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How to Win at Everything: The Rules of Healthy Competition

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Learn the Right Way to Lose

Women tend to attribute their victories to luck or other external factors yet blame their failures on personal shortcomings, says Anna Fels, MD, author of Necessary Dreams: The Role of Ambition in Women's Changing Lives (Vintage, 2005). Consequently, you may shy away from competition because any loss threatens your self-esteem. But the more you experience and rebound from disappointment, the more resilient you'll become. Start by competing in situations where you don't expect to win and that aren't overly important to you, so any loss won't be ego-crushing. If you've just started dabbling in photography, enter the community newspaper's photo contest. Dust off that 12-speed bike in the garage and register for a charity bike race.

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