Why We All Must Fall: An Olympic Lesson

February 19th, 2014

Skiing Slalom DownhillSkiing Slalom DownhillSkiing Slalom DownhillIt’s that time again. We watch top athletes assemble to compete in the Olympics. We watch from our TV’s cheering these spirited young people on. Along the way there have been a number of unexpected falls and spills. Some have had to side step competition due to injury and forgo the drive to the podium until the next Olympics.

It never ceases to amaze me. The power: the fortitude and persistence of these young people. They fall down. They get back up. Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes a burst of frustration emerges. Other times a pure and simple resolve. But these competitors get back up. Dust them selves off and move forward. It’s inspiring.

Often times we are judged and criticized for the normal human reaction to a fall or disappointment in our lives. It’s that span between doing and having where the bottom falls out. Emotions swell to the surface. We cry. We shout. We may even have a burst of energy leave our bodies in the form of a pillow getting punched. These are normal reactions to disappointment. They are the safety values on the pressure cooker going on inside of us.

3 Important Factors to stay focused on:

1. What is the lesson?
2. What have we learned in this stumble?
3. Avoid thinking you are being punished – this is critical!

This is not defeat. It is merely a moment of correction in our approach. That’s why we must fall (and fail) at times. How does one course correct if there isn’t a correction to be made. That would mean that we are perfect. Now, come on, that’s not reality.

So in the falling and in the correction we learn to be agile, adjust and be our own Olympian – we dust ourselves off and move forward having learned a important lessons so we can move forward stronger and potentially faster than before.

It is hard to remember this while we’re in a free fall situation.
It’s even harder to be the person watching the fall of a love one, a friend or a colleague. Judge not. Have compassion. Be constructive in a loving manner. Help them get back up and make the adjustment without feeling ashamed of themselves.

For those of you in the corporate arena – sometimes taking a conversation off line and outside the office IS the best coarse of action. You have permission to be human with others.

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