‘out.’

These few moments typically create one winner and one loser. Yet they last a few minutes.

I recently “lost” two campaigns I really would have loved to shoot. Does pitching and losing to whatever competition ever gets easier?

 Not if the story we tell ourselves afterwards is about the whole pitch or the totality of our presentation skills. Something like “I can’t believe I blew it, I’m no good and my work is obviously mediocre af.”

In our desire to make meaning, our story blows the fleeting moments that determine the difference between winning and losing, out of proportion. It really is the same thing with any close call—job interviews when you’re a top 3 finalist, that high-end client who says yes or no to the biggest shooting you’ve ever planned.

If it was a tough decision – and it usually is – then a few small (maybe extremely subjective) things made the difference.

This helps us remember that “I’m so…” statements aren’t the right conclusion.

Instead, we can try “it was close, and I did/didn’t get it this time.”

Then, instead of telling ourselves a tragic unfounded story, we can get on with the important work of focusing on those flew small things and giving it our best shot the next time around.

George Kroustallis // Minorstep