It happens to all of us…we fall from time to time. I’ve certainly had my fair share of falls and even failures, but I’ve started approaching them differently and it’s changed the way in which I deal with a fiasco. The secret: fall forward.
Fall forward is a way to say “hey, okay this was/was not planned, it happened, now what CAN I DO about it.” It is easy to sulk around about something, feel bad about yourself, and blame others for mistakes or things when they do not go favorably our way.
The key to Failing Forward in so important as it is a mindset shift that allows you to focus on what you can control, forget what you cannot, and create a plan or action to move forward in a new and different directions.
Here are 5 tips to Falling Forward:
1. Bounce Back Quickly – One of my Daily Mentors, Darren Hardy, talks about a bounce back in terms of a tennis ball. When you get bounced around in all directions, you move forward by getting as much power from the fall or bounce. Think in terms of a tennis ball: the lower or harder you fall, the higher and quicker you “can” bounce back up.
2. Focus on what you can control – Human Confession: This is one of the things I struggle with the most. I worry and consider outcomes that have not even happened yet or that are our of my control. Slowly, but surely, I am shifting (with all of my power) my mindset and thoughts to only control what I can in a given situation. That is, I cannot makes roses grow from a rose bush. All I can do, is water, provide the proper amount of sunlight and give the bush a good pruning every so often so that the roses have the best chance to bloom. The same applies to life. Whether it’s a career, a failed relationship, or a traffic jam, only control what you can control in that situation. You will find that life seems to become less stressful as it is easier to focus only on what you can do and let go of what you cannot.
3. Have an attitude of gratitude – This seems mundane but is so powerful. Think about obsessing over the things we love about our life, versus the things we do not. My oh my, would we see ourselves differently as it relates to body image, our professional outlook and the way in which we approach life. I recommend you have an attitude of gratitude daily. You could create a list of 10 Things You are Grateful for at the Beginning of each month and ready it for a routine part of your day (like brushing your teeth) or even jot down a few things each day.
4. Lessons Learned – What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? Yes! At the time of a “fall”, these are the last words you want to her. However, there is truth to this. Take your falls as lessons. Ask yourself, “What can I do RIGHT NOW to move forward.” Do you recount what you did wrong over and over? Identify what is was you did wrong once, and move on.
5. Get Comfortable with being uncomfortable – Ah, discomfort. As humans, we all dislike being in uncomfortable situations. Some people deal with discomfort by quitting or staying in comfortable places, jobs, relationships and lives, and other deal with discomfort by using it as a match to light a fire to something new. Compile a list of 3-5 things that make you uncomfortable as it pertains to your goals. Then, create an action plan for one week and one month to help you overcome some of the anxiety and discomfort. For instance, for me, cold calling/sales makes me uncomfortable. This is a crucial part of my life as a Coach. My one-week action plan for overcoming sales fear is to reach out to people I know first, who will not judge me or laugh but will give me honest and constructive feedback. My one-month action plan –you guessed it—is to do it. I’ll reach out to ten people a week for 4 weeks. Breaking it down, that’s two people a day. I will tell you, the more that I practice and do it, the less scary it is and the easier I am able to move forward.
As you can see, we will all fall during out walk through life. The key is getting back up and moving forward. Paint the picture of a baby learning to walk for the first time. He/she will fall 100 times or more just trying. However, that doesn’t stop the baby. They may cry or giggle through the process, nonetheless, they get up and try again. The next time you fall…fall forward.