How to Lose Gracefully: What Hillary Clinton taught us

We are approaching nearly a month after the election and no matter how you voted – the results impact us all. In any sort of race there are going to be a winner and a loser. One of the keys to life is that you learn from everyone that you come in contact with. I waited to write this article to gain perspective from the countless hashtags, social media post and news articles collectively. While there can many personal insights on what this election for the 45th President can teach us, the thing that Hillary taught us was some major keys on what to do when you take an “L” or catch a bad break. No matter what jargon you use for it – the pain still remains.


No matter if you are seen as a winner in the book of many, there will be a time when you fall. Babies might show you how to fall and look cute, but as we grow up those cute factor goes out of the window. Even with a stellar background and ambassadors – Hillary lost. No matter how you feel about her platform, you can learn from her. Just as you can learn from the President-Elect; this further proves my point that you learn from everyone.

As a person who has have several experiences of falling from grace, each one has provided insight on how to bounce back gracefully. These points are just gathered from the “I’m with Her” forerunner, this comes from studying the greats such as Oprah, Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs. See while they are held as giants in their perspective fields, they rise to their current level didn’t come without a few falls. As Oprah stated,

“It doesn’t matter how far you might rise. At some point, you are bound to stumble. If you’re constantly pushing yourself higher and higher, the law of averages predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do, I want you to remember this: There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction. Now, when you’re down there in the hole, it looks like failure. When that moment comes, it’s okay to feel bad for a little while. Give yourself time to mourn what you think you may have lost. But then, here’s the key: Learn from every mistake, because every experience, particularly your mistakes, are there to teach you and force you into being more who you are.”

Through this lengthy quote, Auntie Oprah walks us through how the failure stumble can either be used to build us or break us. In retrospect to Hillary, here are a few things that she did that we could use to serve as thinking points as we move through failure:

Keep Your Support Tight

Hillary showed us how to gather support from people on various levels – from celebrities to newbie voters, she gathered various levels of support to aid in her goal. While not all of us have celebrities in our corner – you have to build various levels of support to be scale with your growth spurt or hurt. Being transparent within your support system will allow them to understand triggers and give you different perspective on scenarios. When Hillary was up in polls or losing electoral college votes – her circle rallied behind her to support her. Family are great levels of support, but also a combination of mentors, bosses, colleagues, friends, can be a benefit to you.

Fail Forward

Take time to Think and Refocus

Towards the end of election night, many gathered and waited for Hillary to address her crowd in despite of being in the shadow of losing. I, too, was one of the many people who took confusion in to why she didn’t address the crowd. I mean, they were waiting for her right? But think of it like this – she needed to take a pause from the madness and assess the proper routes to take for her next step. While this might have hurt the feelings to those waiting for her in New York and watching at home. Her response would serve as example for others, so her moves had to be holistic and calculated. She was even seen with Bill and their dogs, taking a walk – no cameras, no ‘Yes people’ – just them. No matter if it is a pink slip or a product failure, assessing and calculating your next move is critical. Yes, you should think of others – but in case of a stumble, be selfish. Make the best decision in any situation you are in.

Move Forward, Move Higher

During her 1st speech after the election at the Children’s Defense Fund’s “Beat The Odds” Gala, Hillary gave one proved how taking time to refocus was critical to moving forward. She stated that while giving the speech was the easiest, it was critical. Hillary proved my theory on how each stumble we take in life helps acts as an insight point for other experiences to come. As CNN stated, Clinton did not wallow in defeat during the speech, instead turned to what she will focus on going forward, and the impact her mother had on her life. Throughout the speech, she weaved a thread of experiences that built her up over time. This speech served as examples for those going through stumble experience. Even with my personal experiences, I use them as muses on how to move forward and higher. How you operate while you are down will serve as a rubber band in how far it will launch you after the experience.


While there are several other things you can do to process a setback, these are key examples of how to get started in the process. No matter how high you bounce back from the process – you might have flashbacks moving forward; Which is fine. As my Life Coach, Stephanie Alva, states – take 90 seconds to be and refocus. Also be reminded that what you learn from one experience will help you in other experiences to come in life. Hillary learned that in 2008 and I am beyond certain that she did that from this election. Her lessons and experience should not just connect with just women, but for everyone who looks to move to a higher sense of self and progress.


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