I recently happened upon the quote, “What defines us is how well we rise after falling,” and it struck me in such a way that I had to ponder it further. Our character, and true nature of ourselves, are best seen in our moments after falling. The idea is so simple, but as adults the concept of falling isn’t one that sits easy with us.
Now if you think about it, when did falling down become uncool? I distinctly remember in grade school that the more scrapes and bruises you had, the tougher you were. And how you got those battle scars meant you could survive anything. Do you remember the stories? Were you hanging from one limb on the monkey bars or doing triple flips off the swing when it all went down?
And yet it seems presently, as adults, we sometimes don’t venture out or take a risk because of the fear of falling. It’s okay to fall. Many successful entrepreneurs and business owners will affirm that falling is a part of the process. Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” And he also said “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Falling isn’t your culprit and certainly shouldn’t be feared. Falling is almost a prerequisite for what is yet to come. There is much more emphasis on what you do after you fall.
When the plan didn’t go according to plan. When there was a detail you missed or a mistake made. When you didn’t see it coming. Then what do you do? Do you bow out gracefully and throw in the towel?
No, you rise. You go back to the drawing board. You reevaluate and recalculate. You pull out plan B (and C and D too). Life is like photography, we use negatives to develop a positive picture.
One of my favorite quotes is “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Meaning we have to step out there, on the belief in what we are doing, and we can’t be afraid to fall, in fact we should embrace it. Falling makes you one step closer, it can take you in a different direction, and can lead you in a way you didn’t know possible when you started. There is opportunity in every fall, if you are willing to rise to the challenge and try again.