Updated: Oct 10, 2021

What do you do when it looks like you’ve lost?

Two months ago, I led a workshop on determination. It was my first time ever running a live virtual event for my business, and the first time I ever led a workshop by myself. I was nervous, but I did it anyway. Have you ever done something you were nervous about? How did it feel? I remember my hands getting sweaty, and feeling this sense of shakiness all over my body. I played some calming music in the background, and that helped.

During this workshop, I broke down what it means to be determined, and highlighted the three key components of determination; objective, commitment, focus. I talked about how opportunities to be determined show up in our lives constantly, from the time we are young into our final days of life, and how regardless of the external situations that may arise, determination is making the conscious decision to continue moving forward in the direction of your dreams.

Although the workshop series is geared toward artists and entrepreneurs, anyone can benefit from attending or watching the replay. In this first session from a couple months ago, I led three exercises, each of them centered on one of the three key components. Through these exercises, everyone wrote down one objective they wanted to achieve by the end of the season, one particular action they would commit to carrying out in order to achieve their objective, and one distraction they would need to be mindful of so they could be prepared to improve their focus on their seasonal objective.

I gave everyone two minutes to carry out each of these exercises, used each of those time slots to do the exercises for myself, and at the end of the last exercise, I shared my objective, my commitment, and my focus with everyone in the room. I went on to give words of encouragement, and even plugged a few resources before closing out the session. It was amazing! Everyone who attended shared how inspired they were to reach their goals.

Exactly one month later, I showed up to lead another workshop. This time, I spoke about intentionality, and the power of accountability. I shared how even though you may not have seen immediately favorable results, it’s important to keep showing up and being intentional with your actions. I talked about surrounding yourself with positive influences, and finding people who won’t let you fall out of place, or lose sight of your goals, because they value you too much to let you lose. But what do you do when it looks like you’ve lost?

This week was the third and final workshop of the series for this season. It was always planned to be a celebration! After all, who is out here planning to not reach their goals? As I was preparing to go live, I spent some time reflecting on the exercises I did two months ago. I took a moment to think about where I showed up and gave my best, and where I could have done better. You see, the third workshop was supposed to be the moment where I came up and encouraged everybody with a story about how I reached my goal, but the thing is… I didn’t.

What do you do when it looks like you’ve lost? This is the question that I kept asking myself in the days leading up to the live event. The truth is, I was unhappy with the fact that I hadn’t reached my goal. It isn’t easy to preach about showing up and being committed to your objectives when my objective (the one I shared in front of a live audience and published to a public platform) hasn’t been accomplished.

For the third session in this workshop series on determination, I brought on a guest speaker, Abbey Brown. Abbey is a creative writer and thought leader based in New York, who currently serves as a Community Growth Intern at KIRUNIVERSE, and shares her story through contributions to their blog and social media platforms. During the session, we held a transparent discussion about wins and losses when it comes to determination as an artist or entrepreneur, and shared personal stories and updates.

What I really enjoyed about Abbey’s contribution to the discussion was that as she spoke about the objective she had set and achieved this season, she shared very clear actions she took in order to get there. She talked about how even before she was able to celebrate the successes she experienced this season, there were many seasons before where she had similar objectives, and it looked like she just couldn’t win. As she gave us a glimpse into her journey as a creative writer, there’s one statement she made that really resonated with me. “You can’t give up just because you’re being rejected.”

How many times have you been rejected when it comes to a professional or personal opportunity or relationship? Chances are the answer is many. Sometimes, if we’re not careful, we start to internalise rejections as definitive markers of incompetence or inadequacy within ourselves. While some rejections from others can be good indicators of areas where we can learn or improve our performance, no form of rejection should be used as a definition of your capacity to achieve your goals. As Abbey put it towards the end of our conversation, “whether you’re winning or you’re losing, there’s always more work to do.”

That spoke to me, as I continue to work on my objective, which you can hear me talk about in the workshop replay. If you’re entering this new season and you feel like you haven’t quite reached your goals yet, you’re not alone. And you know what’s exciting about entering a new season, even though you didn’t accomplish your mission from the previous season? THE FACT THAT YOU MADE IT TO A NEW SEASON! Do you know how many people, whether they reached their objectives or not, didn’t get to see a new day? Pick your head up, and keep moving forward in the direction of your dreams. Just because it looks like you’ve lost, doesn’t mean you're a loser. You get to decide what happens next!

As I was getting ready to go live the other day, I was reminded of three affirmations from The Book of Positive Affirmations. When I picked up the book, I was so grateful to open it right up to the first one that had come to mind. Check these out:

“The love I have for myself has allowed me to see beyond my faults, and know that I can always try again”

“The love I have for others has empowered me to look beyond their faults, and extend grace wherever possible.”

“The love I have for others is the same love I have for myself.”

As you continue on in your journey of determination, remember to give yourself grace. If you’re holding someone accountable for showing up to achieve their goals, remember to show them the same grace you would want them to show you as you encourage them to keep going. We are all created equal, and each of us deserves the same amount of love. Love yourself. Love others. Stay determined.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it means to be determined, or you just want to catch up on the recent workshop series I led on Instagram Live, you can watch the replay here:

With love,


KIRU is a music artist, author, and entrepreneur who is in love with all things self-exploration. They founded KIRUNIVERSE in 2016 to empower artists and entrepreneurs with purpose-driven experience marketing, and co-founded social art platform, KIRUNIVERSE COLLECTIVE in 2018 to help others share their life stories, build positive relationships, and curate safe spaces.