I’ve been known to fall down in public. As in, face plant. So much so, that this isn’t the first time I find myself blogging about it. (For the highlights on my top five most memorable falls, click here .) And while I’ve gotten better at bouncing up and shaking off the contact bruises, the embarrassment stays with me a bit longer. I mean, is there any good way to explain to people that you’re okay, everything’s fine, let’s just move on?
The thing about falling down is that it only happens when you’re trying to get somewhere. Before you call me Captain Obvious, consider this: if someone was truly afraid of falling down, they might never get out of bed. If they never got out of bed, they’d never fall down. They’d also never accomplish anything. Because they would be paralyzed from action, too concerned about the potentially humiliating public face plant.
The same can be said for taking a risk. If you never take one, you’ll never fail. But you’ll also never accomplish anything. Because you’d be paralyzed from action, too concerned about the potentially humiliating public failing.
So, does falling = failing? No. Aside from the fact that the words share six out of seven letters, they represent two different things. Falling might be something that happens when you’re trying to get somewhere. You might stumble. You might trip up. But it’s what you do next—dust yourself off and keep going, or give up—that defines your performance.
Falling isn’t the end of the journey. It’s simply a sign that you’re on a journey, and that’s the most important thing to remember.