Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll admits the realisation his career is entering its latter stages has made it harder to accept defeat.
O'Driscoll wins his 80th cap in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy at Croke Park and insists losing has not become any easier.
"I’m starting to take the defeats a little bit more personally the older I’m getting," said the 29-year-old Leinster centre.
"I can see the endline in sight so it takes a lot longer than in my younger days to get over bad defeats.
"It depends on what type of defeat it is, but I’ve struggled a little bit more to come to terms with some of them in recent seasons.
"I probably just go through it in my mind a bit more, analyse the game and see where it went wrong. I look at my own game.
"I try to make sure that I don’t make the same mistakes in the next game.
"I work hard in training the following week and try to improve in the aspects where you feel you’ve let the team down a bit."
Ireland have an impressive record under Eddie O'Sullivan so O'Driscoll's exposure to defeat at Test level has been fairly limited.
Unfortunately they have developed a habit of losing the games that matter with their haul of three Triple Crowns in four seasons a poor return from a squad viewed as the nation's golden generation.
The 2007 World Cup represented the nadir of unfilled Irish ambition and O'Driscoll admits the debacle in France last September has diminished expectations.
"We're under a different sort of pressure heading into the Six Nations," he said.
"It’s not the pressure of being expected to win, more just a pressure of improving on the World Cup.
"The pressure’s always there - it just wavers in its type sometimes.
"I don’t think it’ll affect us in any other manner than it usually would.
"We’ll still go out and try to play the way we do and hopefully that’ll be enough.
"This time the guys have shown some really good form, individually, for their provinces.
"Hopefully, we can put that package together and pick up where we left off in last year’s Six Nations."
Ireland made no effort to mask their ambitions for the World Cup and O'Driscoll regrets that openness.
"Maybe we were guilty of being too honest come World Cup time last year," he said.
"We were all saying what we could achieve and maybe we got ahead of ourselves a little bit.
"But we’ve take a step back from that now in that nobody’s spoken about anything other than the Italy game.
"We have our own expectations for the Six Nations but we’ll keep them to ourselves this year."