There were a lot of great moments during the 2014 Olympics with some incredible stories of unbelievable courage and determination from athletes who fought with every breath they had to achieve their personal best and do their country proud. During the women’s gold medal hockey game, Canada was down 2-0 when my wife, Tonya left the room. She came back not too long after to watch us win gold.
As always, there were many inspiring stories during the games this year, but I received some of my strongest inspiration while watching figure skating. Did you know that figure skaters are taught to get back up after a fall? In fact, they are taught to fall down, get back up and then prepare to fall again.
They learn this for two reasons:
1) They know they are going to fall down; it is expected
2) They know they can still win if they get back up
A great example is found with US figure skater, Jeremy Abbott who took an incredible fall during his short program. He fell so hard, he stayed down for almost 10 seconds and then stood up and continued his program to the cheers and encouragement of the crowd. It is important to note that he went on to win bronze in the team event.
In life, though, people often have an aversion to failure. As soon as they get ‘knocked down’, they stay down. They become embarrassed and are afraid to take risks. We need to learn to get back up. Better still, we need to learn to expect a fall.
When teaching my daughter to walk I would hold her up by my finger. Inevitably she would fall down. I would encourage her to get back up and she would laugh and try again. I never said “I guess this isn’t going to work.” Instead, I encouraged her and she tried again and as you can imagine, eventually walked. If we applied this same logic to other aspects of our life, imagine how successful we could be.
Often after a speech on the topic of my book, Bring About What You Think About, people say to me “that may work for you, but you don’t know my story.” The truth is, I feel like I actually do. I have been knocked down before as likely you have. I choose to get back up. Let’s learn from our Olympic athletes to apply courage and determination to all aspects of our life and to not be afraid to fall. Instead, let’s expect it. You will find some of the best things happen in your life after you take a fall. We will explore this concept further in the next issue of Inspire. Until then, live your dreams.
International Speaker, Author and Employee Engagement Expert
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