If you’ve been watching the Olympics from London this summer you probably know the story of Russian gymnast Ksenia Afanasyeva who fell on her face during her floor routine. During the difficult routine you could hear the thud when this strong competitor hit the floor which is not cushioned to enable falls.
What impressed me the most was that Ksenia as a competitor had trained and practiced and perfected the routine to the best of her ability. But when the time came and she misstepped, Ksenia picked herself back up and continued on. There wasn’t any time to wallow or whine or be concerned with how the judges were perceiving such a fall. She simply got right back to work.
Which leads me to the question, are you and your business rebounding from missteps?
We all like to think that we cannot fail, but as the Olympics prove every few years, the best in the world still fall, trip or miss on occasion. What matters when we do misstep is how we keep on going. Preparation is key, of course, but even the best concerts have sound issues and the best cameras sometimes fail.
I’d go so far as to say that we, as a culture, like to see people trip on occasion. It’s part of the reason gossip magazines are so popular – we love to see how the mighty have fallen and know that the lives of the rich and famous are not so perfect after all. How you react, on a scale of grace under pressure to John McEnroe, will reveal more about your character than a perfect performance.
It’s tempting to wallow, especially when the frustration is so great you’d just like to acknowledge that this sucks. But if you have fallen down and stay down it becomes increasingly difficult to get perspective on the finish line. Which is why when an athlete falls but picks right back up and keeps on with a smile the crowd cheers. Because we all know how hard it is to keep going. You’ll never reach the finish line if you sit down and cry – even when that’s all you want to do.
Here are some tips to help you get back up:
Keep your perspective by remembering that your teleclass, event, launch, video, presentation, or other business opportunity is not as big as the Olympics. Millions of people are not watching you and there is not a panel of judges noting every movement in your body. Sure the stakes are high but they’re not insurmountable. You can do this.
Build it into your story. No one likes a liar or someone who pretends to be perfect despite evidence to the contrary. So share your success and failures and use it to grow your credibility having ‘been there and survived that.’
Focus on getting back up, not the fall. If there’s anything people like more than the fall it’s the story of redemption. It may be easy to think that everyone in the world is thinking of your fall, but take a lesson from the Olympians and let them see your dedication and strong finish. While you make a commitment to always put your best foot forward, take the missteps into your story and grow along the way.
As the Olympics come to a close what has been your favorite story of a stumble or success?