Pick Yourself Up When You Fall

News flash: life isn’t always a bed of roses, full of fresh scents and good times.

Sometimes we fall.

What counts is whether or not we get back up. And whether or not we get up with class.

I don’t watch much TV but I do have a few guilty pleasures. America’s Got Talent is one of them. Do you watch it? I have a few favorites including Anna and Patryck, the young ballroom dancers.

That’s why my heart nearly jumped out of my chest when she fell as she walked down the stairs last night (did you see it?). As my heart raced, my thoughts followed, “Oh poor thing!” “Oh my gosh, is she going to trip?” “Did that throw her off?”

Really, that was me projecting what I would have thought about myself if I had fallen.

Instead, she didn’t miss a beat. And neither did her partner.  She picked herself up just as quickly as she fell, held her head high and brightened the stage with her smile.  The rest of their performance was flawless. You can watch Anna and Patryk’s performance here.

My thoughts echoed the judges’: “That is a performer with true confidence. A real professional.”

Sure, she had tears in her eyes when she finished. I would have cried, too. Crying is a stress response. And when you fall during a competitive performance on live television in front of millions of viewers, and you’re only twelve years old, don’t you think that’s just a little bit stressful?

But she didn’t show it when it counted – during her performance. She wants the win. She fell, but she didn’t quit. She fell, and it “hurt”, but she picked herself back up and held her head high, finishing strong.

I’ve fallen quite a bit, literally and figuratively in my career as a speaker, leader and market research professional. What matters most is how you get back up.  Think about sports team coaches who get fired and then picked up immediately by another team.  Just because you are down doesn’t necessarily mean you are out.  Unless that’s what you decide.

If you want something bad enough – to lose weight, have a satisfying career, speak with more confidence or something else –you cannot quit when you fall. And chances are if you’re playing hard enough, you’ll fall at least occasionally.

Feel it for the moment, then pick yourself up, brush yourself off, figure out what you might have caused the fall, and use the experience as a learning opportunity for the future. When you choose to get back up after a fall, that is feel good living.

Life isn’t always a smooth road. Sometimes we fall. How will you get up when you do?

My friend Lance at the Jungle of Life just posted a similar take in his latest post, “Argh, I Screwed Up!

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  • http://brite-talk.com Andrea DeBell – britetalk

    Hi Stacey! I don’t really watch TV either or have cable so I can’t quite relate to the TV show. Bu I can definitely relate to the topic. Like everyone else, I have fallen down many times. We look for the lesson we can take from that experience and continue on. That’s what it’s all about, moving on. No point on torturing ourselves for what has passed. It’s more important to concentrate on what do to now.

    Loving blessings!

  • http://evolvingwellness.com Evita

    Hi Stacey

    Wow, first I read a similar message on Lance’s latest post and now this from you (good that you referenced his too – they both fit together so well)… great timing, especially given my day 😉 Not the exact same idea, but it all relates!

    As for television, we stopped owning one, so we really don’t watch any anymore, but I relate to the show as I have seen a few episodes in the past – and you said it all beautifully here about picking ourselves up :)

  • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Hi Andrea – Thanks for your comment and for stopping by. Yes, when I saw this young woman fall and keep going with such confidence, it really drilled the point home. Especially if you want something bad enough.

    Hi Evita – I had written my post, taken a break before editing and saw Lance’s. WEIRD! Glad you’re day “picked up” as well :-)

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com/ Lance

    Hey Stacey,
    So…I’ve only saw bits and pieces of America’s Got Talent…so I missed this fall. And that really is poise – being able to get up – lift her head high – and still perform in front of such a large audience!

    And it makes me think…what about me? And what about the times with I trip up (literally or figuratively) when there’s a much, much smaller audience (or even – no audience at all). Am I really getting back up? (I hope so…and I hope I do that with poise and belief in myself…)

    Great message here, Stacey!

  • http://theboldlife.com Tess The Bold Life

    Hi Stacey,
    I saw it and felt it! They’re so cute and flawless. I think every heart went out to her. I hope the loving people in her life handled it well. It could make all the difference in the world for here future.

  • http://delightfulwork.com Tom Volkar / Delightful Work

    Making lemonade when the lemons come is one of my hard favorites. Disappointment always gives us an opportunity to ask, what’s good about it? There is always something. Thanks for your inspiration.

  • http://www.workhappynow.com Karl Staib – Work Happy Now

    I’ve made many mistakes in my career. I put out products no one wanted. I gave speeches to people who didn’t care. The list goes on and on.

    I pride myself on never giving up. I think of a new angle that is more interesting. I talk to people who can give me feedback. Each screw up is a chance for me to improve. I try not to think of them as something terrible, but a way for me to learn.

  • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Tess – I hope so too. I agree – it could make a world of difference for her future.

    Tom – Thanks for your comment, nice to have you back! “Hard favorites” yes, seeing the good when it only feels bad is definitely challenging.

    Karl – We learn by doing. No matter what. The best inspiration for me comes when I DO something, even if the outcome isn’t quite what I desire.

  • http://www.purposepowercoaching.com Chris Edgar

    Hi Stacey — thanks for this — people who have experienced failures in life, and have fully allowed themselves to feel the shame and awkwardness that resulted, have a depth that I instantly notice.

    • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

      Chris – interesting perspective. I agree – those who experience failures/falls have more confidence, and more ability to let “others in”.

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