A fall; to drop down suddenly to a lower position or descend under the force of gravity, I’m pretty sure everyone has felt the pain of it before. Whether the force (that led to the fall) was strong or not, I bet we can agree that a fall can be quite embarrassing. It’s easy to get over some ‘falls’ as time goes by. However, there are other falls that seem to leave a scar, forever.
Truth is, no one is immune to a fall or failure. And being stable or balanced ‘all’ the time is just a myth. No successful person has gone through life without failure. And even though a fall or failure is part of life’s learning process, the shame accompanied by it is sometimes more painful than the actual fall – How ironic!
Why do we allow a fall to make us feel ashamed? Shouldn’t we rather learn the art of embracing a fall?
Take an infant for example – According to a study done by researchers at the New York University, infants need to learn how to ‘fall’ in order to learn how to walk. Falling is all part of the ‘learning how to walk’ process. Based on this study, two groups of infants, also identified as experienced crawlers and new or novice walkers were observed while doing what you know… toddlers do best.
Apparently, the novice walkers seemed to fall more per hour than the experienced crawlers. However, while the novice walkers fell more, research showed that they actually moved more and spend more time moving than the experienced crawlers could during the entire process.
Are you an experienced crawler or a novice walker?
Based on the above scenario, we can identify the two as the following:
- Experienced crawler: one who is fixed in their ways, afraid to fall and make mistakes and is, therefore, comfortable remaining at the same level for a longer period of time.
- Novice walker: someone who embraces the unknown, and recognises a fall and their mistakes as an opportunity to progress, by being uncomfortable remaining at the same level for a longer period of time.
So why is it important to rise after a fall?
As an infant learns how to walk, fall and rise again, the infant begins to adopt a new strategy, a better strategy for walking. The infant then begins to progress from being a novice walker to an experienced walker. When experiencing the pain of a fall, the infant also realises that the pain does not remain, and therefore tries again and again. That same experience then teaches that there’s a better way of obtaining the goal; enabling the infant to execute something that was initially more difficult, now with a better approach.
Likewise, for you and I. Experiencing success is impossible without failure. There’s no growth if we refuse to change our approach in life. Many of us focus on the fall and the shame the fall (sometimes) brings. Yet, the focus should not be on the fall, but on the action that follows after the fall.
The power is essentially not in the fall – The power, the strength, the growth, the glory and success is in the rising.