There is hardly a soul that likes to lose, no matter how tiny it may be. No one likes to be runner up to anyone, and when a person loses, it can affect the mental health of the person. It is common to see those that have had their fair share of failure becoming depressed. Why is this so?
Their mental health is affected, and they start to feel like they would never succeed at anything. This is what an ambitious politician feels when he loses an election. His or her heart becomes shattered, and sometimes, the politician may feel that the next line of action is to give up the ambition.
It could be as little as losing your Class Presidency election, or as big as losing a primary in your political party. When bad results come in, it can leave you devastated. Cases have been seen of some politicians burying whatever dreams they have. It is really painful, as you must have spent a long time, baby kidding, and trying to win over your electorate.
You may have been made to do a lot of things that you would have shied away from because you wanted the support of the voters.
Now, you want to toss everything that screams of politics into the garbage can, and never look back again.
The truth remains that you may grieve, and at that period, try to grieve and reflect. Don't let yourself feel weak for grieving, it's your right. One thing you should never do is to grieve for so long.
Try To Get Other Things Doing
While you reflect on your decisions and life, it won't be a bad idea to get yourself busy, instead of sulking. This is important for your mental health after losing an election. Try and work on your relationships with friends, family members and the community. This will not only make you feel better, but it can go a long way to throw you in the positive light for when you intend to pursue your political ambition again. Try and work on your personal finances, and even your business. Do you have a job? Be the best employee there can ever be. You may be wondering why this is necessary. Take a walk with us.
When an ambitious politician loses an election, there is a great chance that he may ignore those who stood by him, while the campaign was ongoing, to slide back to a life of self-pity.
At that moment, all he or she sees is that the election was lost, and nothing else matters, not even your league of supporters that were at hand to cheer you on.
Years may pass, or even months and you decide to run for a political position again, there is a little probability that your team of supporters would be at hand to help you. What of those donors that spent a lot freely to your campaign? When you turn to them next time, they won't bat an eyelid. What of the volunteers that stayed up for days, and weeks in a bid to ensure the campaign process was smooth? If you go back to them, they won't bother looking at you again. Why is this so?
It's not because you lost the election, far from it. What made them lose hope in you was because you didn't bother to appreciate their time, money and effort they put into you, after you lost the election.
Once the election was lost, you quickly dumped them, and swung your mental health downhill? Then, you were only interested in sulking, instead of appreciating their efforts. When the sulking is done, you will realize that your community of volunteers, supporters and donors are no longer there for you.
If you give them a reason to care for you, they are ready to be your rock after the election and support you once more when you decide to pursue your political ambition again.
How To Continuously Engage Your Supporters After The Election?
Like earlier stated, it is important that the relationship with your supporters is very firm. How can you go about this?
Start by sending them an email, appreciating their efforts. People always want to be thanked when they do something good for you. Ensure that your supporters are appreciated.
Try and communicate regularly with those core supporters. There are some supporters that are ready to stand with you through thick and thin, never allow them to go. Try and downsize your supporters database until you are left with sturdy supporters. This doesn't mean you make the other supporters feel that they are unwanted.
Try and start nurturing a new campaign
This is definitely your choice. You can decide to throw in the towel, and never compete in another election. You can also decide that the passion for politics is still there, and you want to see it through. If you fall under the latter, don't try and hibernate. What you should do is ensure that the coals are burning, while you wait for the next election.
Exploit Your Experience
One thing that should never be forgotten is that you have experienced a campaign, though the election may have not been favorable. This is an important resource that can be used to your advantage. Now, you know how a campaign works and must have learnt your weaknesses and strengths. For the next election, you can easily know what pitfalls that should be avoided at all cost.
What of the relationships that you have established with important persons in the community? What of the relationship that you have built with grassroots organizations and fundraisers in your community?
If you decide to run again, you have a wealth of knowledge that others may not have. On the other hand, if you decide that politics is no longer your thing, it is quite easy to offer your wealth of knowledge to others.